By Abdi A. Jama
Abdullahi Aden Ibrahim’s article, “An open letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan concerning Southern Somalia” which was published in Hiiraan Online fails, miserably, to exercise the primary academic discipline of giving credit to the author from which the entire material was taken.
Reading Mr. Ibrahim’s article, I became very suspicious that I have seen this article from somewhere. This, therefore, prompted me to Google parts of the article in order to ensure that Mr. Ibrahim was indeed the author as he claimed. Searching through the internet, I discovered that the whole original article was written by Eric Reeves, a Professor of English Language and Literature at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts under the heading: An open letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan concerning Darfur, (April 25, 2004). For your information, the link to the original article is at:
Ibrahim plagiarized the whole article word-by-word by just replacing the names of Dafur and Sudan with that of Mogadishu and Somalia. If this was a college assignment, he would have been expelled from the college/university immediately. For instance, my school’s 4.04 Student Code of Conduct Part 3. Standards Number 1, states:
“…Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to the use by paraphrase or direct quotation, the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgement; unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaging in selling or otherwise providing term papers or other academic materials.”
I believe there are probably two primary reasons which might have compelled Mr. Ibrahim to publish this article. First, Mr. Ibrahim might have been intimidated by other authors who unnecessarily use complicated English in their articles. And second, he might have been trying to impress his readers with this article. Contrary to his expectations, this article exposed his highway robbery tactics. However, my criticism of Mr. Ibrahim’s article is not intended to attack Ibrahim personally. Rather, it is intended to put a stop to any publications of plagiarized-articles in Somali websites.
Lastly, web-masters of Somali websites have the editorial responsibility of ensuring that the articles that appear in their sites are indeed genuine.
Abdi A. Jama