SNL’s cold open features the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York : NPR


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NEW YORK — “Saturday Evening Stay” usually kicks off every present with some humor, however the comedy sketch collection opened with a tribute efficiency to Ukraine amid the continued Russian invasion.

The Ukrainian Refrain Dumka of New York carried out a “Prayer for Ukraine” throughout the opening of “SNL” on Saturday. Forged members Kate McKinnon and Cecily Robust launched the choir.

The choir sang the melancholy tune in entrance of a reside viewers and a desk of candles that spelled the identify of Ukraine’s capital metropolis, Kyiv.

Russian troops launched an assault on Ukraine this week. The continued invasion entails explosions and airstrikes on town.

M1 Pro MacBook Pro: Specs, features, chip, price

Roman has lined expertise for the reason that early Nineties. His profession began at MacUser, and he is labored for MacAddict, Mac|Life, and TechTV.

The Somali general fighting al-Shabab and the patriarchy | Features

When Zakia Hussen Ahmed attended her first assembly within the Somali police pressure as a director of group policing, a junior male officer requested her to “rise up and fetch some tea” for him assuming that the 29-year-old was a secretary to one of many senior officers, since she was not in her uniform.

She determined to make use of the incident as a possibility to provide a lesson. “I realised no matter step I take subsequent would decide how the remainder of the group and senior officers would view me,” Hussen, now 38, mentioned.

So, she calmly commanded the junior officer – who was shocked as one other officer advised him she was the brand new director – to fetch his personal tea and convey her a cup too. “He not solely obtained as much as give a salute but in addition went out to fetch his personal tea plus an additional cup for me as ordered,” she mentioned.

In Somalia’s male-dominated safety forces, such condescension is a daily encounter for the few feminine officers. In accordance with Hussen, Somalia has a 14,000-strong police pressure. Solely a tenth of that determine is ladies, despite the fact that plenty of youthful feminine officers have joined the pressure within the final 10 years, serving in varied capacities nationwide.

Since 1991, when President Mohamed Siad Barre – who had held energy since being enthroned by a cold coup in 1969 – was overthrown, sparking a chronic battle between clan strongmen, spiritual hardline teams and different rival factions, Somalia has been affected by lawlessness. After a collection of fragile reconciliation offers, a United Nations-backed federal authorities was endorsed in 2012, which handed energy to the present administration in 2017.

As Somalia’s post-conflict state-building journey continues to make gradual however regular progress, each little effort to revive the collapsed establishments counts considerably. Members of the diaspora like Hussen who’ve returned dwelling, are fiercely dedicated to accelerating that progress.

General Zakia Hussen takes a salute from officers while on duty in SomaliaNormal Zakia Hussen takes a salute from officers whereas on obligation. [File: Mohamud Utaama]

From her first day within the police pressure, she says she determined that daring actions and braveness can be the guiding ideas to navigate a patriarchal establishment serving in a deeply conservative society.

Within the following 5 years after her function accountable for group policing, Hussen labored in varied businesses, together with the Felony Investigation Unit, the Intelligence Company and the workplace of the Chief Justice. Most of her work centered on reform, institutional constructing and police relations with the general public.

In August 2018, Hussen was promoted to brigadier general and appointed because the deputy police commissioner, turning into the primary lady to ever obtain the rank within the historical past of Somalia’s safety forces.

‘An undisputed instance’

Hussen was solely six years outdated when her household fled the civil battle and settled within the southern metropolis of Eslöv, Sweden. There, she spent most of her teenage life earlier than shifting to the UK the place she grew to become actively concerned in London’s vibrant Somali group.

In 2005, whereas finding out worldwide relations on the London Metropolitan College, she served as vice chairman of the Islamic Society, serving to to deal with Islamophobia and convey numerous teams collectively. After graduating, she joined Hanoolaato, a diaspora-led sociopolitical motion that advocates for peace and improvement in Somalia.

