Photographers' Blog

Somalia’s gradual healing

October 17, 2013

Mogadishu, Somalia

By Feisal Omar

After 22 years, Somalia clearly shows signs of recuperating from the deep wounds of civil-war and insurgency.

The emergence of a recognized Somali government has positively changed life; particularly in the city which was mostly an Islamist stronghold two years ago. Somalis in the diaspora have returned for the first time and run various kinds of businesses: contemporary hotels, restaurants and shops. The arrival of Turkish companies that busily repair the ruined roads and mass construction of apartments teaches one of the rebirth of Somalia.

The court hearings and traffic police who whistle and wave police sticks to stop cars prove that there is relative law and order in the city. Although explosions can go off any moment at any place, you can still feel peace as you drive on the well-lit streets of Mogadishu as late as midnight.

Go to the beaches of Mogadishu and glance at the coast guards sailing speed boats in the ocean. They patrol and urge the swimming Somalis and foreigners of all genders not to go out too far to avoid drowning and possible shark attacks. Seeing a man sunbathe on the sand, swim, sip coffee, or eat an ice-cream beside his girlfriend or wife, underlines the adoption of democracy, if that is what it is meant to be.

Two years ago, Islamists would whip a person for sitting or walking on the roads with a member of the opposite sex.

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