Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Mogadishu through Instagram Part 3

A lot has changed since my part 2 of this epic series titled "Mogadishu through Instagram".

Here it is, Mogadishu through Instagram part 3! Care to enjoy history before your own very eyes.

Just passed KM4 entering Maka Al Mukarama Road. Leads you to all the landmarks throughout the city.

The kings of the road, Caasi's (Bus). A mode of travel for many. Riding one is definitely unforgettable journey. Highly recommended! Read my popular "20 Mins inside an Caasi" article

Restaurants are now a common sight in Mogadishu. Lets just say we Somalis are arrogant with our cooking because we damn well sure can cook! 

New Airport coming soon! Landing in Aden Adde International Airport is a must for travellers. Really does seem for a minute as if you'd be landing in the Indian Ocean. Beautiful!

Due to popular demand, now rightfully re-named Banadir Beach Restaurant.

The obsession we Somalis have for SYL is indescribable. #WadaniFever must return

High rise buildings are changing our skyline in Mogadishu.

Great to see basic services are now on the comeback. A school bus on the call.

In 2 years this city has seen immense change. Imagine in 10 years? Never test the will of the Somali people. 

Resilience is in our blood. So much war yet life truly goes on. The people of Mogadishu truly deserve a noble prize for their will to continue. Amazing!

The more petrol stations, the merrier for us drivers in Mogadishu.

Off Talex entering Maka Al Mukarama. This was once a front line against terrorism. Now a business hub.

And the pic that went global. Mr Ice cream van by Lido Beach!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A letter from Somalia. The Land.

This is a message to all Somalis in this generation and the next generation.

Our beautiful Country is asking us these questions: I am a Country in the Africa Continent, my name’s Somalia, my people are Somalis and they have one culture, one language and one Religion. And I have a lot of natural resources comparing to other Countries.

 I must admit that I have the best agricultural land, nice weather, longest coast in Africa, a lot of fish and also I possess crude oil not to mention my two ever flowing rivers Shebelle and jubba and also my lovely mountains and my beautiful tourist attraction sites.

So why don’t my people realize that they are the luckiest people on earth? And why don’t they seek their natural resources of which I have in abundant? Why are they fighting and what they fighting for? 

I am prosperous, productive Country and I am a large and beautiful country in every way you look at me. All I need from you is to have peace and I promise you that I remain prosperous.!


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The 8 commandments for Diaspora on returning home

1.     Stop the Arrogance

However smart and confidence you may feel, note that someone else is taking this as arrogance. Sometimes it’s best to let others shines so do not make the mistake of thinking that you know everything about everything just because you had access to Google for the last 10 years.  Some youths here carry 4 or 5 degrees and did this in a warzone. Just because you had a western education and speak with a good English/American accent does not make you the messiah Somalis have been waiting for.

2.     Learn Af-Somali

This is crucial for your survival (in oral sense). People will look at you and judge you. Make sure your Af-Somali game is stepped up and ready to converse at any given time. You should already know that we are an oral nation so having some type of ammo (Not guns) is important. Kids as young as 8 would test you and so would Caasi (Bus) drivers. You must be able to reply as fast as possible without any hiccup.

3.     ATM/Cash Machine? Forget all that Rubbish, Welcome to the land of EVC

Do not assume that just because the nation had been going through war people are not as dumb and stupid as you may think. The first ATM bank machine was recently just opened up. Do not come into town with your plastic card and hoping to do transaction through it. You would be looked at and laughed on. The EVC system is clearly in charge here. Get use to it.

4.     Foreign Line is where you stand in the immigration department.

When you land in Mogadishu, the fresh smell of salt water hits you. Then as you are coming down the flight of stairs, you head into the immigration department. Here, there are 4 lanes separated into 2 different sections. The left section is the foreign section and the right sections are for the nationals. If you are carrying a different passport, note that you are a foreigner and must line up at that section. Yes, we all know you are a Somali, heck even the birds know you are a Somali but the immigration department rules do not. Please abide by the rules and come off that “This is my country”. Nobody will hear you or care.

5.     Be prepared for changes.

Ok, you have been out of the country for over 20 years. Realise that things have changed and new actors are playing the game. Forget about “Xamar was like this or like that.” That is gone, out of the picture. New characters have emerged over the last 20 years and are now the movers and shakers of the city. Respect this.

6.     A gun going off means make way for traffic.

When you hear a gun go off as you emerge traffic, keep calm and move aside. There is no gunfight going on, there is no sniper. This is done to make room. Understand this and you would be fine.                  

7.     Have Somali Shilling ready at any moment

The Somali Shilling may be worthless to you but it would help you buy small things. 100,000Shilling Somali is enough which is roughly $5. It would seem like a huge chunk to you at first but this shilling can enable you to process transactions pretty fast and with the nation emerging from war, would be able to help you support those less fortunate who do not at most times carry mobile phones for the EVC system.

8.     Process a Somali Driving License

Ok, so what you got an American driving license, this is Somalia. You must go to traffic control centre (locally named viish Traffic) and process your license (Somali is much preferred). Otherwise General Ali Gaab would not be happy and trust me; you do not want to see him pissed off.
If you follow these simple 8 rules, life would be convenient for you.

Other than that, Have a pleasant stay.
Mohamed Hassan (Dj)

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Eid mubarak!

I wish all my readers a prosperous Eid filled with joy.

As a Somali, Xalwa is very much always on the menu come Eid. Without Xalwa is like having a television without access to electricity.

Eid Mubarak to you all and many more

Mohamed Hassan (Dj)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Some more Quick videos - Beautiful Somalia

For those privileged enough to have witnessed landing in Somali soil would tell you there is no experience other. The beauty, the immense land we posses and the wonders of Somalia are truly something special.

For those who haven't, no need to worry, I have compiled a video to show you exactly what I mean.

I get so frustrated and motivated when I witness youths from other countries speak about their lands when in FACT I know very well Somalia beats them all.

Unity is the key to use all this great wealth.

Soomaaliyaa Soomaali ba leh (Somalia belongs to Somalis)

Mohamed Hassan (Dj)

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Mogadishu through Instagram Part 2

2 and a half years have already passed by since coming home to our promised land and a lot has changed. 

As always, a city belongs to its citizens and I thought as a resident of Mogadishu, it rightfully is our duty to rebrand this historic city.

Here, I have compiled An updated photos while travelling across our ancient city through my ipad/iphone.

You may remember my first post titled "Mogadishu Through Instagram" - Well, here it is, part 2.

Care to enjoy and if using them, please show the credits.

Mogadishu through Instagram Part 2

Cars lining up for petrol in Ceel Gaab Petrol Station

Bike Rent/Tea lady/Social Area/Bus Terminal - only in Xamar Weyne

A new petrol station on construction in AbdiAzziz District

A group of cows looking to "Occupy" this mansion under construction

A spelling error? Luckily an alert citizen had corrected before we could

An "Old World vs New World" - Self employed Businessman in downtown Mogadishu

Lido Beach can get pretty busy with parking spots on Weekends

Bacadlaha intersection in Xamar Weyne where you find a space for Buses and khat dealers on the left of this photo

Airport staff worker relaxing while pilot parks in at Adan Adde International Airport

A clear wonderful blue Indian Ocean, how fabulous is this 

Quick sun-time for a selfie with the backdrop of the great Indian Ocean

That moment when you first step out of the plane into Somali Soil 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014


Ramadan Kariim and Deep apologises that i haven't been writing lately, just had a hectic schedule and a lot of travelling. Time flies so quickly.

We still here, home sweet home Alhamdulilah and as was the trend these last few years, life is still buzzing in Mogadishu.

I wanted to share with you all some videos I had been taking on my iPad while travelling across our ancient city. Not perfection, but hey, at least I tried to show you all some visuals footage's! After all, so much negativity had been heard from the capital but life goes on here.

I love my city and proud to be based here working and contributing my effort in my beloved motherland.

Different scenes around the Lido Area

National Theatre road towards Ex Parliament

Care to enjoy! 

Mohamed Hassan (Dj)

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Quick Note!

 I know I’ve been kind of quite recently, but I think you can guess it’s to do with the hectic schedule. We have so many programs lined up coming. Our youth4Change project has been rekindled for another year where 80 youths are to take part in a rehabilitation program in our centers.

I was also away from Mogadishu for over 2 weeks. I recently took part in a forum for youths with UNDP in Tunis, Tunisia. All countries were present and I was there for Somalia.

For now, I came back into a city that is changing very fast and growing by the day. If you had been away for only a week, you would see so many changes going around.

Our main aim is always security and if we can build that, we are going to be successful inshallah.

I’ve got 2 more trips to prepare myself for but in the middle of all that, I should have an article posted up.

Keep posted!

Mohamed Hassan (Dj)

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Support our Troops

Exactly 4 years ago, doing simple things like what I am doing now, speaking to young men my age within the military, would have got me into a lot of trouble. You see when Al-Shabaab was in control of the capital, you wouldn’t dare approach any individual within the army. This would mean either you’re providing intelligence or are planning to excute an order. But with the enemy at the back foot, I wanted to spend as much time with these young guys who are always in the headlines and see for myself inside the everyday life of our soldiers.

 “Dayuusbora Dayuusbora” shouts out a young soldier named Arabay, not his real name but was given to him due to speaking with a heavy tongue. “Moriyaan Tartiib Kaabo” I reply back. “Moriyaan” is a term, which recently I was told is quite frequent among foreigners to take it back to their own countries to label any menace, used for a trouble maker who sits in checkpoints with the intention of collecting a self-controlled tax on passer-bys or any activity which is deemed anti-social. This activity had been widespread through-out the country and is another war that the government is battling.

Just like any other individuals, the guys joke around and pick on one another with intention being to pass time, a hobby seen throughout the world with un-employed youths. These same guys who are currently liberating our nation are seen in the international media as young, merciless bandits with no intention but rape, murder and lotting. It’s a shame really because without these guys sacrifice, we wouldn’t have the possibility of expressing our freedom or ideas as much as we are now.

Arabay, Mc Hammer, Farey and Bobo, 4 young guys are now somewhere in another state battling the enemy of Somalia and they do this because they do not want any thanks from you, rather at first they feel it’s for their own security to defeat Al-Shabaab.

As I wonder through the streets of Maka Al Mukarama looking for a colleague, I see a truck pass by with a skinny framed tall guy shouting with high note, “Dayuusbora Dayuusbora”. I look up, and find another group of young heroes-to-be off to liberate yet another oppressed city. I reach them at the traffic light and without any hesitation; had over my sunglasses ($200 it cost me!) and tossed it over to one who seemed as if he needed more than me.

I pray for these guys and it really is a shame that we do not have the mindset to even collect some donations or show courage in order to raise their spirits but rather picture them all in a negative aspect.

Remember next time you come to Mogadishu, those same guys you are asking to provide security for you are those same guys who are putting their lives at risk in order for you to dangle your way through the city while you curse, disrespect and call them the worst in society.

Have some respect Somalia, have some respect for your troops.

There’s always one terrible apple in the tree, just like there is in everyday life.

Our troops have asked themselves what John F Kennedy had been asking over the last 50 years, “Ask not what your country can do for you rather what you can do for your country”.

The million dollar question is what have you asked yourself?

Mohamed Hassan (Dj)