Posts Tagged 'War'

Mogadishu, Somalia: The City the World Forgot

You may recall the controversial movie Black Hawk Down by Ridley Scott, which featured the task force of Delta Force soldiers, Army Rangers, and Special Operations Aviation Regiment in an attempt to capture two of Mohammed Farah Aidid’s senior subordinates in the Bakaara Market neighborhood of Mogadishu in the early 1990’s. More recently, you may recall the Somalian piriate drama. In reality, Mogadishu has fallen off the world’s radar, even though it is considered to be a state that is near total collapse.


It’s a odd world when we get most of our information of this ravaged country and city through the likes of a grandiose big blockbuster Hollywood movie like Black Hawk Down and South Park, who recently aired an episode poking fun at the recent wave of Somalian pirate news.

In an incredible glimpse into the current conflicts ravaging Mogadishu, Somalia, journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad recounts his one week experience within the war-torn city.

He tells the story of Dr. Taher Mahmoud, a surgeon who has been working within the city for the past twenty years. Mogadishu has been brutally ravaged by running battled between the current notional president, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and his forces and the radical Islamist Al-Shabaab Militia. In the past few days, over 200 have been killed and over 60,000 have fled.

With medicines and supplies running low, there is also no room in his hospital. Many patients are forced to sleep under trees on makeshift beds. Ghaith tells us of a mother looking after her child with terrible burns. She says “We pray for peace – we have nothing but prayers. This is the best hospital in Mogadishu and we don’t have electricity or running water.”

These people live on a tightrope. Al Hassan, a police officer within the city, says “When the whole state is collapsing all that we have is our religion.” He has not been paid in the last 18 months and he says a good month for him is when he receives some wheat, water and canned food.

In a land that has only known conflict and war, a Ugandan officer in the presidential compound gave his view of the whole picture. “Look. The best thing the Somalis know how to do is to kill other Somalis.”

Mogadishu is a place that offers little hope, but there are still people who believe that things can change. The resilience of the Somalian people is incredible. They can survive in a city with a near absence of a viable economy. A young government employee explained that “Somalis have a very strong social support network. If you work with the government or in the market you support at least 10 people of your family, and your neighbors. The people who live outside [the country] send money, and if there is a rich Somali and he doesn’t support the poor, he will be despised, and no one would marry his daughters.”

These are the stories we should be reading about. These are the real people of this world and they barely register a blip on the world’s radar. I think this article is incredible and I hope you take the time to read it here.

Check out Boston Globe’s photo montage of the conflicts here.

This Place Called Earth

The Boston Globe outdoes itself again with this photo montage of our fair planet, Earth. These pictures are like the documentary Planet Earth, except in pictures. After seeing them, it made me want to travel the world. I also learned that I haven’t travelled nearly enough. Check out the pictures here

All the pictures were taken by the world renowned french photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. He specializes in aeriel photography using subjects that span the entire globe. Can we say: coolest job ever?

Reality in Iraq

Here are some incredible pictures taken in Iraq by various photographers over the past couple months collected by the Boston Globe. These are real pictures that tell real stories involving real circumstances and real people. Check them out here.

Picture of the Week

As you can tell, I enjoy pictures of real life. Pictures that not only are beautiful and haunting, but have a story behind it. Again, this picture of the week involves the Georgian conflict that is starting to gain momentum as Russia is making military waves in the small Eastern European country.

A little Georgian girl from the South Ossentia region where the was is at its heaviest
A little Georgian girl from the South Ossentia region where the was is at its heaviest

There is an entire article in the Boston Times about the Georgian conflict contains many amazing pictures. Don’t just look at the pictures, but read the news. Even though the things happening look surreal and far-removed from us, these are real things happening to real people. You can read it here.

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