Social media moment:

With the truck bombings now being referred to as Somalia’s 9/11, it is through social media that Somalis continue to convey the gravity of the situation, and how this event deeply affected their lives. Through hurried collaboration, social media networks were able to not only appeal for assistance but also show that the 300 plus people who died were not a number: they were professionals and students, who had left behind families and friends, hopes, and ambitions.

They included Maryan Abdullahi, who was due to graduate from medical school this week. There was Abdiqadir Ali, a taxi driver who was on his way to pick up a client at a hotel. Ahmed Abdikarin Eyow was a community activist from Bloomington, Minnesota who was paying a visit to Somalia. There was Habib Hassan, who recently got married and who was still deemed as missing.

The profundity of misery has also been captured in photos: a citizen consoling a soldier as they clean the scene of the blast; the reformed terrorist donating blood, asking the attackers to “repent.” In another, two children carry the charred remains of an unidentified victim in a cardboard box.

Somali children assist other civilians and security forces in their rescue efforts by carrying away unidentified charred human remains in a cardboard box, to clear the scene of Saturday's blast, in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Somali children assist other civilians and security forces in their rescue efforts.
Image: AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh

However, like searchlights in the dark, many Somalis say they are determined to turn this tragic episode into one about rebuilding, resilience, and ultimately, hope. When the bomb went off, the windows at Mohamed Bashir’s creative agency were shattered. Bashir says “We are so angry, but we don’t know whom we are angry at.”

Instead of staying despondent, Bashir decided to direct his energy towards volunteerism—offering his services to manage the social media accounts of Aamin Ambulance, Somalia’s only free ambulance service.

As an uneasy pall continues to hang over Mogadishu and the nation limbs towards recovery, Adow hopes that this event will steer the country towards a better future. “If this event doesn’t unite the Somali people and rally up the youth, I don’t think anything else will wake us up from this slumber,” he said.

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