Tag: Somalia


Federalism: By the People or For Them? Blog

For too many Somalis, the federalism project seems to be a foregone conclusion. The Federal Republic of Somalia was proclaimed almost exactly three years ago and we have had transitional federal governments for years before that. So what is federalism? Why is federalism presented as the only option for Somalia? Who chose federalism for us? I’ve been ruminating on these questions for a while and I shall...

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It Takes Two to Tango: The Security State and the Terrorist Blog / Dispatches

Dispatches #2 Nairobi For the relatively well to do and internationally mobile Somalis, a flight out of Mogadishu is a welcome reprieve looked forward to with much anticipation. I, being one of those, was eagerly looking forward to a week in Nairobi after a few months of holding my breath in Mogadishu. In a jovial mood, on the airplane I decided to enlighten myself. I...

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Return and Unbelonging Blog / Dispatches

Dispatches, No.1 Mogadishu The effect of a cultural bomb is to annihilate a people’s belief in their names, in their languages, in their environment, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves. It makes them see their past as one wasteland of non-achievement and it makes them want to distance themselves from that wasteland. It makes them want...

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How to Write About Somalia Blog

Always use the words ‘crisis,’ ‘instability,’ ‘conflict,’ ‘anarchy,’ or ‘terror’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘refugee,’ ‘militant,’ ‘warlord,’ ‘failure,’ ‘collapse,’ ‘clan,’ ‘radical,’ ‘terrorist,’ ‘extremist,’ or ‘pirate.’ Also useful are words such as ’nomadic,’ ‘pastoral,’ and ‘tribal,’ as well as made-up verbs combined with these other words, like the ‘Somalization of the crisis.’ Use the image of an elder wearing a tall koofiyad...

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