Baidoa (Mogadishu24)-Ismael Hassanow Hussein is 60 years old visually impaired who lives in Baidoa, the administrative interim capital of Southwest State in Somalia, going through difficulties, but never surrendered. He serves as the breadwinner for his family, including his wife and 10 children.

For over half of his lifetime, Ismael has engaged in a small business, selling Miswak Sticks (known as “Cadey” in the Somali language), natural toothbrushes made from a unique tree found in remote bush areas. Despite being visually impaired and in need of assistance himself, he has managed to support his family for 33 years.

Ismael Hassanow was in very small business for more than half of his life-time by selling Miswak Stick(Cadey in Somali language), a natural toothbrush from unique tree available in the remote areas in the bush at markets in Baidoa town in Bay region. It is beyond imagination that a blind person who himself needs help, can afford to manage helping his family 33 years’ period.

Ismael sells three pieces of the local toothbrush for 6,000 Somali Shillings worth 0.25 dollars. Despite the low income, he finds satisfaction in life, considering his business a form of worship (Ibadah). His daily earnings range from 100,000 to 150,000 local currency, which is between 4 to 6 dollars.

“Everyone in the community needs this service; they use it to clean their teeth. I chose this business 33 years ago when I became a person with a disability after failing to secure a better job due to my impaired eyes. I decided to sit here and sell these Miswak tooth sticks to provide for my children,” Hassanow explained.

Mr. Hassanow said that he faced numerous challenges such as the toothbrushes drying up and becoming unusable, as well as difficulties in repaying those who bring these sticks from remote forests.

Despite these challenges, Hassanow remains committed to overcoming obstacles and providing for his family.

“You see I work with my hands and find things on grounds by using them. I sometimes got them loss as I don’t see something”, he said.

He expressed his efforts to seek support for business improvement and transformation but faced difficulties in obtaining assistance from charitable organizations.

“I tried to get support several times, but was not successful because I wanted to improve and transform business life if I could get help from givers or charity organizations, I am working with a very difficult circumstances, May Allah enable me get it out”, Hassanow stated.

In the wake of recent humanitarian crises and an increase in natural disasters leading to mass displacement, he appeals for assistance for those with disabilities, and vulnerable individuals in Internally Displaced camps.

“I am requesting from the community and well-wishers to support me and others who are in need of help or people with disabilities like me, vulnerable people in the Internally Displaced camps and others living inside the town should be observed humanly, that’s my appeal to them,” he added.

Ismael Hassanow Hussein stands as a beacon of hope and perseverance in Baidoa. His story is not just about overcoming personal disability but also about navigating and surviving in a challenging environment. It is a narrative that underscores the enduring strength and resilience of the human spirit.

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