jeudi 28 juin 2012

Mogadishu: Don't diss the mogul

For a very long time Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, was unofficially marked as the most dangerous city in the world.  Known for the drought, famine, muddy roads and many attacks and civil war, it was far from a place to be. For 20 years the civil war had ruined this once beautiful city and was ruled by Al Shabab islamitic group. It was known as a lawless city where the government hardly had a say. And although you mostly will read warnings on the internet when wanting to go to Mogadishu, the city is slowly changing. Mogadishu is losing it's label for most dangerous city in the world and is trying to built up something we could call at least more sustainable.

Since the militants left the city, peace is coming back to the city. Embassies are re-opening and Somalis who fled decades ago are coming back to their homeland. They are willing to invest their money in the city. Restaurants are opening up around the shore and people are slowly enjoying the Indian sea. To be able to built up the city, policemen and government troops are trained and construction materials are transported to the country. The government is trying to make the city safer, and in the future it might even be open to tourists.

Although at the moment the city is still not near a 'tourist city', the willingness to do something is definitely there. Somalia has suffered enough for the past two decades and it is time to start from scratch and make Mogadishu a safe and happy environment for people to be. The first step has been taken as it is no longer the most dangerous city in the world. We all know it is easy to see the piracy when we look at Somalian waters, but it is also impossible to look beyond its natural beauty. Even while it is difficult to predict how this damaged city will develop over years, I will end with an applicable quote by M.L. King: "You do not have to see the whole staircase, to take the first step".

Someday this will be a very normal picture from Mogadishu.
Source: Feisal Omar / Reuters