A Somali Man to America: “Cheer Up!”

This article was written by Aden Daar, a Somali villager.

I was rummaging through the town landfill this morning, looking for some food for today’s meal, when I came across a copy of last week’s New York Times. I saw an article describing how Americans were sad. It said something about rising gas prices, unemployment, a government in disagreement, etc etc etc etc etc.

Let me tell you something, America. CHEER UP!

Who am I, you might ask, to order you to cheer up? Well, America, allow me to tell you a bit about myself. My name is Aden Daar. I live in Somalia. But – perhaps statistics will be more illuminating. I live in a village of 1,000 people. The average size of a house is one room, and the average size of a room is 100 square feet. The average number of inhabitants per room is 12. The average number of calories consumed per week is 300. The average work week is 100 hours. And the average income is $0.

Sometimes I wonder why the government doesn’t help us, with welfare or a stimulus package or something. Then I remember – we have no government. My country is called a “failed state.” The highest government position the average Somali can hope to hold is “pirate.”

I work at a stone quarry. I bang stones with other stones to try to collect stones to sell to rich overlords as gravel for their lawns. I don’t really get paid. I’m supposed to, but I think my employer is dead. I’m not sure.

The commute is 30 miles. I wish I could drive but I don’t have a car, and even if I did have a car, there aren’t any gas stations. And even if there were gas stations, I’m sure there wouldn’t be any gas.

The Times article says you guys perceive your economy as getting worse. Well, let me close with this: at least you have an economy. Americans, it could always be worse.

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