Saturday 1 December 2012

NPR interview with slideshow

I spoke to the US radio station NPR about my book, Getting Somalia Wrong? You can listen to the interview here, and watch a slideshow of pictures I took in Somalia and Somaliland:

NPR interview and slideshow

Saturday 24 November 2012

Mogadishu's Ottoman mosque

On the beachfront in Mogadishu is the oldest mosque in the city, known as Abdul Aziz. I have been told it was built in the eleventh century by the Ottomans. It has been wrecked by war and neglect. This is what is left of the minaret:

You can see bullet holes in the walls

Some brave men live in the grounds of the mosque, caring for it as best they can.

The men who look after the mosque.

The site of the new Turkish embassy (not yet built) is right next to the mosque. Turkey says it is going to rehabilitate Abdul Aziz to its former glory.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Fish for sale in Mogadishu

Here are some photos I took of the fish market in Mogadishu's seaside district of Hamar Weyne.

The fish market building

Sunday 28 October 2012

The armed men of Mogadishu

The Somali capital Mogadishu is full of armed men. Some are African Union troops (mainly Ugandan and Burundian), some are government security forces, some are Turkish military, some look like Westerners (usually around the airport area - they do not wear uniforms), some appear to be private militias or bodyguards, and some are simply civilians with guns slung over their shoulders (who told me they would be mad to give up their weapons because they don't trust any of the 'official' security forces such as the AU troops or government soldiers). Here are some photos I took of people with weapons:

AMISOM patrols the streets
Ugandan AMISOM troops
I don't know whether this man was a government soldier, militia man or random armed person
The following photos were taken in one of the many camps for the displaced in the city. It seemed every previously open space in Mogadishu was full of people living in igloo shaped tents patched together from cloth, plastic, cardboard and tin. 

The next lot of photos were taken in Hodan district, Bakara market and other places in Mogadishu.

These photos were taken on a trip to the beach, to the south of Mogadishu:

And this final one was taken in a mosque: