Mogadishu: ‘There’s no life without peace’

It has to be the preparation of the traditional Somali breakfast, canjeero – a sourdough breakfast pancake. Similar to the Ethiopian injera – its preparation is a nostalgic sound for almost every Somali. Rich or poor, virtually every family eats this for breakfast. Canjeero is made from a mixture of flour, water and yeast. The batter is prepared in the early evening and is beaten to a porridge like consistency by hand. The unique sound can be heard throughout the city, adding to Mogadishu’s cacophony.

Everyone is tuned into Universal TV’s Saameyn Ku Yeelo Soomaaliya (Inspire Somalia) show. The first of its kind, Inspire Somalia gives three entrepreneurs from Xamar (Mogadishu is know locally as Xamar and it’s citizens are called Reer Xamar) the chance to pitch their business idea to a panel of four successful businessmen and women. Similar to Dragons’ Den in the UK, the individual with the winning idea gets advice on how to take the idea forward. If the panellists can’t come to a decision the audience votes for the winning business idea.

Posh Treats is the newest venue in the Zobe area of Mogadishu. It is the first country club to be opened in the city after more than two decades of war. It houses a restaurant, spa and en-suite guest rooms for short or long stays. It also boasts luxury amenities such as a gym, a shisha spot and a snooker table. On Sunday evenings live solo performances of traditional music played on a Kaban, a Somali guitar similar to the Arabic Oud, take place. These are usually accompanied by dinner, story-telling or games.

There’s something beautiful about seeing a city and society on the mend. Mogadishu artist Aden Affei’s paintings are a reflection of untold stories of our present and our recent past. Affei was part of project supported by the Centre For Research and Dialogue in which a group of artists were selected to teach child soldiers basic skills in painting. Aden has amassed an incredible body of work and his paintings bear witness to Somalia’s struggles and debates. He deserves an international audience.

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Source: Guardian

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