Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Mogadishu::Ancient City in Somalia_Part_2

Mogadishu traditionally served as a commercial and financial centre. Before the importation of mass-produced cloth from Europe and America, the city's textiles were forwarded far and wide throughout the interior of the continent, as well as to the Arabian peninsula and as far as the Persian coast.Mogadishu's economy has grown rapidly since the city's pacification in mid 2011. The SomalFruit processing factory was reopened, as was the local Coca Cola factory, which was also refurbished. In May 2012, the First Somali Bank was established in the capital, representing the first commercial bank to open in southern Somalia since 1991. The Somali civil engineer and entrepreneur Nasra Agil also opened the city's first dollar store.Additionally, the Historic Central Bank was regenerated, with the Moumin Business Center likewise under construction.

 Hormuud Telecom is one of many firms with headquarters in Mogadishu.
The galvanization of Mogadishu's real estate sector was in part facilitated by the establishment of a local construction yard in November 2012 by the Municipality of Istanbul and the Turkish Red Crescent. With 50 construction trucks and machines imported from Turkey, the yard produces concrete, asphalt and paving stones for building projects. The Istanbul Municipality was also scheduled to bring in 100 specialists to accelerate the construction initiative, which ultimately aims to modernize the capital's infrastructure and serve it over the long-term.
In mid-2012, Mogadishu concurrently held its first ever Technology, Entertainment, Design (TEDx) conference. The event was organized by the First Somali Bank to showcase improvements in business, development and security to potential Somali and international investors. A second consecutive TEDx entrepreneurial conference was held the following year in the capital, highlighting new enterprises and commercial opportunities, including the establishment of the city's first dry cleaning business in several years.
A number of large firms also have their headquarters in Mogadishu. Among these is the Trans-National Industrial Electricity and Gas Company, an energy conglomerate founded in 2010 that unites five major Somali companies from the trade, finance, security and telecommunications sectors. Other firms based in the city include Hormuud Telecom, the largest telecommunications company in southern and central Somalia. Telcom is another telecommunications service provider that is centered in the capital. The local Somali Energy Company specializes in the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power to residents and businesses within its service area in Banaadir. Additionally, the Central Bank of Somalia, the national monetary authority, has its headquarters in Mogadishu.
In June 2013, former Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon signed a new foreign investment law. The draft bill was prepared by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in conjunction with government attorneys. Approved by the Cabinet, it establishes a secure legal framework for foreign investment in Mogadishu and elsewhere in the country.
In October 2014, the firm Tawakal Money Express (Tawakal) also began construction of the seven-storey Tawakal Plaza Mogadishu. The new high rise is slated to be completed by the end of 2015, and will feature a Tawakal Global Bank customer and financial services center, a large, 338 square meter supermarket, a 46-room luxury hotel, restaurant and coffee shop facilities, and conference and event halls.
 A Somali girl in Mogadishu
 Mogadishu is a multi-ethnic city. Its original core population consisted of Bushmen aboriginals, and later Cushitic, Arab and Persian migrants. During the Arab slave trade, many Bantu peoples were brought in for agricultural work from the market in Zanzibar. The mixture of these various groups produced the Benadiri or Reer Xamar (“People of Mogadishu”), a composite population unique to the larger Benadir region. In the colonial period, European expatriates, primarily Italians, would also contribute to the city's cosmopolitan populace.
The main area of inhabitation of Bantu ethnic minorities in Somalia has historically been in village enclaves in the south, particularly between the Jubba and Shebelle river valleys as well as the Bakool and Bay regions. Beginning in the 1970s, more Bantus began moving to urban centres such as Mogadishu and Kismayo. The displacement caused by the onset of the civil war in the 1990s further increased the number of rural minorities migrating to urban areas. As a consequence of these movements, Mogadishu's traditional demographic makeup changed significantly over the years.
Following a greatly improved security situation in the city in 2012, many Somali expatriates began returning to Mogadishu for investment opportunities and to take part in the ongoing post-conflict reconstruction process. Through both private efforts and public initiatives like the Somali Diaspora Corps, they have participated in the renovation of schools, hospitals, banks and other infrastructure, and have played a leading role in the capital's recovery. They have also helped to propel the local real estate market.

