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Echoes of Beginnings

May 12, 2024 : 8:38 am

The 12th of May marks the day when the first settlers moved to Hulhumalé. Known and celebrated as ‘My Hulhumalé Day’ every year, the year of the settlement carries sentiment for the people of Maldives. A tsunami struck Maldives the same year, leaving many residents homeless and some islands’ infrastructures completely demolished. In response to the Tsunami, Hulhumalé was created as a safer island for everyone.

As Hulhumalé was reclaimed as an expansion of the Greater Malé Region in the Hulhulé lagoon, the name Hulhumalé (Hulhu-malé) was perfect. In Hulhumalé, where modernity meets tradition, lie the cherished memories and untold tales of its first settlers. As the city has grown and evolved over the years, these pioneers have stood witness to its transformation, from humble beginnings to its present day. Some of the first settlers are still alive, some have passed.

Back then, Hulhumalé was uncertain and challenging. Often described as a desert lacking basic amenities, residents faced obstacles such as transportation difficulties, braving harsh weather for essential errands like school, medical appointments, and shopping. Additionally, there was a shortage of spaces for children to play, engage in sports, and maintain a high quality of life. The only driver, late Shareefbe’s van became the primary mode of transportation from homes to the ferry terminal, highlighting the first families dependance on incomplete resources.

Nevertheless, the bond within the first neighborhood was strong and their profound respect for the environment. Every day, the community echoed of bashi and dodgeball, while Maahefun and Roadha gatherings formed ever year. Eid, though modest, painted the town in vibrant hues. In this close-knit community, the significance of small moments like birth, loss, marriage and milestones like graduations were cherished.

These individuals harbor a deep sense of pride in seeing their once-nascent community blossom into a pleasant Island City full of potential. Their story is a testament to their resilience, determination, and unwavering belief in their Island City, regardless of their initial fears and challenges.