“I vividly recall my first impression of Zakia once I noticed her give a speech at a diaspora occasion within the UK round 2010-11,” mentioned Abdi Barud, former adviser to the Somali prime minister. “Her speech was stuffed with knowledge and galvanizing and I knew proper then that she would go far.”

Years later, when Hussen grew to become deputy police chief, Barud labored along with her to modernise the police division’s communications division – introducing common media briefings and a publicly accessible helpline for the primary time, amongst different reforms.

“I feel Normal Zakia is an undisputed instance that the ‘glass ceiling’ [for women] is breakable with a supportive community, self-determination and arduous work,” he mentioned.

It was Hussen’s work with the diaspora motion that impressed her to return to Somalia in 2012 to play a job within the reconstruction of the Horn of Africa nation. But it surely was not a simple determination.

“Going again to a spot you left at six for the primary time, with out your dad and mom and never having every other member of the family was extraordinarily difficult,” she mentioned. “However I do know I’ve their blessings and prayers and that’s the biggest gasoline to my hearth.”

In late 2012, Hussen first started working within the capital Mogadishu with the Heritage Institute think-tank as a programme supervisor. In that function, she engaged with civil society organisations and authorities establishments, together with the police pressure which she would finally be a part of a 12 months later.

Everybody, together with her dad and mom, objected or outrightly disapproved of that call to enlist within the police. Even her mentors warned of the risks of becoming a member of a safety outfit tackling one in all Africa’s deadliest violent teams.

Not lengthy after she joined the pressure, al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda-linked armed group searching for to unseat the Somali federal authorities, started sending her loss of life threats.

The threats intensified when she grew to become deputy police chief. Landmines and different makes an attempt failed, she mentioned, together with a automotive bomb that exploded a day after she travelled to London.

“As a commander, younger and feminine [from the diaspora], I’m the personification of all the things they stand in opposition to,” mentioned Hussen. “At one level, I needed to depart the nation for a few days as the upcoming risk in opposition to my life was very robust.”

Relatively than backing down, the final has grow to be the face of the Somali police pressure, which has been struggling to construct public belief following longstanding allegations of abuse, corruption, rape and exploitation.

“Placing the group on the coronary heart of policing has been a key method to my work and I consider it’s the key to defeating terrorism,” she mentioned. The crime reporting hotline and different programmes she instituted are bringing the police in direct communication with the communities they serve.

Hussen can also be captivated with combating deeply rooted stereotypes in opposition to ladies in Somalia each day “primarily making an attempt to alter the attitudes in the direction of feminine management in Somalia”.

Because the highest-ranking feminine officer ever in Somalia, the final is seen as a job mannequin not only for the ladies within the pressure however all the feminine inhabitants. In 2021, she established the primary all-female armed particular forces unit, which she has mentioned is one in all her biggest achievements.

The 50 members of the all-female unit, all between the ages of 25 and 30, have been educated in Turkey. They’ve been built-in into the Haramcad (Somali phrase for cheetah) Particular Police Forces, additionally educated by Turkish forces as a part of its geostrategic help to Somalia. Collectively, they perform particular operations and supply day-to-day help to different police models within the capital.

“They function a part of our counterterrorism police brigade, conducting raids and operations in opposition to al-Shabab cells alongside their male counterparts,” she mentioned.

In February 2019, she led a major operation as the one feminine in a particular squad. It was her first main operation as a deputy chief and a fancy hostage state of affairs throughout an al-Shabab assault in central Mogadishu.

After a gun battle that lasted all night time, the safety forces saved 45 civilians trapped in that assault however misplaced 11 officers. The ache of dropping her colleagues hit Hussen arduous and made her “really feel sick to my abdomen”.

The next morning, she acquired a name from the president who thanked her for her bravery and coolheadedness. “As I hung up the telephone,” she mentioned. “I realised that is what it means to be Somalia’s strongest lady; pure ache, pure delight.”