Places of worship
 The Mosque of Islamic Solidarity is the largest masjid in the Horn of Africa
Arba'a Rukun Mosque is one of the oldest Islamic places of worship in the capital. It was built circa 667 (1268/9 CE), concurrently with the Fakr ad-Din Mosque. Arba'a Rukun's mihrab contains an inscription dated from the same year, which commemorates the masjid's late founder, Khusra ibn Mubarak al-Shirazi (Khusrau ibn Muhammed).
The Mosque of Islamic Solidarity was constructed in 1987 with financial support from the Saudi Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Foundation. It is the main mosque in the city, and an iconic building in Somali society. From 1991, during the civil war, the mosque was closed down, but with the rise to power of the Islamic Courts Union, it was reopened in 2006. With a capacity of up to 10,000 worshippers, the Mosque of Islamic Solidarity is the single largest masjid in the Horn of Africa. Additionally, the municipal authority is refurbishing the historic Central Mosque, situated downtown.
The Mogadishu Cathedral was built in 1928 by the colonial authorities in Italian Somaliland. Known as the "Cattedrale di Mogadiscio", it was constructed in a Norman Gothic style, based on the Cefal├╣ Cathedral in Cefal├╣, Sicily. The church served as the traditional seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mogadiscio. It later incurred significant damage during the civil war. In April 2013, after a visit to the site to inspect its condition, the Diocese of Mogadiscio announced plans to refurbish the building.
Villa Somalia is the official residential palace and principal workplace of the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. It sits on high ground that overlooks the city on the Indian Ocean, with access to both the harbour and airport.[93] The Governor's Palace of Mogadishu was the seat of the governor of Italian Somaliland, and then the administrator of the Trust Territory of Somalia.
Museums, libraries and theatres
The National Museum of Somalia was established after the independence in 1960, when the old Garesa Museum was turned into a National Museum. The National Museum was later moved in 1985, renamed to the Garesa Museum, and converted to a regional museum.[94][95] After shutting down, the National Museum later reopened. As of January 2014, it holds many culturally important artefacts, including old coins, bartering tools, traditional artwork, ancient weaponry and pottery items.
The National Library of Somalia was established in 1975, and came under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education. In 1983, it held approximately 7,000 books, little in the way of historical and cultural archival material, and was open to the general public. The National Library later closed down in the 1990s. In June 2013, the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies organized a shipment of 22,000 books from the United States to Somalia as part of an initiative to restock the library. In December of the year, the Somali authorities officially launched a major project to rebuild the National Library. With Zainab Hassan serving as Director, the $1 million federal government funded initiative will see a new library complex built in the capital within six months. In preparation for the relaunch, 60,000 additional books from other Arab League states are expected to arrive.
The National Theatre of Somalia opened in 1967 as an important cultural landmark in the national capital. It closed down after the start of the civil war in the early 1990s, but reopened in March 2012 after reconstruction. In September 2013, the Somali federal government and its Chinese counterpart signed an official cooperation agreement in Mogadishu as part of a five-year national recovery plan in Somalia. The pact will see the Chinese authorities reconstruct the National Theatre of Somalia in addition to several other major infrastructural landmarks.

 Bakaara Market in the heart of Mogadishu
 Bakaara Market was created in late 1972 by the Barre administration. It served as an open market for the sale of goods and services, including produce and clothing. After the start of the civil war, the market was controlled by various militant groups, who used it as a base for their operations. Following Mogadishu's pacification in 2011, renovations resumed at the market. Shops were rehabilitated, selling everything from fruit and garments to building materials. As in the rest of the city, Barkaara Market's real estate values have also risen considerably. As of 2013, the local Tabaarak firm was renting out a newly constructed warehouse at the market for $2,000 per month.
In February 2014, the Benadir administration began renovations at the Ansaloti Market in the Hamar Jajab district. It was one of the largest markets in the city before closing down operations in the early 1990s. In September 2014, the municipal authorities officially reopened the Ansaloti to the public, with officials supervising all parts of the market. According to the Benadir Political Affairs Vice Chairman Mohamed Adan "Anagel", the facility is now open for business and will compete with other regional markets.
Mogadishu has a number of hotels, most of which were recently constructed. The city's many returning expatriates, investors and international community workers are among these establishments' main customers. To meet the growing demand, hotel representatives have also begun participating in international industry conferences, such as the Africa Hotel Investment Forum.
Among the new hotels is the six floor Jazeera Palace Hotel. It was built in 2010 and officially opened in 2012. Situated within a 300m radius of the Aden Adde International Airport, it has a 70 room capacity with a 70% occupancy rate. The hotel expects to host over 1,000 visitors by 2015, for which it plans to construct a larger overall building and conference facilities.[105]
Other hotels in the city include the Amira Castle Hotel, Sahafi Hotel, Hotel Nasa-Hablod, Oriental Hotel, Hotel Guuleed, Hotel Shamo, Peace Hotel, Aran Guest House, Muna Hotel, Hotel Taleex, Hotel Towfiq, Benadir Hotel, Ambassador Hotel, Kuwait Plaza Hotel, Safari Hotel Diplomat, Safari Guesthouse and Bin Ali Hotel.
Mogadishu is home to a number of scholastic institutions. As part of the government's urban renewal program, 100 schools across the capital are scheduled to be refurbished and reopened.

