Category Archives: Diaspora

London’s Muslim Girl Power!

A recent visit to the corner Barnes & Noble store led me to a cozy corner near the magazine section where I picked up a copy of Swindle Magazine.

I love this magazine for their great artwork and neat articles. I happened to be drawn to this issue in particular because of the cover.



The issue focuses upon the city’s absorption of a rising Muslim population—and we feature the young Islamic artist Sarah Maple.

Here is an excerpt:

If you want to see where London’s future lies, look to its Muslim demographic. Today, about 40% of Britain’s Muslim population resides in London, where they make up just below 10% of the residents. And half of the city’s Muslim population is under 24—the youngest age profile in the capital. According to the BBC, over half of all British Muslims were born in the U.K., making this subgroup an increasingly intrinsic part of British society. “We’re the second generation, we’ve grown up here like the kids around us and we haven’t faced the strains most of our elders felt such as not understanding English,” says Warsan Nur, a 19-year-old anthropology student at the University of London, and aspiring journalist. “Racism isn’t so common because people are growing to accept us, so the possibilities for this Muslim generation are endless.”

Fore more visit:


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Filed under 3arabi, Culture, Current Events, Diaspora, Euro, Glossies (Mags), Hijaab, Islam, Life, London, Media, News, Thoughts, World

Is Eritrea ‘Arming’ Somali Militia?


Ugandan African Union troops destroy weapons near Mogadishu

Ugandan African Union troops destroy weapons near Mogadishu

Insurgents in Somalia have received huge numbers of weapons in secret shipments from Eritrea, the UN says.There are now more arms in Somalia than at any time since the civil war started in 1991, the UN report says.

Eritrea, which has repeatedly denied aiding the insurgents, dismissed the report as a “total fabrication”.

Meanwhile, three people have been killed in a hand grenade blast at a restaurant in the Somali capital. It is not known who carried out the attack.

It is the first time civilians have been targeted in the current conflict.

‘Missile cache’

In its report to the UN Security Council, the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia said Islamic Courts Union militias – known as the Shabab – had an unknown number of surface-to-air missiles, suicide belts and explosives with timers and detonators.

The intention of the report is to depict it as if there is a proxy war between Eritrea and Ethiopia

Ali Abdu
Eritrean Information Minister

It said Eritrea had sent at least six SA-18 surface-to-air missiles to the Shabab.

The accusations centre on a chartered Boeing 707 cargo plane that made at least 13 trips from the Eritrean capital, Asmara, to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, sometimes filing false flight plans.

Eritrea denied the flights but the International Civil Aviation Organisation confirmed them, the report said.

Eritrean Information Minister Ali Abdu told Associated Press news agency his country had not provided any assistance to the Shabab.

“It is a total fabrication and the intention of the report is to depict it as if there is a proxy war between Eritrea and Ethiopia,” Mr Abdu said.

Somalis receive arms training (file pic)

There are more arms in Somalia than ever before

The presence of government-backed Ethiopian troops in Somalia had only managed to disperse the Islamist fighters and they still posed a serious threat, the report said.

The Islamic Courts Union ruled much of southern Somalia until it was ousted by government-backed Ethiopian troops last year.

Violence has surged since the recent launch of national reconciliation talks and has prompted a fresh exodus of people from Mogadishu. More than 10,000 have fled violence in the past 10 days, the UN says.

An estimated 400,000 people fled the capital during clashes between February and May.

The UN refugee agency says attacks by anti-government elements wound and kill civilians daily.


Filed under Africa, Current Events, Diaspora, Eritrea, Horn of Africa, Life, Media, News, Photos, Somalia, Thoughts, World

Destination Europe…

Having a Djiboutian and Somali background means I am not foreign to the idea of migration.

Subsequently, I have been fascinated by this article that points out clearly where and why Africans migrate to Europe. This article is very informative.


Thousands of Africans try to make the journey to Europe each year as illegal migrants – risking people smugglers, deserts, sea crossings and the possibility of being sent home, all for the dream of a better life.

