The U.S. ambassador to Somalia presented a hat to the new president of Somalia bearing the slogan “Make Somalia Great Again” on Friday.
Ambassador Stephen Schwartz, an Obama appointee, gave the hat to Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, the newly-minted president of Somalia on Friday.
Obviously, the slogan is derived from President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
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
The colors of the hat — light blue and white — are the colors of the Somali flag.
Reaction to the diplomat gift varied dramatically, observes Voice of America.
Reaction to the hat — on Twitter, at least — appears to be overwhelmingly negative.
Some Somalis were far from amused.
— Safia Ahmed (@SafiaNurAhmed) February 18, 2017
— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) February 17, 2017
A public affairs professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Joshua Busby, was one of many Americans who found the diplomatic gift distasteful.
Embarrassing that a diplomat would present this hat to a leader of a country whose citizens were part of the dubious immigration EO. https://t.co/SZcTKrBap5
— Josh Busby (@busbyj2) February 18, 2017
Somablog, a Washington, D.C.-based online journal focused on East Africa, edited the original image with what it believed would have been a better gift.
AMB Schwartz is from Buffalo.
Farmaajo is from Buffalo.
Could be this easy. pic.twitter.com/BhaMG5MXsR
— Somablog (@SomaliaNewsroom) February 18, 2017
Other Twitter users were more optimistic, noting that Somalia was, in fact, once a great country which could become great once more.
— Abdirahman y warsame (@TerrorFreeSomal) February 19, 2017
Among Trump’s first acts as president was to suspend entry into the United States for people from Somalia and six other predominantly Muslim nations for 90 days.
In addition to Somalia, the other six nations subject to the travel ban are: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.