Graduate spotlight: Abdullahi Ali – Strathmore has taught me to live a meaningful life
During his four year stay at Strathmore, Abdullahi Ali gained insights on how to live a meaningful life. “Strathmore University embodies a value system that develops the drive for one to focus on work that will have an impact on the society. Being here exposed me to brilliant people; this was a great environment that made me grow to be a better person,” he remarked.
Somali customary justice system
For his final year research project at the Strathmore Law School, Abdullahi focused on the Somali customary justice system and its exclusion of women. Abdullahi noted that in the Somali community, if a woman is involved in a dispute, she is not allowed to represent herself, instead, a close male relative is assigned to represent her. “Furthermore, a woman doesn’t have the social status to oversee the resolution of disputes,” he added. Abdullahi’s main objective was to find ways that would embrace the inclusion of women in the socio-political decision-making processes in the Somali community.
In his first year as a law student, as an Editorial Assistant, Abdullahi assisted in publishing the second volume of the Strathmore Law Review, a student-run academic law journal in the Strathmore Law School which is published by the Strathmore University Press.
Strathmore Law Clinic
And in his second year at the Strathmore Law School (SLS), the third born in a family of nine children joined the Strathmore University Law Clinic, a student run institution dedicated to furthering access to justice for all through provision of accurate legal information. In 2018, he led a team of clinicians that conducted a street law session aimed at empowering the residents of Kibera with an in-depth understanding of the rights of arrested persons and the measures to take when such rights are either threatened or violated. The session brought together residents from Kibera, the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), the National Police Service and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP); institutions which play a vital role in the protection and the promotion of the rights of arrested persons.
Model United Nations
Abdullahi was also part of the Kenya Model United Nations (KMUN), a society whose objective is to seek solutions to the various problems of the world through discussions, negotiations and debates. While in KMUN, Abdullahi got a chance to participate in the Sub Saharan International Model United Nations (SAIMUN), a five-day international relations simulation for both high school and university/college students that is held annually at the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), Gigiri. He was also part of the Debate club.
He learnt about Strathmore from his sister who also pursued law at Strathmore. She recommended the University to Abdullahi because of the level of competency of the lecturers and the high quality of education that was offered. He followed in his sister’s footsteps and chose law because it would help him live a life of impact. “I loved having an impact on the society and law is one of the key instruments that would enable me achieve this,” he said.
He enjoys reading books, especially on African literature and legal scholarship and playing football with his friends.
This article was written by Odhiambo Obonyo
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