More beautiful portraits and mini stories from Somalia Report. Make sure to look at the first set of photos too. All photography by Jason Florio, whose other works can be found here.
“I am from Yakshid district of Mogadishu and have two kids that I like to spend time with after work. I have been working as a mill grinding operator for four years. I ride the bus everyday which costs $1 each way and I only earn $100 a month, but I really like my job. I work from 6am – 1pm everyday. I can’t talk long because I need to get back to work. People need this food.” Mohamed Ahmed, 30.
“I became a solider at age 15 because I wanted to protect my country and my people. Now I earn $200 a month. I spend ten days a month on the frontlines and 15 days a month working as a guard in Villa Somalia, and then I get five days off. I’m married with two kids, a boy and a girl, and like to spend my free time playing with them. I think now, for the first time since I was ten years old, I am starting to see signs of peace. I want my children to know peace.” Abidhassan Mohamed, 30.
“I did my military training in Uganda, where I also trained as a translator. Now I work as a translator for the African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM). I started training as a nurse, but because of the fighting I missed too many classes and couldn’t finish the course. Three years ago al-Shabaab killed my husband. I was pregnant at the time and the grief caused me to miscarry.” Fatima Hassan Nor Galle, TFG soldier.
“I was born in war, I work in war and I live in war. I have never known peace. At the clinic I mainly treat gunshot wounds and urinary tract infections. When I leave the clinic, I cover myself up, leaving only my eyes visible. I don’t want Shabaab to target me because I work for the government. In my free time, I like to get on Facebook, read Tom and Jerry comics, and watch TV. ‘Prison Break’ is my favorite show.” Ayan Muhyadin, 19.
“I left Mogadishu in 1980 and now live in Atlanta, Georgia. I work as a financial analyst for the transitional government. I earned an MBA in the United States and I knew I had to return with my skills to help my country, but it is very difficult. Security is a huge problem, and I miss my family and freedom. I miss ATMs, drive-thrus, Starbucks and Chik-Fil-A most of all.” Abdul Mohamed, late-forties.
“I’ve been the chairman of Dharkinley District since 1991. I believe about ninety percent of Mogadishu is safe now from al-Shabaab. The biggest security problem today is banditry by rogue elements in the local militias. I don’t want to talk about myself. I want to talk about the good work we are doing here to save lives. The government asked us to set up this camp, KD7, for internally displaced people since we had a big clean area in our district to house tens of thousands of people. My main responsibility is to oversee this camp where we have about 30,000 people who have now come from areas many hundreds of kilometers away to escape famine and fighting.” Moalin Abdualle Ali, 66.
“People call me ‘Mama’ because I have eight children. I survive by working as a cook for local workers and I get paid $1 per day for each person I cook for, which is normally 10 people. I don’t have a real kitchen and work outside over a fire. I don’t have long to talk because today is payday and I need to get back to my family.” Janelle Ali Warsame, 55.