Fifty years have elapsed since Somalia held its last one-person, one-vote election, and that extended drought of democracy was the main motivation of Aziza Ali when she joined the United Nations Integrated Electoral Support Group (IESG) in Somalia.
Sayid-Ali Abdullahi Salad vividly remembers the fateful day at the height of the civil war in Somalia in 1997 when his life was changed forever – a seemingly routine meeting to resolve a dispute erupted into violence that almost cost the volunteer peace mediator his life.
Abdifatah Hassan Ali’s childhood was forged in a crucible of civil war and violence. By his own account, he fled the chaos and insecurity of Mogadishu on ten occasions, only to find his way back to the war-torn city each time.
Ahmed Diini Hassan knows only too well the importance charity work plays in the lives of the poor and vulnerable members of society.
Born in 1956, Ahmed, who hails from Hiiran region, was orphaned at a tender age, leaving him dependent on charity of others.
Growing up in the Mogadishu suburb of Taleex in the 1980s, Bile Ismail Diriye and Abdikadir Maalim Mohamed were the best of friends.
Their bonds of friendship were nurtured in the suburb’s streets and sports fields, where they would play and pass away their spare time.
Somalia’s civil war wrenched the country in many ways.
Families were torn apart, the rule of law faded away, government institutions collapsed, and education came to a standstill, to name but a few of the setbacks the country faced because of the violence.