Economic attraction

Routes to Europe

Destination Spain

Immigrants in Europe

Sending money home


GDP comparison


Life expectancy: 80 years
Population growth: 0.6%
School enrolment, primary: 98.9%
HIV prevalence (aged 15-49): 0.3%
Internet users (per 1,000 people): 439.4
Time to start a business: 26.9 days


Life expectancy: 47 years
Population growth: 2.3%
School enrolment, primary: 65.7%
HIV prevalence (aged 15-49): 5.8%
Internet users (per 1,000 people): 29
Time to start a business: 61.5 daysSource: World Bank 2005


Key routes

The main aim of migrants is to reach European soil – be it mainland Europe or the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla or islands in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

The main departure points are:

  • West coast of Africa: Northern Mauritania, Western Sahara and southern Morocco from where most head for the Canary Islands.
  • Northern Morocco to cross into Ceuta and Melilla or cross the straits to Spain.
  • Tunisia and Libya for boats heading for Italy’s island of Lampedusa, Sicily and Malta.But first the migrants must cross great distances.
    The main routes are:


    BY SEA:

    Africa to Canary Islands:
    1,000-1,500 euros

    North Morocco to Spain:
    1,000 euros

    Libya to Italy:
    1,500-2,000 euros

    BY LAND:

    Sub-Sahara to Morocco:
    1,000-2,000 euros

    Through Mali: 1,000 euros

    Across Sahara:
    1,700-3,400 euros


    South Asia to Africa to Europe: 9,000-16,000 euros

    Source: UN

    Route: West African coast
    Destination: Canary Islands
    Via: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, The Gambia, Mauritania and Western Sahara to northern coast of Morocco
    Dangers: sea crossing to Canaries
    Who: Mainly migrants from these countries

    Route: Western Sahara
    Destination: Canary Islands
    Via: Mali, Mauritania, Western Sahara or southern Morocco
    Dangers: Crossing Sahara, guerrillas
    Who: Mainly migrants from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin

    Route: Central Sahara
    Destinations: Canary Islands, Spain, Italy
    Via: Niger, northern Mauritania, Western Sahara or southern Morocco; northern Morocco; Tunisia or Libya
    Dangers: Crossing desert and sea
    Who: Mainly migrants from countries south of Niger, via Cameroon and Nigeria

    Route: Eastern Sahara
    Destinations: Lampedusa, Sicily, and Malta
    Via: Tunisia and Libya
    Dangers: Desert and sea crossing
    Who: Mainly migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa

    Route: Horn of Africa to Libya
    Destinations: Lampedusa, Sicily, and Malta
    Via: Sudan
    Dangers: Desert and sea crossing
    Who: Mainly from Somalia and Ethiopia


    Migrants in Spain

    As the closest European country to the African continent, Spain is on the frontline for illegal migration. From there, migrants often make their way to other European countries.

    Spain’s enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in northern Morocco are initial targets for many migrants. Once detained they can be expelled, repatriated or sent to mainland Spain, where many are reported to be released, pending expulsion.

    The enclaves’ authorities were forced to double the size of border fences around the coastal territories in 2005 when hundreds of migrants attempted to scale the defences. Two migrants were shot dead by a Moroccan guard.

    For years, people have risked crossing the sea to get to mainland Spain, but in 2006 there was a closer focus on its islands – thousands headed for the Canary Islands in former African fishing boats, prompting an increase in joint “Frontex” patrol operations by Spain, the EU and African nations. But tightening security at one departure point simply seems to shift it elsewhere.

  • Origin

    The latest report on migration by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says African migration to developed countries is marginal in relation to overall flows.

    The majority of African migrants living overseas are in Europe – about 4.6m compared with 890,000 in the US, according to the International Organization for Migration. But the Migration Policy Institute believes there are between seven and eight million irregular African immigrants living in the EU – the actual number changing depending on regularisation schemes in the member states.

    About two-thirds of Africans in Europe are from north Africa (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia). An increasing number are travelling from Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly heading for the former colonial powers of France, England, Germany and Italy.

    Most Sub-Saharan migrants are from West Africa – Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal, in particular.

    About 22,016 people reached Italy by boat in 2006, down slightly from 2005. But the sea crossings are not without their dangers – it is thought hundreds die attempting to reach Europe. In June this year, 24 Africans drowned after a dinghy capsized south of Malta.



    Having migrated, many migrants send money home to family they have left behind. Billions of dollars each year is sent back to Africa from the diaspora around the world – in some cases making up a sizeable chunk of the home country’s GDP.


    Filed under Africa, Current Events, Diaspora, Horn of Africa, Life, London, Media, News, Somali, Somalia, Thoughts, Traveling, World

    Somali Diaspora – “A Cry For Help.”

    Less than 40% of the estimated 300,00 displaced Somalis are receiving any help, according to UN humanitarian relief chief John Holmes.

    After a visit to Mogadishu, he said Somalia now represents a worse displacement crisis than Sudan’s Darfur region.

    Some will say that Western interference is the cause and root of this ongoing chaos, but God only knows. Until then, we can only pray…

    The video below is by K’naan, and the word “SOOBAX” means literally to “come out”. He is speaking directly to the warlords in the country…


    Filed under Africa, Current Events, Diaspora, Diplomacy, K'naan, News, Somali, Somalia, Thoughts, Video, Warlords