Mogadishu was once one of the prettiest and most cosmopolitan cities in Africa. The city has a long history that dates back to the 10th century when Arab and Persian traders began settling there. For centuries, Mogadishu was a traditional centre for Islam and an important hub for trade with communities along the Indian Ocean coastline. However, since the beginning of the civil war in the early 1990s, Somalia’s capital city has gained the reputation of being the most dangerous and violent city in the world.
Mogadishu Then and Now is an attempt to redeem the city’s damaged reputation and restore its lost glory in the public imagination and in the Somali people’s collective memory. The book showcases Mogadishu in all its splendour prior to the civil war and contrasts this with the devastation and destruction that has characterised the city for more than two decades. It should be of particular interest to historians, urban planners, architects and and anthropologists.