The U.S. ambassador to Somalia, Stephen Schwartz, met with the country’s new leader, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, and gave him a hat that read “Make Somalia Great Again.”
A photo of the meeting was shared by U.S. Mission Somalia’s Twitter account, featuring a blue and white cap inspired by the color’s of the Somali flag.
US2SOM Amb Schwartz had a fruitful mtng w Pres Farmaajo 2day + presented the Pres with a cap "MAKE SOM GREAT AGAIN" https://t.co/rXHgpWFp pic.twitter.com/EWFdrRipv3— U.S. Mission-Somalia (@US2SOMALIA) February 17, 2017
Ironically, Somalia is one of the seven Muslim-majority countries that fall under President Donald Trump’s travel ban, which makes the gift extremely awkward and uncalled for.
President Mohamed is a dual U.S.-Somali citizen. He lived in America for more than two decades and worked at the Somali embassy in Washington, D.C. He previously spoke to Voice of America and expressed his sentiments on the relationship between the two countries, specifically addressing the travel ban.
“It is part of my responsibility to talk about this issue with the U.S. government by conveying our message to the president and his government that the Somali people are really good, hard working people. They raise their families in the United States. So we will see if he can change that policy and exclude Somalis from that list," he told VOA in a telephone interview.
Internet users are rightly criticizing the bizarre gift, saying it was a disrespectful act toward Somalia. They also pointed out the absurdity of the gift that emphasizes Trump’s motto of “Make America Great Again” when Somalia is on his travel ban list.
@US2SOMALIA You're embarrassing America. Shame on you.— Mark Blacknell (@Blacknell) February 18, 2017
@US2SOMALIA What are you doing? Embarrassing America abroad? Somalia deserves better than this.— Todd Watkins (@ToddWatkins16) February 18, 2017
@US2SOMALIA You can't possibly imagine how stupid this gesture, makes the Ambassador and the country he represents, look.— Philip MacQuarrie (@monkeynaut1966) February 18, 2017
@US2SOMALIA Trump have shown to hate somalis in his campaigning and adding to the his ban list and u taking his slogan to somalia.— faisaladnaan (@faisaladnaan1) February 18, 2017
.@US2SOMALIA posted the saddest thing I've seen all week. Mocking Somalia with a poke in the eye Drumpf campaign slogan.— Phil Calvin (@pcalvin) February 18, 2017
Twitter users even pointed out how the official tweet called the Somali president by his nickname, “Farmajo.” Whereas, in a display of respect, considering he is the president of a country, he should have been addressed by his real name which is “Mohamed.”
.@US2SOMALIA BTW, I understand that Farmajo is his nickname. But in a formal meeting, please show some respect.— Sue (@Pinkomomma) February 18, 2017
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters