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Muqdisho VS Mogadishu : The city with two contradicting images by virtue of its name!

by Mahmoud Barreh
Monday, March 13, 2017

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This short article simply sheds a light on an issue that has been baffling me over the last few months.
 I have noticed that images portrayed in the international media about Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, do not reflect on the way it looks today. Once considered as one of the most beautiful cities in Africa. And over the centuries Mogadishu was known as the main trade link  in the Silk Road Trade era between Asia and Europe.  Yet, Mogadishu has been inflicted with the most destruction that any capital city could have in the last 30 years.

 However, due to the rare resilience of the Somali people, the City has stood again out of rubbles with an unbelievable speed until it had qualified in 2015 as the second most growing city in the World after Batam city of Indonesia.

But this fast growth has not captured the international media’s attention. In contrast the images of Mogadishu are all of destruction, war and despair or in other words, a ghost town.
 Very few western or international journalists seldom visit Mogadishu; therefore relying on images available in the internet using the name MOGADISHU. Those few who are able to make it [the visit] seems to have other interests other than reporting changes the city has made. 

 BUT, the Somali Media and journalists have relentlessly been trying to give the city the image it deserves today. This has not posed any difficulty as the Somalis have one of the fastest and cheapest communication systems in Africa and are known to use social media so widely. Most electronic journals, websites and blogs are written in the Somali language, hence, using the Somali name of their capital, MUQDISHO.

 The nutshell, using Mogadishu and Muqdisho in Google images, will result having two different cities, one with destruction and chaos and one with organized and modern look as evident in the examples below.

So, realistically the time has come to change the city’s name into Muqdisho from its English version of Mogadishu, hence, unifying the name of the city in both English and Somali. This will at least guarantee for this beautiful city to have a fair and right publishing as far as its true images are concerned.

Mahmoud Barreh
Independent Researcher

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