Girls compete in basketball and handball. You will see on the streets of Mogadishu girls jogging with young men in the morning and evening when the sun is down and the environment cool. Politically, Somali women are committed and are at the forefront fighting for peace and equality.
Somalia was not always like this,” he says. “It is just that when There are too many people focused on the negative side but I prefer culture, life, laughter and festivities our society sought comfort in religion that it became more conservative. Still the Somali culture and life still exists and never disappeared. Islam accords women their right in everything. Somali culture in itself dignifies women as the backbone of society. Without the sacrifices of our mothers and sisters, the resilience you see in Somalia now would never have been possible.”
How then does he manage to walk around the city with a camera around his neck and not raise suspicion? “In Mogadishu, when people see you with a camera they assume you work for some media organisation. It is easier to trust someone that is not affiliated to some big media organisation, but once they get to know you, they even let you take more photos. I relate quite well with everyone. Although photography is not really so much of an art here, so I focus on content. There are too many people focused on the negative side but I prefer culture, life, laughter and festivities”
I too realize that Mogadishu has a lot to offer. Places like Lido Beach are clean with white sandy beaches that are perfect for a stroll. It’s not hard to find children playing and dancing to Dhaanto(a style of traditional Somali music). On Fridays, traditional dancers gather at Daljirka Dahsoon and dance freely. Abdulkadir also spoke on the role of family and in general Somali life. Families are big and closely knit. It is not at all strange to have three generations and the extended family all living under one roof.
It is an obligation to help people in need, celebrate and cry with the community and comfort the sick. Abdulkadir, whose nickname is ‘Ato’ meaning, skinny, talked of a great future for his photography. He is looking very keenly to capture themes of compassion and resilience in his subjects. In the works is a photography book which he wants to publish and a trip around Somalia to document people working and living in Somalia.
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