My name is Farah Mohamed. I am a Somali-American living in the United States of America. In short, I had a Seaman Abti (Uncle) who lived in the United Kingdom. He worked for different merchant ships in the UK. The last ship that he worked for was a Greek-owned merchant ship, in1957 or 1958, from which he was thrown overboard into the Atlantic Ocean after a salary dispute. According to other Somali and non-Greek seamen, Greek ships used to keep the salary of the seaman they hired for as long as they could, sometimes a couple of months and sometimes for years. It was common practice for the Greek crews to throw overboard seamen who demanded their wages. My Uncle moved overseas from East Africa at a very young age, and he visited his homeland once to marry a Somali woman. He returned to Cardiff, U.K, after his short visit, Eventually, after his Somali wife gave birth to twin boys, and unfortunately one of them died soon after he was born. The surviving son, my cousin Hussein Ahmed Hassan never met his father. According to my cousin, “around 1958, he received a message from the British Consulate in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was informed that his father had been killed.” At that time, my cousin was around 17 or 18 years old and was attending the Commercial Secondary School in Addis Ababa, and the British Consulate contacted him through the school.
Several years later, my cousin tried to find out what had happened to his father and sadly discovered that his father had been using an alias (assumed name), and he gave up his search. My older sister told me about my Uncle’s tragic demise when I was about 12 or 13 years old, and since then, his sad story has haunted me. My Uncle was murdered, and nobody was held accountable or even investigated for his death.
As I write this, my adopted country, the U.S.A. has been roiled by the murder in broad daylight of a black man named George Floyd by a white police officer who held a position of authority. The same struggles which facilitated my poor Uncle’s murder in the late 1950s continue today. My uncle left behind only one son, who is, fortunately, is living a life surrounded with the love of his wife, children, grandchildren and extended family. My uncle had a name. His name was: Ahmed Hassan Ismail (Jibar). He belonged to a very large family, and none of us, had the chance to see him, let along spend time with him. Since my Uncle’s son was summoned to the British Consulate in Ethiopia to collect a few belongings his father left, I believe the British authorities must have a record of my Uncle’s murder. I believe there must be news clips, death record or even some historical recollection from someone. I appreciate anyone who can help me to find access my Uncle’s record at the British Consulate in Ethiopia or archives in the UK so that I can continue my quest to find out what happened to my Uncle.
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