 The Mogadishu University main campus
 The Somali National University (SNU) was established in the 1950s, during the trusteeship period. In 1973, its programmes and facilities were expanded. The SNU developed over the next 20 years into an expansive institution of higher learning, with 13 departments, 700 staff and over 15,000 students. On 14 November 2013, the Cabinet unanimously approved a federal government plan to reopen the Somali National University, which had been closed down in the early 1990s. The refurbishing initiative cost US$3.6 million, and was completed in August 2014.
Mogadishu University (MU) is a non-governmental university that is governed by a Board of Trustees and a University Council. It is the brainchild of a number of professors from the Somali National University as well as other Somali intellectuals. Financed by the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as well as other donor institutions, the university counts hundreds of graduates from its seven faculties, some of whom continue on to pursue Master's degrees abroad thanks to a scholarship programme. Mogadishu University has established partnerships with several other academic institutions, including the University of Aalborg in Denmark, three universities in Egypt, seven universities in Sudan, the University of Djibouti, and two universities in Yemen. As of 2012, MU also has accreditation with the Board of the Intergovernmental Organization EDU.

 The Hamar Jajab School in Mogadishu
 In 1999, the Somali Institute of Management and Administration (SIMAD) was co-established in Mogadishu by incumbent President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. The institution subsequently grew into the SIMAD University, with Mohamud acting as dean until 2010. It offers a range of undergraduate courses in various fields, including economics, statistics, business, accountancy, technology, computer science, health sciences, education, law and public administration.
Benadir University (BU) was established in 2002 with the intention of training doctors. It has since expanded into other fields. Another tertiary institution in the city is the Jamhuriya University of Science and Technology. The Turkish Boarding School was also established, with the Mogadishu Polytechnic Institute and Shabelle University campus likewise undergoing renovations. Additionally, a New Islamic University campus is being built.[67] In April 2014, Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed also laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction of the former meteorological school in Mogadishu. A new national Aviation Training Academy is likewise being built at the Aden Adde International Airport.
Mogadishu Stadium was constructed in 1978 during the Barre administration, with the assistance of Chinese engineers. The facility was mainly used for hosting sporting activities, such as the Somalia Cup and for football matches with teams from the Somalia League. Presidential addresses and political rallies, among other events, were also held there. In September 2013, the Somali federal government and its Chinese counterpart signed an official cooperation agreement in Mogadishu as part of a five-year national recovery plan in Somalia. The pact will see the Chinese authorities reconstruct several major infrastructural landmarks, including the Mogadishu Stadium.
The Konis Stadium is another one of the capital's major sporting facilities. In 2013, the Somali Football Federation launched a renovation project at the facility, during which artificial football turf contributed by FIFA was installed at the stadium. The Ex-Lujino basketball stadium in the Abdulaziz District also underwent a $10,000 rehabilitation, with funding provided by the local Hormuud Telecom firm. Additionally, the municipal authority oversaw the reconstruction of the Banadir Stadium.
Various national sporting bodies also have their headquarters in Mogadishu. Among these are the Somali Football Federation, Somali Olympic Committee and Somali Basketball Federation. The Somali Karate and Taekwondo Federation is likewise centered in the city, and manages the national Taekwondo team.
Roads leading out of Mogadishu connect the city to other localities in Somalia as well as to neighbouring countries. The capital itself is cut into several grid layouts by an extensive road network, with streets supporting the flow of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. In October 2013, major construction began on the 23 kilometer road leading to the airport. Overseen by Somali and Turkish engineers, the upgrade was completed in November and included lane demarcation. The road construction initiative was part of a larger agreement signed by the Somali and Turkish governments to establish Mogadishu and Istanbul as sister cities, and in the process bring all of Mogadishu's roads up to modern standards.
In 2012–2013, Mogadishu's municipal authority began a project to install solar-powered street lights on all of the capital's major roads. With equipment imported from Norway, the initiative cost around $140,000 and lasted several months. The solar panels are expected to improve night-time visibility and enhance the city's overall aesthetic appeal.
In June 2013, two new taxi companies also started offering road transportation to residents. Part of a fleet of over 100 vehicles, Mogadishu Taxi's trademark yellow cabs offer rides throughout the city at flat rates of $5. City Taxi, the firm's nearest competitor, charges the same flat rate, with plans to add new cabs to its fleet.
In January 2014, the Banaadir administration launched a city-wide street naming, house numbering and postal codes project. Officially called the House Numbering and Post Code System, it is a joint initiative of the municipal authorities and Somali business community representatives. The project is part of the ongoing modernization and development of the capital. According to former Mayor Mohamed Ahmed Nur, the initiative also aims to help the authorities firm up on security and resolve housing ownership disputes.
During the post-independence period, Mogadishu International Airport offered flights to numerous global destinations. In the mid-1960s, the airport was enlarged to accommodate more international carriers, with the state-owned Somali Airlines providing regular trips to all major cities. By 1969, the airport's many landing grounds could also host small jets and DC 6B-type aircraft.

