The 7 Rules to Survive in Conflict Zones, Just like Mogadishu

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In his book of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People', Stephen R. Covey said "Remember, to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know"

The following rules are part of my experience of how to survive in a hot spot just like Mogadishu.  However, I should say "answers are not oaths and agricultural forecasts are not harvest"; i.e. your wits are also important.

Rule No. 1: Don't forget to pray GOD and take your own precautions

They say "when you pray god stand on your feet" this means that pray God and do an action. Thus, don't forget to ask GOD to bring your soul peacefully back at home because you are walking or driving on land-mined potholed streets and again ask the Almighty to keep yourself safe at home because mortars may fall down.

Rule No. 2: Five to Five

As an employee, you may say I work eight to eight earning extra four hours overtime. Here is the same, you do your business at five to five earning bonus points to safe yourself from being in trouble.

In addition, meeting the deadlines is an appreciated behavior in the field of work but meeting this deadline of showing up at your shelter at 5pm and being awake at 5am is more dearly when you are in Mogadishu. No doubt, your family members are more worried about your whereabouts if you are out after 5pm because they know that you are at risk of being hit by stray bullets. Likewise, if you sleep after 5am, especially, when your area was at fire last night, for sure, you put your life at stake because Transitional Federal Government troops and their Ethiopians allies check the troubled areas after 5am. May be, for their short-sightedness, every person whom they come across in that area, especially youngsters, is their disguised last night's enemy. Thus, make sure you stay your shelter at 5pm and don not sleep after 5am

Rule No. 3: Beware of the environment you are in

 Taking precautions when in an insecure area is a wise conduct; however, in Mogadishu, alertness is an asset. For instance, If you are in TFG areas or NO MANS' land Try to use your eyes well  and check the  alley before you follow it because you are at risk of loosing your cell phone including all your belongings or in  an extreme case, you are being fired at.  On the other hand, if you are in an area of opposition gunmen, try to avoid uttering a word favoring to TFG because you may be easily labeled as a culprit, and you know your merit under a mob justice: you lose your life without hesitation because these guys think twice AFTER they kill you.

Rule No.  4: Know who you are chatting with

They say "chatting and laughing reliefs stress" but in Mogadishu, "chatting and laughing takes lives away" because everything is DIRTILY POLITICIZED or WRONGLY RELIGIONIZED. Even when you analyze a social issue, your analysis may annoy others. Remember, using a forked tongue is hypocritical conduct, thus, try to be as quiet as you can and let your answers be smartly: I don't know. 

Rule No. 5: Do not express yourself

Freedom of speech is a basic right but while in Mogadishu it is a basic annoyance and public disturbance. When you try to express your feelings about a so-called political issue, take into account that you already annoyed somebody else and your RED CARD is imminent without being YELLOW CARDED.

Rule No.  6: Keep Low Profile: 

Being somebody is a need that needs to be satisfied after other basic needs are met i.e. food, shelter, and of course the need to belong. But while in Mogadishu do not try satisfy this need other wise you are annoying some people. If you are already satisfied this need, Mogadishu is not your place; get find other places to entertain till things will become normal.

 Rule No. 7: Do not stare at anyone

Staring at people is not only an uncivilized behavior but it can be lethal: When in Mogadishu, if you stare at a soldier you may get shot because he has the pretext of labeling you "he is going to throw a bomb." And remember an evidence, of labeling you of "throwing a bomb" is not a big deal; they drop their bombs by you and easily tell that it was yours.

Likewise, if you stare at anyone else, perhaps, he might be a member of opposition gunmen aiming at a mission; then, no doubt you are at trouble under the pretext of "I suspected of him. This is how a lot of people are executed at mob justice and kangaroo court.

Yuusufbile A. Mohamed

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