In the event you search “Mogadishu” on Google, you’ll be inundated with horrific information headlines and graphic photographs of dying and destruction, primarily propagated by detrimental Western media protection that sees Somalia by way of a prism of struggle and terror. It is time for this harmful singles narrative to alter. I encourage readers to transcend the clickbait headlines and delve deeper into the nuances of the tales they examine my homeland.
For the skin world, Somalia is the “most dangerous” nation, however for thousands and thousands of different Somalis and me, it’s a residence and our future. The detrimental portrayal by the Western media has not solely formed individuals’s notion of our nation however can be hampering our efforts to recuperate as a nation.
It discourages companies from investing, together with the Somali diaspora, which performs a key function in rebuilding Somalia.
There is little doubt that Somalia faces an enormous safety problem. For 30 years, civil struggle and violence have plagued the Horn of Africa, from warlords and rival clans to terrorist organizations that proceed to spill the blood of the Somali individuals.
However you’ll solely admire the opposite facet of Somalia while you come and see it for your self.
I not too long ago returned to Somalia after a very long time away, and I need to admit that it takes braveness to make the journey residence, however it’s price it.
Everybody together with my household discouraged me from going to Somalia, however I insisted with a heavy coronary heart. I had a nervous feeling all through the flight, however on method to Aden Adde Worldwide Airport, the nervousness was rapidly changed by the sight of essentially the most lovely touchdown view I’ve ever skilled! A pristine seashore stretches alongside the observe and a magical reflection of the blue sky, subsequent to shiny daylight, kissing the waves of the Indian Ocean.
The airport is comparatively small and queues may be lengthy and chaotic, however there’s legislation and order.
“Welcome home,” a bespectacled younger officer with a typical Somali Afro haircut instructed me as he returned my passport. “Mahadsanid alawal,” (thanks brother) I replied and hurried to get my baggage. On the best way to my lodge, nearly everybody I noticed was carrying a white thobe and strolling in teams. It was extra like an Eid celebration, however that is the temper on Fridays in Muqdisho. The companies are closed and there’s much less visitors on the roads. Everybody I noticed was comfortable.
It’s these comfortable faces who know town’s secrets and techniques nicely. Most have by no means left the nation; they witnessed every kind of horrors and lived by way of hell. But they nonetheless maintain a straight face, realizing full nicely how far they’ve come and the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel. We do not hear their tales.
For instance, the inspiring story of 24-year-old Hanna, who instructed me how she paid her college charges by rising greens on her household farm outdoors the capital. “I studied agriculture,” she mentioned. “Farming was both hands-on experience and a way to pay for my fees,”
On harvest, she may promote sufficient to avoid wasting for her charges and maintain the excess for family use. She plans to scale up her farming operations and assist eradicate poverty in Somalia.
Wherever you go within the capital, you’ll discover unbelievable younger individuals with extraordinary tales of survival, success and dedication. However we do not hear their tales. The media reviews the explosions “rocking Mogadishu” however they don’t comply with by way of to report the dedication of the people who find themselves nearly concurrently burying their family members and starting to select up the damaged items to rebuild their lives.
But younger Somalis are actually reclaiming the narrative of their nation and utilizing social media platforms comparable to Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Fb to showcase the opposite facet of Somalia that the media doesn’t present.
A problem for Africa
If you wish to see their facet of the story, sort #Muqdisho (Somali spelling for #Mogadishu) into Google and see what sort of photographs come up. Whereas the English model, “Mogadishu,” supplies photographs of damaged buildings and explosions, the Somali model, “#Muqdisho,” reveals lovely photographs of recent buildings, vibrant markets, inspiring individuals, paved roads, and aerial photographs depicting the hopes and aspirations of the Somali individuals ambitions.
It is an uphill battle to alter the detrimental stereotypes the media has been feeding the world for the previous 30 years. It is a problem not just for Somalia but additionally for the African continent. It is time we inform our personal tales.
–Moulid Hujale is a contract journalist. He may be reached on Twitter @MoulidHujale.