Travel notes: Mogadishu, Somalia (77 photos)

Writes blogger zyalt.
Travel to Somalia began with house arrest. My guide at some point feared that I was a journalist, and has decided to lock me up in a hotel. "Today you sit all day in the room, and tomorrow we will go to the migration service and obtain permission for you to move!" - He pleased me. Sitting all day at the hotel I did not like. Explorer did not want me to ride around the city, as he was afraid ... I was afraid he is. Here is a brief list of his fears: - kill me - I was kidnapped, and asked a million dollars ransom. Such price is now the head of the white man in Somalia. - Local security officers noticed my camera and put me in jail - Local security officers noticed my camera and go to jail conductor - In Somalia, a meteorite fall, and all will die ...

About the kidnapping and ransom should make a clarification. A few years ago there was an unpleasant incident. Local pirates hijacked our oil tanker. Anti-submarine destroyer "Marshal Shaposhnikov" liberated our sailors. After the liberation of our commandos shot the pirates and sank their boats. Pirates of the offense:
"We condemn the actions of Russian, they were guided by racism and hatred of blacks and Africa - is a face of the new Russia. In the future, if we will take the Russian, they will meet the same fate as they carry out? "
So what, if anything, a ransom for the Russian will not be asking.
But back to my hospitality arrest. At some point, the conductor was so frightened that he decided to bring me back to the airport and handed over to the Migration Service of harm's way. I recall that at the airport before the border sits a special person, almost a minister who decides to let you in the country or not.
After a hearty lunch, after difficult negotiations, agreement was reached on a short walk around the city but without a camera. After the second round of difficult negotiations with the conductor, it was agreed that I will shoot on iPhone and Fuji IksPro1 and large Naykon D4 leave in the room and no one else will show !? So there you go on Mogadishu in a troika ride!
For starters, let's understand what Somalia today. In fact, there is no such country. On the map there, but in reality it is a lot of different areas, which no one controls. Somalia as a country virtually ceased to exist in '91. Although earlier in the country were constant civil wars. The most famous autonomy in Somalia - a republic of Somaliland. They declared their independence in 91 and still remain the safest part of Somalia. There's even possible to walk without bodyguards. There are a dozen self-proclaimed autonomous, to understand that you will be able to, if desired. In Russia, the most prominent autonomous region of Puntland, which many jokingly referred Putlend. Puntland is considered to be the main center for Somali piracy. There are Azania, the autonomous region is famous for the fact that its flag is the same as in Russia. Some areas do not have any power was centralized and managed by the heads of the local tribes and pirates. And of course, in Somalia stronghold of Islamists and the fans of Al-Qaeda. In fact, this anarchy. No one is responsible for anything.
Himself Mogadishu, the official capital, has long been the center of the fighting. Until recently, the authorities controlled only 60% of the capital, but now the situation has returned to normal and a little city cleaned. Outside the city is better not to leave, there is the radical Islamists.
01. My guide likes to say: "Somalia - a country not for tourism." To feel safe, we had to hire guards. Security is $ 1,000 per day. For the money you get two machine gunner, driver and conductor bore that will just afraid and eventually hide you in the hotel. Protection, by the way, good work out their money. For example, when the car stops at the hotel, they cover the whole street, so you calmly crossed the road. Generally, when any stop decided to block the street. This is done, apparently in order to avoid being pushed into a passing car. Many readers believe that the Somalis had kindled my high prices. I believe that the protection you have to pay so much that they had no desire to rob you.

02. Security does not allow to go to the front. Dream Somalis that you went to the trunk or sitting in the hotel. In an extreme case, you are trying to cram into the back seat in the middle, and on both sides of the plant gunmen. Strange feeling. On the one hand you feel important person, which all protected with other inmates, who do not give a step to the side.

03. When the car goes around the city, the guard opens the window and sticks machine for all to see. I'm also open the window and leans out the camera.

04. The roads are bad in Mogadishu for 20 years of war they had not repaired.

05. The street is constantly driving around here such pickups.

06. To remove them is strictly prohibited, so I climbed up on the roof to quietly make a couple of shots.

07. This is the main entrance to my hotel. The door is closed the metal sheet, riddled with bullets.

08. The city is constantly patrolled by peacekeepers of the African Union. Along the facade of my hotel to build fortifications.

09. Clippers peacekeepers. On my street, they pass every 15 minutes.

10. Checkpoint. So today Mogadishu describes the Wiki: "Currently, the city is the fortress, which consists of numerous roadblocks and fortifications built by peacekeepers and interconnected protected roads»

11. Street. The population of Mogadishu - 2 000 000.

12. In the evening I asked to go to the beach.

13. On the beach there is a very cool restaurant. Beach is protected by barbed wire.

14. To the common people are not attacked visitors to the restaurant, he fenced off with barbed wire and concrete blocks. The restaurant has two towers with gunmen and a lot of protection.

15. Local rich eat.

16. I looked out of hiding to shoot children. Before I could make a shot as I was dragged back behind the barbed wire. Sorry, I could not get a good picture, if you catch the moment with silhouettes.

