Thursday, 21 February 2013

Interviewing the president of Somalia

On Sunday February 3, I was invited to The Dorchester Hotel in London to interview the Somali president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. 

I could tell an important Somali was staying in the hotel way before I entered its doors. The nearby streets were full of Somalis, and this was a part of London not normally frequented by large crowds of Somalis. Inside the hotel, guests seemed somewhat bewildered by the fact that all the seats in the foyer were occupied by Somalis. The security guards also looked a bit perplexed.

Somalis take over the foyer of The Dorchester Hotel
I met several good friends in the foyer, and after some lively chats, I was invited up to the president's room. He was generous with his time, so I did quite a long interview with him. I also gave him a copy of my book on Somalia.

You can listen to the version of the interview played on the BBC by clicking here.

To listen to the full version of the interview - nearly 20 minutes - please click here.

Interviewing Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for the BBC

The Somali president with my book