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Somalia: Life after Al Shabaab

HUDUR — As soon as the Al Shabaab rebels left this regional capital, 19-year-old Hussein Abdi bought himself a pair of jeans, dusted off his soccer ball and started hanging out with his friends again at the tea shops. “Life was hard then but now it’s good. We dress how we want, play football, walk with our friends,” said Abdi. He was back at school again, too, and hoped, eventually, to make it to university. But the countryside surrounding this city is controlled by Al Shabaab, which creates problems and means Somalia's conflict is never too far away.

Somalia: WHO reopens health clinic after Al Shabaab retreat

HUDUR — Hundreds of Somalis line up for medical care at a newly reopened clinic in this rural area. The retreat of the Islamist extremist rebels of Al Shabaab has permitted medical agencies to resume healthcare services. But for some it is too late.

A symbolic step towards a 'normal' Mogadishu

TEDx holds conference in Somalia's war-torn capital which would have been impossible a year ago.
Clone of Mogadishu theater somalia 2012 3 20Enlarge
Spectators gather to watch a performance staged by artists at the open-air, Chinese-built Somalia National Theatre which was reopened for the first time in 20 years, on March 19, 2012, in Mogadishu. Just a few weeks later the theater was bombed by Al Shabaab. (Stringer//AFP/Getty Images)

NAIROBI, Kenya — On Thursday there was a TED talk in Mogadishu.

Under the logo "Ideas worth spreading" TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks have since 1984 developed into a global cottage industry with bright young things the world over getting together to share their bright ideas. TED talks — or their freelance franchise, TEDx — have appeared almost everywhere, but never before in Mogadishu.

The organisers — a small group of white foreigners and Somalis — set the theme as "rebirth" hitching their optimistic wagon to a couple of recent news stories (from Newsweek and the New York Times) which reflect some undeniable positive changes in the city over the last nine months.

GlobalPost has also reported extensively on the city's growing security and return to life.


Somali piracy drives security boom

NAIROBI — Ship owners spent over $1 billion on “security equipment and armed guards” to protect against piracy last year, according to a new report.

Somali pirates' rise linked to illegal fishing and toxic dumping

MOGADISHU — Illegal fishing and the dumping of toxic waste by international ships sparked Somali protests that became today's piracy.
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