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Bitter-sweet lessons of Jowhar

Although I have travelled to many Somali cities in the past eight years, I had never been to Jowhar, the capital city of Middle Shabelle region. Jowhar is also the capital city of Hirshabelle state – the newest federal unit – which was established in October 2016. I was excited that I was finally traveling to this historic town. Read more

Back to Buulaburte: Bringing back memories after ten years away

Going back to Buulaburte – my hometown – had a lot of emotional attachments. The last time I was in the city was August 2010, when I was about to start my sophomore year at  Mogadishu University. I was now going back to the town after ten years and six months (or 10.5 years) on 16 February 2021. This time, it was not only me. I went back with my wife and our three young children – it was the first visit for all of them. We were all happy and excited about the trip. Read more

My visit to Dhusamareb

On 19 July 2020, I travelled to Dhusamareb, the capital of Galmudug State, for Somali Public Agenda study on Galmudug reconciliation process. It was my first trip to the famous old town. In the past, I visited several Galmudug districts, but access to Dhusamareb was not possible at that time due to the presence of Ahlu Sunna Wal Jameeca (ASWJ), which was at loggerheads with the Galmudug administration then based in Adaado. Read more

Back to Beledweyne eight years later

I left Beledweyne in June 2009, soon after the graduation ceremony of my high school, to pursue a university degree in Mogadishu. I went back to the city a year later (July 2010) and stayed 11 days. In total, I lived in the city for three years of my life. These years were not without challenges. In fact, I lived through some of the most difficult moments of my life in Beledweyne. Floods, the emergence of the Islamic Courts Union in 2006, and the fight against Ethiopian troops when they entered in December 2006 to overthrow the ICU (while we were in the middle of a mid-term examination) were just some of the events I experienced in the city during those three years. Read more