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Gratitude - An open letter to my family, friends, countries, educational institutions, teachers/lecturers, supervisors, mentors, sponsors, colleagues, neighbours and supports (who I call The BrightSpark)

Dear BrightSpark,

First my gratitude goes to my God (Allah) for allowing me to achieve what I have today.

Secondly, I’m grateful to you (BrightSpark) for believing in me, praying for me, helping me directly or indirectly.

I am here because you welcomed me…

I made it because of your love, prayers and support…

I rose from the ashes because you allowed me to stand on your shoulders…

Thank you for being there for me, not only in my heyday but through my darkest days and nights whose highlights include many tragedies, e.g. my recent survival from a terrorist attack (The Somalia supreme court attack by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab) that killed at least 19 innocent people including my own two attorneys in Mogadishu, Somalia.


To my birth country – Somalia. The land of the desert flower. The horn of Africa. See, I happen to be the daughter of your inhabitants. Just two decades ago, I was one of your residents. I was just a young girl who had, what it seems to her a big dreams, who prayed to God while she was in the aeroplane, on her way to her new and soon to be her first host and adopted country (Denmark). The young girl prayed to God to grant her the opportunity of getting an education from scratch to the highest level, a PhD, so that she can come back home (where she was born) to help her nation and eventually help global citizens. And she promised that she will do this to her highest ability.

Today that young girl is a woman, a mother of five, who had the courage to raise her five children without the benefit of a partner, and juggle between family life, work, education, charity work and her career…

Today, that young girl is ME, and my dream came true, my prayers were accepted, and I am keeping that promise. Yep, I am coming home!


To my first host and adopted country (Denmark). Thank you for allowing me to come. You didn’t know me then for who I was, my potential or what I could become.

…I was just a young skinny African Muslim refugee, soon to become a young mum, whose aim and ambition was so high, whose resilience was epic and who always wanted to help others.

I am grateful to you for the life that you facilitated, the experience that I gained along the way and the friends that I made, but I am also most grateful to you for the education which opened many doors to me later in life. I hope sincerely that I will come back one day, not to collect benefits or pension but to contribute even if it is for one day only…

To my friends, teachers, social workers, colleagues and neighbours in Denmark – thank you from the bottom of my heart.


To my second host and adopted country (UK). Thank you for hosting me and my children… Thank you for facilitating the life we have been living here in Leicester and thank you for being the home, the only home that my children now know and, above all, thank you for being the house of knowledge…

To me Britain is not great only because of the life my children and I have here or because of the British Empire. But because of the British people and the Flag (the Union Jack, aka the Union Flag), which was worn by a Somali-British athlete (Mo Farah) to celebrate his victory win of the 10,000 m at the 2010 European Athletic Championships. This memorable moment was there to send a message to our young boys and girls so they too can proudly and openly say that they are British too, unlike many other European countries…

To my UK friends, lecturers, supervisors, mentors, colleagues, neighbours and supporters. Thank you for your valuable time, the knowledge that you share and the unaccountable support that you give me.


To my PhD sponsor the Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future and the great community and friends that I gained along the way during my fellowship. I am indeed forever deeply grateful to you for everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Thirdly, what is new in me?

Well, I have just launched my personal website ( which houses my blog (where I will be sharing with YOU the issues that matter to me, the people I meet and some of the knowledge I acquire along the way, among others…) and some other info on the website. In the pipeline are video clips and interviews both in Somali and English. So stay tuned…

The bombshell – what I want from you all is, as always, your prayers (please remember me in your prayers) and your support as I am going to enter the next chapter of my life!


With gratitude, Dr Sadiyo Siad

May you be granted life’s greatest success, Amen.

Thank you for reading my post and please feel free to join the conversation!

Thank you for reading my blog post and please feel free to join the conversation!

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