The New Mogadishu: Part-I

GlobalPost
Mogadishu, Somalia

A vintage German-made cylinder letterpress in the basement of Liban Egal's family printer in Mogadishu. It still works (Tristan McConnell)
A vintage German-made cylinder letterpress in the basement of Liban Egal’s family printer in Mogadishu. It still works (Tristan McConnell)

Part 1: Making money in Somalia

Liban Egal grew up amid the oily clatter of hulking iron letterpresses in his father’s shop behind one of Mogadishu’s main junctions. Daha Printing Press, opened in 1967 and named after his sister, is still there and so are the vintage machines.

After years in self-imposed exile from Somalia’s violent anarchy, Egal, like others in the far-flung diaspora, has come home hoping to put an end to his country’s reputation as a “failed state” and make some money while he’s at it.

Continue reading The New Mogadishu: Part-I

The New Mogadishu: Part-II

GlobalPost
Mogadishu, Somalia

In an artist's workshop in central Mogadishu apprentices practice their skills (Tristan McConnell)
In an artist’s workshop in central Mogadishu apprentices practice their skills (Tristan McConnell)

Part 2: This is the life

The small, fat sweet pancakes called “mashmash” spit and bubble as Ahmed Jama plops them into a beat-up skillet of boiling oil. Next to it, a cauldron of goat stew simmers.

It’s Ramadan and as ravenous customers arrive for their first meal since dawn, the early evening rush gets underway.

Continue reading The New Mogadishu: Part-II

The New Mogadishu: Part-III

GlobalPost
Mogadishu, Somalia

At a police station in the capital prisoners - accused of theft and indiscipline - get a break from the filthy squalor of their shared cell (Tristan McConnell)
At a police station in the capital prisoners – accused of theft and indiscipline – get a break from the filthy squalor of their shared cell (Tristan McConnell)

Part 3: Mogadishu’s super troopers

Maj. Ali Mohamed Salal is the commander of one of 16 district police stations in Mogadishu.

He has 150 disheveled officers, three stinking prison cells and one battered vehicle. Until a couple of weeks ago he hadn’t been paid his $150 salary in eight months.

Continue reading The New Mogadishu: Part-III

The New Mogadishu: Part-IV

GlobalPost
Mogadishu, Somalia

Boys play football on Lido Beach in Mogadishu (Tristan McConnell)
Boys play football on Lido Beach in Mogadishu (Tristan McConnell)

Part 4: Somalia’s brave new world

In a field of dozens of candidates, President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed is confident of re-election later this month.

It’s a sign that while in many ways everything is changing for Somalia, in other ways nothing is.

Continue reading The New Mogadishu: Part-IV