17. From the roof of my hotel Mogadishu similar to Novorossiysk.

18. Returning refugees are living in tents or ruined houses.

19. Local bus.

20. Streets. Lamps with solar panels.

21. In the city of war.

22. Ruins.

23. Remains of luxury.

25. Some of the buildings are repaired.

26. All the shops are painted with explanatory pictures. The pictures must be illustrated all goods and services offered shop. Left hairdresser right exchanger and sell stuff.

27. The Somali language is very funny. Most of the vowels in the words are repeated. For example, Somalia, in Somali would be «Soomaaliyeey»

28. Another shop.

29. Pharmacy.

30. Before entering the restaurant table hangs forbidden Bringing weapons. Kalashnikov - the most popular weapons in Somalia. The Soviet Union in the 70s well-armed local pirates and taught them the Russian language. Russian general, known to many. Somalis have learned that you are from Russia, trying to remember some words - Hi, How are you and so

31. I went to a restaurant and there theme Lebedev fotkaet leftovers. So meeting! With the theme, we'll stay here one more day, then he will fly to Malawi, and I'm in Somaliland.

32. Friendship of Peoples.

Travel Notes, Day 2
We continue our journey through Somalia. So far, everything is fine! The weather is good, in spite of the hot season. The food is excellent - in my rooming house chef from Italy, who is preparing a chic and fantastic lobster pasta (not a joke). On the second day of the migration service sent a permission to shoot and pick-up with the military. Guard intensified. Of the minuses - the military do not allow to communicate with the locals. Feel Putin.
Today decided to strengthen protection and identified eight pickup !!! gunners.

33. The security guard during the evening prayer.

A few words about photography. As I wrote, my guide was very nervous and does not shoot. Most of the staff is done through toned glass machines, so that the artistic component of the images here is secondary.

Every time I had to get out, they ran out of their pickup truck and "cleaned out" area. They stopped all the cars and chased all the people. Even the military is very funny dispersed hesitated motorists on the road.

Even in the country, when you stop, I'm sorry, pee, they cleaned the area from ground squirrels and beavers (or whoever lives in the desert?).

I decided to go to the slums. Fun, of course, travel. You walk into the environment of war, who banished all inhabitants of these slums. At the same time there are a lot of residents, but we are going very fast, almost running. It seems that you are with a group of war you participate in any peaceful settlement of the seizure. Aboriginal people represent the state when your camp breaks shaggy white photographer with gunmen, ran 30 seconds for making a circle and leaves.

A bunch of curious kids want to come closer, but they are not allowed. I Feel Putin. Later, security chief explained that every baby in diapers is, at least, a grenade, which he was happy to throw at me.

No contact with the local people. Every Somali - a potential murderer or a thief. You can not go on the same route - said the car will plan napadanie.

Shoot in these conditions, of course, difficult. You can not stand still for a second. All on the run. You can not leave the car in crowded places. The people around should be enough to cope with it can Guard. For this reason, you can not go to the market, it can begin uncontrolled reaction from local people. At night you can not go anywhere at all, as all shoot. You can not even sit near the window, so that no one saw the white man.

The local population, by the way, is not spoiled by the attention of tourists ...


All very friendly.

Any output from the machine or stopping - for stress protection. They always imagining kidnapping or terrorist attack. They say that every day there is something explodes. The agents of al-Qaeda are trying to regain control over the city and constantly bullies.

When the car begins to approach the crowd, guards fired into the air. Excellent method - all at once, and run up the street silence. No screaming, no longer hear the children's laughter ...

You probably are thinking, as it is inhuman to disperse the people shot in the air. In fact the orders here in the streets is very severe. Here, for example, man batting passersby. No he is not responsible and does not even perturbed. The airport police bludgeon sticks porters. In general, ordinary African life.

City slightly destroyed by the war. Here, for example, a police station.

This street in the center. Sidewalks and plitochki not here.

The ruins of the cathedral.

Beautiful was the cathedral, but now live here in tents the refugees.

Previously on the shore were luxury villas of the local elite. Now everything is destroyed. Almost all filmed from the car window. Stop anywhere impossible.

A local resident.

City center.


Many trucks without cab. Generally, it happens, look at the next car, and wonder how it all goes?



Meeting velokluba. As in any normal city, Mogadishu, people ride bicycles.


Now here is the big season of sweet watermelon.

80% of Somalia's population can not read and write. On the walls of shops draw the goods and services provided inside. Here, for example, a pharmacy, where you can charge the phone, get tested, die pressure, and circumcised (picture bottom left).

Here the facade of one of the clinics in the center. There also are circumcised.

You can charge the phone, play pleysteyshn2 buy cold drinks, to learn foreign languages, medicine and learn the profession of the speaker.

Learn facades incredibly interesting. Please note that the owner reserves his autograph and a telephone.

Social advertising - Somali rising from its knees. Since no one knows how to read, we have to draw comics.

Another social advertising. Left "yesterday" right "today".

Readers were asked to show them the Somali women. Please.

Despite the fact that Somalia is living under Sharia law, and all the women in headscarves walk, photographed them without any problems.

In other Muslim countries, women are forbidden to shoot.

And then all do not care. It may, of course, they do not know that they are photographed.

In Somalia, every man for himself. There is its own special atmosphere.



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