Monday, 18 November 2013

“Us versus Them” Mentality

With a flourish of Diaspora coming back to Somalia, it brought assurance and hope. This meant that individuals and families had sensed that we were in progress. I remember when schools shut for summer years back, we would book flights to Canada or other parts in the Middle East where we had families stationed. But this summer was unique and different. This was because Toronto or Cleveland was not the destination for holidays anymore but rather Somalia.

Youths and parents had all agreed upon each other that visiting Mogadishu was the only goal. I remember this past June, seeing youths from abroad all over the city. You can pick them up from a crowd easily because of the dress code, style or walk. With Diasporas’ keen to return, this has also caused a stir amongst locals.

With media outlets expanding across the nation, some took full advantage of this to start a smear campaign against those coming from abroad. Whether it’s out of envy or competition, it has gotten to a point where gossip and propaganda started to emerge.

One recent article I had read weeks back from a Somali news outlet stated that locals were moving seats when Diasporas’ had came in for coffees. This was due to “having fear that those from the Diaspora would commit suicide bombs.” Are you kidding? I have never laughed at utter nonsense since the days of MPs fighting out in parliament in Nairobi.

There’s a campaign at the moment to demonize the Diaspora community and it’s sad really. A community, which funded almost $1 billion every year, through remittance programs, is now turned against.

Ridiculously unnecessary cheap shots will only be coming more. I took an caasi (bus) couple of days back and had no cash so wanted to send through EVC (mobile phone banking) and had the driver state “you Diasporas love to show off with EVC”. How do you reply? When almost 4 others before me paid through the same system and where locals?

We are heading into a dangerous route, being driven by individuals who lack self belief and caused them to feel totally dis-moral by fellow Somalis arriving back. This has lead to some locals to believe an ideology of “us versus them” mentality.

Of course there are those Diaspora individuals with arrogance walking around town. But one person does not count for the rest. Nobody believes that all locals are war minded, gun-toting, clan mentality fighters, so why assume all those coming from abroad are full of each other?

But not all of Mogadishu is like this. You get a lot of groups who are welcoming and love hearing stories from abroad. Family members, community members, co-workers, friends and whatnot.

We are all Somalis so let’s work together and share our knowledge in order to seek this goal we all crave for, peace.

Mohamed Hassan (Dj)

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Continuous car horn means revival

Simple little things show us the value of life. And with Somalia re-emerging from war, the simple things are never focused on, rather buildings and whatnot.

On a typical morning in Europe, I use to rise up to the sounds of birds chipping, the dark misty over-cloud, and cold with no real high motivation for another day.

On a typical morning in Mogadishu, you awaken to the sounds of continuous car horn, beeping to a soundtrack that all it really requires is just a base to form a beat. I had always wondered why on earth people do constantly use until I finally arranged a vehicle for myself.

Driving, a herd of cattle approach by your path, hoping for none to cause damage to your vehicle. You also have young children running across the road; an awareness campaign is a must to teach our children the hazards of cars and Lorries. 

Included in the package of driving, several individuals, some suffering from trauma’s while others are simple just not paying attention or observing their surrounding environment.

The car horn is vital in Mogadishu for you not to get into an accident.  Right now while I write this, I can hear it.

So for those who think driving here is as almost as quite as any suburban town in Europe or the Americas, you’d be in for a hectic but lively adventure.

Mohamed Hassan (Dj)

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Mogadishu through Instagram

Beautiful skies as always (Blue and White)

Just one of many hotels opening up across our ancient city (Hotel Kuwait) 

On Route to Xamar Weyne (Giving way to a goat!)

By the famous Lido Beach, A classic before and after the war with new restaurants popping up

A fishing boat named Siraaj Wahhaj, waiting for the tide?

Lido beach, A must have backdrop photo of Indian Ocean

Destruction but let this be a lesson for us

Xamar Weyne

Maka Al Mukarama Road inside an Caasi (Bus)

Your average ride home (If you have no car that is!)

Charcoal means currency in Africa

Dealing Khat on the open

With no education system in 22 years, individuals have taught themselves key skills

Villa's and mansions are reviving 

A passerby on route to work

Don't know the name of your medicine? Well point it out from here then!

Life is moving - Maka Al Mukarama Road

Siinaay junction

Tea under the tree? Somali Style

High rise buildings are appearing, making the city cooler

Somali youths be like "Gotta get ready for the weekend!"

Inside an Caasi (Bus) Read my facinating "20 mins inside an Caasi" -

"Same shop" What a name!

H&M has nothing on "Dress code", located at Maka Al Mukarama Road

View from my window, as it is throughout the whole city, rebuild Somalia!

"They see me rollin, they hating" - Camels are the true kings of the roads

Our children need education, support "Go 2 School" campaign, 1 million children in school within 3 years throughout Somalia

I had to add this, my lunch last friday LOBSTERS!

Deeq – Editor - PPG

Saturday, 21 September 2013

“And your clan is?”

It’s not a hidden fact that we Somalis live by a clan ideology. This can go way back into our history. With 4.5 now the basis foundation of our political structure, I am afraid that if we do not eradicate this mindset out of the picture, we may soon see passports and IDs being handed out to citizens, containing a section which states the individual’s tribe/clan. 

Being excessive with Orwell’s 1984? You bet but only this time, we are the ones walking ourselves into this mess, not a government conspiracy. 

So tell me, what makes you think this cannot happen? We need to wake up, and fast because clannish mindset is, excuse my French, fucking up our way of thinking.

Sad but true.

Mohamed Hassan (Dj)

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Hotels Hotels Hotels!

Sahafi, Ambassador, Kuwait, Nasahablood, Shaamo, Jazeera, Malaika, Peace Hotel, City Plaza, Global and it goes on, Just an endless list of hotels opened up in Mogadishu and increasing by the day. On Maka Al Makurama Street, the busiest and major road which connects the metropolis, you would be amazed to see the quantity of Hotel signs up. 

For a municipality which has witnessed endless brutal war and chaos just 2 years ago, one would have found it unimaginable at the current rate.  It truly is astonishing and remarkable for Mogadishu to look brightly to the future. 

Some may state, who truly are these owners looking at for customers? In addition to that question, is it really a wise decision to set up hotels in a city which is currently just healing from 2 decades of aggression and destruction? Only time will tell. 

As for the progressive element, it shows the world that we are open for business and we focused on business, period.

With roads now on construction, glorious weather and an untapped vast amount of natural resources, I fully understand why some East African Media outlets report only negatives stories out of Mogadishu, waa naga baqaan.

We are rising and may this progress continue for our national goal; A better Somalia.

Mohamed Hassan (Dj)