'I am the only journalist in my community'

Maryan was reporting directly to a conference in Somalia

Maryan Seylac is a Somali journalist. She is one of the few women journalists from the state of Baidoa, and has founded an organization that encourages women journalists in the country.

She told the BBC her life story, including the challenges that women face in one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. There was a time when there was less time for the al-Shabab insurgents to destroy.

From an early age, I was a journalist, and I used to listen to the BBC Somali Service talk with my father, and we used to talk about the stories we listened to. Thus, a passion for journalism has entered a real and genuine heart.

Somalia has been politically active, and various groups have fought against it since the overthrow of the military government in 1991, during the fourth year of its existence.

But in 2012 things started to improve, but Somalia still poses a threat to journalists, especially if you are a woman.

When I could not speak in class, I often stood in front of the students as if I were teaching them a lesson.

In Somalia our parents do not ask us what you want to be when you graduate, because as a daughter your whole life at home is spent, from laundry, cooking, looking after children and so on.

But when I was young I knew what I wanted to be, a journalist.
' I'm a fan of the media '

My father was a schoolteacher and his goal was to have one of his children succeed him.

Because my brothers and sisters did not concentrate on fulfilling his goals. Thinking I was the one to follow in his footsteps as a schoolteacher, I also fulfilled his goal for a while.

When I graduated high school I taught for a year in Baidoa, but that wasn't the job I wanted to do.

My husband's friend works at the local radio station, and one day I asked him if he would be able to provide me with a work permit, even if it was in the evening.

Most of the newspapers and media in Somalia are independent, and they advocate for fairness, but radio is a major media outlet.

As a lonely woman at this point, I became interested and they agreed to train me in the field of my choice.

Sometimes I was very supportive and kind, including reading the news.

Copyright by
Maryan, the journalist in Somalia

I gradually quit my teaching job, got a job as a radio host and worked for me as a full-time employee.

But my siblings were not happy with the job I got.

My father was so distraught that he began to think that I would quit my job and live without any work.

But I always tell them, 'I don't enjoy my teaching. Journalism is my passion.

Copyright by
Maryan's Dream is to empower
women to reach their dreams

Gradually, my father and my family accepted my choice, seeing how much I enjoyed my job.

But it is not easy for the people of my area to look at me with humility and to question my actions.

This is why I feel uncomfortable because traditionally women in Somalia are known for being married and serving my husband.

By God's power, he was my husband, a journalist who understood me and helped me achieve my goals. I made sure no journalist was ever married and I was already locked up in the house.

Maryan has been broadcasting on Somali television

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