 A Somali Airlines Boeing 707-338C in flight (1984). The Mogadishu-based national carrier was relaunched in late 2013.

The facility grew considerably in size in the post-independence period after successive renovation projects. With the outbreak of the civil war in the early 1990s, Mogadishu International Airport's flight services experienced routine disruptions and its grounds and equipment were largely destroyed. In the late 2000s, the K50 Airport, situated 50 kilometers to the south, served as the capital's main airport while Mogadishu International Airport, now renamed Aden Adde International Airport, briefly shut down. However, in late 2010, the security situation in Mogadishu had significantly improved, with the federal government eventually managing to assume full control of the city by August 2011.
In May 2011, the Ministry of Transport announced that SKA-Somalia had been contracted to manage operations at the re-opened Aden Adde International Airport over a period of ten years. Among its first initiatives, worth an estimated $6 million, SKA invested in new airport equipment and expanded support services by hiring, training and equipping 200 local workers to meet international airport standards. The company also assisted in comprehensive infrastructure renovations, restored a dependable supply of electricity, revamped the baggage handling facilities as well as the arrival and departure lounges, put into place electronic check-in systems, and firmed up on security and work-flow. Additionally, SKA connected the grounds' Somali Civil Aviation and Meteorological Agency (SCAMA) and immigration, customs, commercial airlines and Somali Police Force officials to the internet. By January 2013, the firm had introduced shuttle buses to ferry travelers to and from the passenger terminal.
In December 2011, the Turkish government unveiled plans to further modernize the airport as part of Turkey's broader engagement in the local post-conflict reconstruction process. Among the scheduled renovations were new systems and infrastructure, including a modern control tower to monitor the airspace. In September 2013, the Turkish company Favori LLC began operations at the airport. The firm announced plans to renovate the aviation building and construct a new one, as well as upgrade other modern service structures. A $10 million project, it will increase the airport's existing 15 aircraft capacity to 60.
As of June 2014, the largest services using Aden Adde International Airport include the Somali-owned private carriers Jubba Airways, Daallo Airlines and African Express Airways, in addition to UN charter planes, Turkish Airlines, Al Saeeda Airlines, and SkyGreece Airlines. The airport also offers flights to other cities in Somalia such as Galkayo, Berbera and Hargeisa, as well as to international destinations like Djibouti, Jeddah, and Istanbul.
In July 2012, Mohammed Osman Ali (Dhagah-tur), the General Director of the Ministry of Aviation and Transport, also announced that the Somali government had begun preparations to revive the Mogadishu-based national carrier, Somali Airlines. The first new aircraft were scheduled for delivery in December 2013.
The Port of Mogadishu, also known as the Mogadishu International Port, is the official seaport of Mogadishu. Classified as a major class port, it is the largest harbour in the country.
After incurring some damage during the civil war, the federal government launched the Mogadishu Port Rehabilitation Project, an initiative to rebuild, develop and modernize the port. The renovations included the installation of Alpha Logistics technology. A joint international delegation consisting of the Director of the Port of Djibouti and Chinese officials specializing in infrastructure reconstruction concurrently visited the facility in June 2013. According to Mogadishu Port manager Abdullahi Ali Nur, the delegates along with local Somali officials received reports on the port's functions as part of the rebuilding project's planning stages.
In 2013, the Port of Mogadishu's management reportedly reached an agreement with representatives of the Iranian company Simatech Shipping LLC to handle vital operations at the seaport. Under the name Mogadishu Port Container Terminal, the firm is slated to handle all of the port's technical and operational functions.
