A DAY IN MOGADISHU (SOMALIA) | YOU'LL BE SHOCKED!
Somalia, a Muslim country located on the Horn of Africa, next to the Indian Ocean. Somalia is also the easternmost country in Africa. But what comes to your mind when you hear the word Somalia? Is it the beautiful beaches, the hospitable people, or is it just the pirates, the kidnapping, the bombings etc., that the media forces us to see. If we look at the travel advisories of most of the country for Somalia, then it is clearly stated that you should avoid any kind of visit, no matter how compulsion or emergency you should not travel to Somalia.
In U.S.’s travel advisory, it is also mentioned that if you decide to go to Somalia, then before your departure from the U.S., you need to go through the planning & paperwork for the custody of your children, pets, property or belongings. It is even advised to share their last desire with thier families.
Till now we had only seen Somalia from the eyes of media and journalists, but now, I am going to show you Somalia as a tourist. So now, we have landed at Mogadishu Airport. When I came in, I had to take visa on arrival, then I had to have an invitation letter for that, but I did not have it. Omer told me just to take his the name and they issued me visa. It was US$60 for visa at the same time they stamped. So this is my 17th country, I guess. This is our car.
IT IS BULLET PROOF. Bullet proof, Toyota 4x4. The problem here is that, there are many checkpoints. And you cannot record due to security reasons. I have to take care of this thing, I have to stop recording the video in between.
And... we cannot show the faces of all the people so these things have to be taken care of. We have two armed guards who are currently sitting in the trunk of our car. RICE... SPAGHETTI... CHICKEN...
I NEED RICE. SPAGHETTI? NO, I DON’T WANT SPAGHETTI. RICE... I NEED RICE. What all things can we eat like, what are the things that we have? IN MOGADISHU, SOMALIA, YOU CAN HAVE SPAGHETTI, RICE. Spaghetti? SPAGHETTI... RICE. AHH...
FISH... CAMEL MILK, GOAT MILK... CHEESE, MANGOES... Ahh... WHAT KIND OF FOOD YOU PREFER? I don’t eat a lot of meat and fishes but I usually eat chicken. Do you have chicken?
Do you have chicken? YES! So, I think I can have chicken or maybe something vegetarian. Do you have something vegetarian? SALADS? IT ALSO HAVE FRUITS. I can have Bananas. BANANAS, MANGOS AND WATERMELONS... PAPAYAS. Okay, I think Papaya and chicken and that’s it I think. And some salad. SO, YOU DON’T NEED SPAGHETTI OR RICE.
So, just a second, what kind of chicken is it... grilled chicken or like... YES GRILLED. Is this like complete chicken you grilled and bring it to me, because that is too big for me to eat.
OKAY, YOU NEED SOMETHING.... light yeah. Smaller in size. So... do you usually eat bananas, after food here in Somalia? YES, WE ARE EATING THE FOOD. THIS IS FOOD. BANANA IS CALLED MOOSKA.
IN SOMALIAN LANGUAGE, ITS MOOSKA. THIS MOOSKA CAN BE USED WHEN YOU ARE EATING FOOD, TO MIX. IN SOMALIA WE EAT BANANA EVERY MEAL. Okay! TOGETHER WITH EVERYTHING... IF WE ARE EATING SPAGHETTI. Got it. So, we were here to have food, so now I am in the hotel, we were ordering food from this restaurant.
They are brothers, they too are Youtubers here in Mogadishu. Their channel's name is "Durdur media". ON FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE. They make funny videos on Facebook and YouTube. I am going to have lunch with them. They came to the hotel I was in.
I’ve a fun fact to tell you, here in Somalia they always eat banana with the food. Mooska is Banana. [SOMALIAN LANGUAGE] I NEED A BANANA. Okay! [SOMALIAN LANGUAGE] I NEED A BANANA. Alright.
IT'S A DIFFICULT LANGUAGE, YEAH? Yeah, it's a difficult language. Now, we've started eating food. So many dishes we have. Salad made of fish.
And there are the normal salads. With them we have bananas. They believe that bananas here are the best in the world. Banana is part of all of their meals. This water bottle is the same brand I had in Ethiopia, seeing that it reminds me of Ethiopia. Somalia food is a mix of Arabic food, Indian food & African food, as I can see.
This food seems influenced by those and it looks very delicious. And... We'll go out after eating. Maybe for city tour. Then I will meet you there, first, we will eat this food. [SOMALIAN LANGUAGE] So here is the....
We cannot make videos at the checkpoints because the security is very tight. Therefore, I have to take care of what I'm recording. Because if someone sees me recording, then everyone will have trouble. My tour company, guide,..all of them.
I am sitting in a car which is bulletproof. I showed you the car earlier, and two arm guards are sitting behind us. I will show you in the rearview mirror. There, you can see them. They have guns. Our auto-rickshaw or TukTuk, it is red in coloured here. We have these in green colour in Delhi and black somewhere else. In Ethiopia it was called 'Bajaj', even here it is called Bajaj. Although these are from different companies, some are from TVS, but they all are called Bajaj here.
The road we are on is one of the main road of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia Here most of the vehicles are big. Not many small vehicles. You can only see Auto-rickshaws or big vehicles.
Their(Somalia's) coastline is about 3000 km... Their coastline is bigger than South Africa, and country like Ethiopia uses their seaports. I am not saying that Somalia is the world's most dangerous country, or that it is unsafe everywhere. The people here are very welcoming and hospitable, and every country has its own problem, But yes, we cannot ignore the facts and I cannot make the false promise that it is the safest place in the world.
The district we are going to, whose name is Xamar Weyne, which is also their old city. There, last year, a terrorist did a huge blast in a public place in a car. In which a lot of people and children and killed.
Recently, about 20-25 days ago, the terrorist attacked police station of Xamar Weyne with grenades. We are currently in the old city of Mogadishu. This is the place people first settled in this city. Mogadishu, which is the capital of Somalia.
People here generally speak Somali, besides Arabic. And most youth can understand and speak English too. The Somali language also has different dialects, mainly there are two main dialects. In no time, I am going to show you the entire market and road of Xamar Weyne, people, street everything. My guides believe that so far no tourist has ever walked freely in the old city. And filming is out of the question. Neither any tourist ever tried, nor they ever allowed anyone to film here.
I asked my guide Ali, which is the most dangerous place? He answered that the most dangerous place is America. Women here usually keep themselves covered. Almost the whole country follows Islam. Somalia is a country where the highest % of people are from any particular ethnic group. Which means Somali, which is an ethnics group, contributes about 85% in the total population of Somalia. Rest are from nearby countries like Ethiopia...
Somalia is also infamous for bombings. You can see the intensity of security. So, right now we are in Xamar Weyne city. This is the oldest part of Mogadishu.
The oldest part of the capital of Somalia. Xamar Weyne district which is now called city. Now, we will walk here in the market. There are two markets in Mogadishu, a Bakaara. The Bakaara is the biggest market. And Xamar Weyne is on the second number.
We are going to Mogadishu mall. He's saying it is very good. Let’s see what the mall will be like here. This is one of the biggest mosques in Somalia. Going inside is not allowed, so we can only show you the mosque from outside. These are clothes if you feel like shopping. Here people are asking me if I am from some media channel.
Here's a gold market. Don't know if it is artificial or original gold, they are saying it is real gold. We are in this market and...