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Things We Lost In The War

CBC Ideas
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Photograph by Hassan Ghedi Santur.

The East African nation of Somalia is the definition of a failed state. It has been without a central government since 1991, when the country's dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown. What followed were two decades of civil war, anarchy, failed Western intervention, Islamic fundamentalism and famine. Somali-born IDEAS contributor Hassan Ghedi Santur returns to his home-land to explore, "Things We Lost in the War." Part 2 airs Tuesday, December 11.

Somalia has been called a failed state. It was ruled for two decades by the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre until he was violently overthrown in 1991.

Since then, Somalia has suffered one calamitous setback after another: famines, warlords, suicide bombings, U.S drone attacks and an invasion by Ethiopia. In the anarchy and famines that have followed the civil war, it is estimated that seven hundred thousand Somalis have perished. Even more have fled the country. One million Somalis have become an international nation of refugees.

Violence. Lawlessness. Famine. These words come to mind, when we think of Somalia. But another Somalia is emerging too. Visit Mogadishu today and you'll find a nation at work: construction is booming. Security forces are being trained. Parliamentarians are writing a new constitution, and wealthy Somalis from abroad are returning to invest in the country's future.

In this two part series Hassan Ghedi Santur speaks with politicians, academics, journalists and aid workers to understand what has happened to Somalia.

Participants in the series:

Ahmed Samatar

Nuruddin Farah

Nadifa Mohamed

Ilwad Elman

In Memory of My Father, I Returned to Rebuild Somalia by Ilwad Elman - TEDxTalks

Fartuun Adan

Ahmed Jama - Why I Returned From London to Start Restaurants in Somalia - TEDx Talks

Abdi Latif Ega

Muno Osman

Rasna Warah

Jeffrey Gettleman

Mary Harper


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