In October 2013, the federal Cabinet endorsed an agreement with the Turkish firm Al-Bayrak to manage the Port of Mogadishu for a 20-year period. The deal was secured by the Ministry of Ports and Public Works, and also assigns Al-Bayrak responsibility for rebuilding and modernizing the seaport.[136] In September 2014, the federal government officially delegated management of the Mogadishu Port to Al-Bayrak. The firm's modernization project will cost $80 million.
There were projects during the 1980s to reactivate the 114 km (71 mi) railway between Mogadishu and Jowhar, built by the Italians in 1926 but dismantled in World War II by British troops. The Mogadishu-Villabruzzi Railway was extended to reach Addis Ababa.
Mogadishu has historically served as a media hub. In 1975, the Somali Film Agency (SFA), the nation's film regulatory body, was established in Mogadishu. The SFA also organized the annual Mogadishu Pan-African and Arab Film Symposium (Mogpaafis), which brought together an array of prominent filmmakers and movie experts from across the globe, including other parts of Northeast Africa and the Arab world, as well as Asia and Europe.
In addition, there are a number of radio news agencies based in Mogadishu. Radio Mogadishu is the federal government-run public broadcaster. Established in 1951 in Italian Somaliland, it initially aired news items in both Somali and Italian. The station was modernized with Russian assistance following independence in 1960, and began offering home service in Somali, Amharic and Oromo. After closing down operations in the early 1990s due to the civil war, the broadcaster was officially re-opened in the early 2000s by the Transitional National Government. Other radio stations headquartered in the city include Mustaqbal Radio, Radio Shabelle, Radio Bar-Kulan, Radio Kulmiye, Radio Dannan, Radio Dalsan, Radio Banadir, Radio Maanta, Gool FM, Radio Xurmo, and Radio Xamar, also known as Voice of Democracy.
The Mogadishu-based Somali National Television (SNTV) is the central government-owned broadcaster. On 4 April 2011, the Ministry of Information of the Transitional Federal Government officially re-launched the station as part of an initiative to develop the national telecommunications sector. SNTV broadcasts 24 hours a day, and can be viewed both within Somalia and abroad via terrestrial and satellite platforms.
Somali popular music enjoys a large audience in Mogadishu, and was widely sold prior to the civil war. With the government managing to secure the city in mid-2011, radios once again play music. On 19 March 2012, an open concert was held in the city, which was broadcast live on local television. In April 2013, the Waayaha Cusub ensemble also organized the Reconciliation Music Festival, the first international music festival to be held in Mogadishu in two decades.
Notable Mogadishans
Born in Mogadishu, supermodel Iman was the first Somali woman to appear on the cover of Vogue in 1979 and to sign a cosmetics contract.

  • Ali Mohammed Ghedi, former Prime Minister of Somalia
    Ayub Daud, professional footballer
    Barkhad Abdi, actor, film director and producer
    Cristina Ali Farah, author and intellectual
    Diriye Osman, writer and visual artist
    Elisa Kadigia Bove, actress and activist
    Faisal Jeylani Aweys, taekwondo practitioner
    Fatima Siad, fashion model
    Hassan Abshir Farah, MP, former Prime Minister of Somalia and former Mayor of Mogadishu
    Hawa Abdi, physician and social activist
    Iman, supermodel
    K'naan, award-winning musician
    Ladan Osman, poet
    Luciano Ceri, singer-songwriter, journalist and radio host
    Mo Farah, international track and field athlete
    Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, former Prime Minister of Somalia
    Mohamed Malimey, football coach
    Mohamed Nur, former Mayor of Mogadishu
    Musse Olol, engineer and social activist
    Mustafa Mohamed, professional athlete
    Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, former Prime Minister of Somalia
    Rageh Omaar, award-winning journalist
    Sa'id of Mogadishu, 14th century Islamic scholar and traveler
    Saba Anglana, international singer and actress
    Shaykh Sufi, 19th-century scholar, poet, reformist and astrologist
    Yasmin Warsame, supermodel
    Yasmine Allas, actress and writer
    Zahra Bani, professional athlete

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