The Beautiful People of Mogadishu

In September 2021, my mother and I got the opportunity to visit Mogadishu, the White Pearl of the Indian Ocean. It was my first visit to Somalia’s capital city since I was born and raised abroad.

But my mother was no stranger to the city of hope. Her first trip was in the 1970s, and her last before the civil war was in the summer of 1986.

For my mother: Old is Gold

My mother’s memory of Mogadishu was one of law and order; the city’s urban landscape, people, and entertainment were beautiful. A city where the streets had a floral aroma that she had never seen before. 

My mother, on the other hand, feels that things have changed. “It’s not the same as it was before the civil war, but I see development,” she says. Old businesses were destroyed by fire, and new ones were rebuilt in their place.

According to her, people before the Civil War were selfless and cared about one another whereas now residents are terrified and fear each other. And, never like before, the city population completely mistrusts the government. 

Of course, she understands that years of wars have taken their toll on the city’s residents. Many went into exile fleeing the violence while IDPs poured in, attracted by Mogadishu’s hospitality.

“Mogadishu still needs more time to grow and establish stability,” she added. My mother has come to the conclusion that she wishes for a more peaceful and loving Mogadishu, similar to the one she grew up in. 

Loving Mogadishu

I wasn’t born during vintage Somalia, but my experience and takeaway are clearly distinct from my parents’. My father’s first visit to Mogadishu in the summer of 1982 was a distant memory he could not forget. “Life was inexpensive,” he recalls, “the people’s security and safety were good, and the education system was advanced. ” He claims that tribalism did not exist in 1982 and that the people were united. However, today it is the major cause of the Somali nation’s demise.

My impressions of Mogadishu and the wonderful people of Somalia are overwhelmingly perfect. Mogadishu, to me, is a city of power and courage. Where you fall and then get back up stronger. Mogadishu’s people were incredibly patriotic, united, and hospitable. From civilians to officials’ own words, “So dhawow” and “Dalkan ada iska leeh ku dalxis” were frequent and heartwarmingly expressed.

I got to go to every local and high-end restaurant, coffee shop, and tourist destination. I made friends with the locals and met with a few familiar faces from the diaspora.

But I’ll never forget the moment I stood on the pure white sand at Lido Beach and ran towards the Indian Ocean, dipping my feet into the light blue clear water.

I was overcome with genuine happiness as tears streamed down my cheeks. For the first time I felt at ease and the first time I knew right away where I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

I was astounded by the natural resources that our lovely country has to offer. I pray Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala to keep Somalia free of conflict, anarchy, envy and to provide peace and prosperity to the beautiful people of Mogadishu.

Allahumma Ameen


Hamda is a PhD candidate and a Somali-Canadian-based aspiring writer. Her background is in a Joint Honours degree in Political Science and Public Administration. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Political Science and Feminist and Gender studies specialization in Public Policy. She is particularly passionate about writing articles on Somali news from a gender and policy perspective, highlighting the experiences and perspectives of women.

2 thoughts on “The Beautiful People of Mogadishu

  1. Wowww I loved reading this allahuma barik. It’s so lovd seeing diaspora love the somalia so much. May Allah allow us all to see our motherland

  2. That’s great to hear and I love how you try to emphasize on the positives as well. There’s an urgent need for foreign investment especially from the Somali diaspora and that won’t come without safety. I just hope the government can get its act together.

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