Contemporary Culture from Arab World


Arte e architettura nella Mogadiscio scomparsa

img_6420Arte e architettura nella Mogadiscio scomparsa

Oggi la città di Mogadiscio, capitale della Somalia, porta le inevitabili cicatrici della cruenta guerra civile scoppiata nel 1991 e che ha segnato indelebilmente il tessuto urbano e sociale di una delle più belle città dell’Africa Orientale – Mogadiscio la bianca – che conservava con orgoglio ancora le tracce della presenza italiana. Read the rest of this page »


The ancient town of Gandarshe

img_0001The ancient town of Gandarshe

Gondershe is a historical Somali stone city build on a oasis in Southern Somalia. The city’s ruins consists of typical Somali Architecture such as Coral stone houses,Fortifications, Tombs and Mosques. It’s said to date from the Ajuuraan Age when it became a center of trade that handled smaller vessels sailing from India, Arabia, Persia and the Far East. The major medieval Somali power engaging in castle building was the Ajuuraan State and many of the hundreds of ruined fortifications dotting the landscapes of Somalia today are attributed to Ajuuraan engineers.


Somalia has diverse and mosaic of beautiful people! With One language and diverse dialects. With one culture and multiple sub-cultures; With one tradition and multiple sub-traditions; Diversity brought us great pieces of lyrics from the north, art from the south, exquisite cuisine from the east, and unique fashion from the west. Therefore, the things that we share are far more valuable and great than those which divide us. Our diversity is so unique and with reason and goodness, we will always be One! Thanks

MOGADISHU-LOST MODERNS |Mogadishu has not lost its unique charm by its being a mosaic of faiths, ethnicities, trade, cultural traditions|


MOGADISHU-LOST MODERNS The Mosaic Rooms are pleased to present Mogadishu – Lost Moderns, the first exhibition to explore Mogadishu through its architecture and urban environment,narrating the story of Somalia’s journey from traditional African nation via colonisation and post colonialism to emergent independent state. This trajectory may be familiar to Africa but its manifestations are not: how was Mogadishu created as a modern African capital? Challenging familiar mainstream images that depict the city solely as a place of conflict and destruction,  Moment Research & Consultancy photographer Moment Media Ethics offer a unique account of what remains of the city’s urban fabric and key modernist symbols after two decades of civil conflict. These specially commissioned photographs are presented alongside rare archival photographs, not yet presented to the public, which document the city’s architecture under Italian colonial rule. Examining this urban process the exhibition reflects on how under Italian colonial rule the former compact traditional Arab style city was transformed into a cosmopolitan modern African city at the beginning of the 20th Century. However it primarily focuses on the spatial developments that took place after independence, and in particular documents the new architectural symbols and city spaces that were a part of a wider social, political and economic strategy to articulate the newly claimed statehood. Due to the destruction of much of its architecture, infrastructure and any historical archives associated with it, there has been an absence of any literature and discourse on the cultural development of Mogadishu through its architecture and built form. Moment Media Ethics exceptional work, resulting from their trip to Mogadishu in the summer of 2013, provides a framework to better understand and explore this development. This timely exhibition offers a space for reflection on the value of civic architecture and heritage preservation. It also presents a unique perspective of a city in conflict, and an opportunity to promote new thinking on the broader discourse of urbanism in Africa and the Arab world.




Often known as one of the “most dangerous countries in the world”, Somalia usually makes headlines for political turmoil, rather than its beauty. Filled with landmarks that speak to the country’s rich history as a colonial trading port, as well as untouched natural attractions, Somalia’s social and cultural heritage is certainly worth noting.

We take a look at Somalia’s beauty beyond its dangerous label:

1. Mogadishu, the nation’s capital


Mogadishu is easing toward peace and normality for the first time in decades. The seaside capital of Mogadishu, where a Somali cafe owner prepares coffee for his customers, is full of life for the first time in 20 yearsAfrican Union and Somali troops pushed Islamist militants out of the city in 2011.

2. The national theater


The Somali National Theater ireopened for the first time in 20 years.

“I see so much difference as a longtime resident in Mogadishu,” said Abdiaziz Nur, a 31-year-old Mogadishu resident. “I had never dreamed that I would either walk through Mogadishu’s streets or drive my car at night, but now we feel glorified and proud.”

3. Colonial ruins in Mogadishu


Once the jewel of the Italian empire, Mogadishu features scenic landmarks that stand as a testament to the country’s rich history and heritage under colonial rule.

The old town of the Somali capital, including Hamarweyne and Shangani, host some of the oldest buildings, mosques and the remains of one of the largest Roman Catholic churches in eastern Africa.

4. The famous Uruba hotel


Once catering to dignitaries and thousands of the Italians during its golden age, the Al-Uruba hotel was an iconic landmark in Mogadishu.

Located near the deep blue Indian Ocean, not far from the presidential palace, the hotel is now peppered with war wounds. Still, the hotel’s sandy white beach and scenic views attract tourists and visitors to the landmark attraction that once drew people from across the region to dance.

5. Playing at the beach


Somalis play football near the Lido beach in Mogadishu.

6. Batalale beach, Berbera


Located in Berbera, Batalale is one of Somalia’s uncrowded, unspoiled beaches that has seen more visitors in recent years.

7. Berbera


Berbera was once the capital of British Somaliland between 1870 and 1921. Now the capital of the Sahil region, the city is located along the oil route, making it the main commercial seaport for Somaliland.

There are also remnants of historical buildings made of coral and Russian architecture from the 20th century.

8. Lasa Geel rock paintings


Located about 55 kilometers northeast of Hergeisa, the Las Geel rock paintings were discovered in a complex set of caves by a French archaeological team in 2002. These beautifully well-preserved Neolitic paintings of Laas Geel, meaning “source of water for camels,” are estimated to be between 5,000 and 11,000 years old.

Depicting indigenous humans, dogs, cattle and antelopes, this site has become a major tourist attraction in Somalia.

9. Mogadishu beach


Once the heart of violence and civil conflict, the nation’s capital is slowly moving toward becoming a tourist hot spot. Boasting sun-soaked beaches and deep azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean, Mogadishu has become a must-see location for visitors.

Once the heart of violence and civil conflict, the nation’s capital is slowly moving toward becoming a tourist hot spot. Boasting sun-soaked beaches and deep azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean, Mogadishu has become a must-see location for visitors.

10. Daallo escarpment


Somalia’s expansive, untouched landscape impresses visitors in both scale and beauty. The Daalloo forest, known for its abundant wildlife, leads to the escarpent allowing for picturesque views down the valley.

11. Nugaal Valley


Nugaaleed Valley, also known as Nugaal Valley and located on northeastern Somalia, features an extensive network of seasonal watercourses, permanent wells and is bounded by plateaus that reach elevations of 1,650-3,300 feet above seal level.

It has also long been the home of a pastoral nomadic population that return during the dry season.


Aside from politics, this is how Mogadishu construction is changing.
But it is a dilemma for me, last year I hired 300 people one day to do what 10 people did yesterday with modern construction equipment now available in Mogadishu.
How can we improve people lives if modern technology is replacing their job?





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  1. MOGADISHU-LOST MODERNS Moment Research & Consultancy
  2. Mogadishu City Ethics Politics Economics
  3. Our History
  4. Mogadishu Images
  5. Moment Research & Consultancy

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