Books Over Bullets

Today, the first-ever international book fair was launched in Mogadishu, Somalia. These days, the Somali capital has become a city of firsts: the opening of the first laundry shop, the first flower store, the first automated teller machine (ATM), and even the TEDx talks, the global conference on ideas, was first held there in 2012…. Continue reading…

Journalism at a Crossroads: Highlights from the 2015 World Press Freedom Day celebrations

On May 3 and 4, I attended the World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Riga, Latvia. Co-hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Latvia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the theme of this year’s event was “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality & Media Safety in the Digital Age.”

After Americo’s piece, a flood of marriage proposals

If anyone ever told me that writing a 5000-word piece would get me hitched, I would never have believed him or her. Yet, that almost happened in late April after my profile piece about Mohamed Ali Nur Americo, Somalia’s former ambassador to Kenya, was published on SAHAN JOURNAL. The piece recounted the time Americo spent… Continue reading…

Ambassador Americo: Bye Kenya, Hello Villa Somalia

ON A WARM NAIROBI afternoon, one day before he officially vacated office, Somalia’s immediate former ambassador to Kenya, Mohamed Ali Nur “Americo,” gave successive interviews to journalists who kept trickling into his office. It was exactly a week after the Somali militant group, Al-Shabaab, killed 147 people in a dawn attack at the Garissa University… Continue reading…

Garissa massacre and the dissemination of graphic photos

In her seminal collection of essays aptly titled “On Photography,” Susan Sontag explores the depth and breadth of how images “educate” us on a daily basis.

In new documentary, Wagalla Massacre victims recount horror of dark days

There’s a scene midway through Kenyan filmmaker Judy Kibinge’s documentary “Scarred” about the Wagalla Massacre: Councilor Halima Sheik from Wajir is addressing a group of women at the offices of the Wagalla Trust Foundation who conferred to weigh the impact of the tragedy on their lives. Half way through her talk, Halima breaks into tears… Continue reading…

Home, Sweet Home

It’s a few minutes after sunrise and every one is aimlessly moving around the house. A dense gray blanket of cloud envelops the sky, and the first rays of sunlight are beginning to stream through the windows. My older brother is sitting in the living room, sipping tea and flipping through pages of the newspaper…. Continue reading…

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