“Mother Theresa of Somalia” Hawa Abdi and Daughter Deqo Mohamed on Healing Decades of War, Tragedy

democracynow democracynowPublished on Apr 16, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – As the twin bombings hit the Boston Marathon, deadlier blasts also ripped through the densely populated Somali capital of Mogadishu. Hours after car bombs and suicide bombers killed at least 16 people outside a court complex on Sunday, another car bomb detonated and killed Turkish nationals. In Somalia, unlike Boston, there were no highly trained emergency personnel on the scene or top-notch hospitals to treat victims. Since 1991, when the Somali government collapsed, aid groups fled the country and violence routinely interrupts everyday life. However, one Somali physician has made it her life mission to care for those worst hit by violence, poverty and sickness: Dr. Hawa Abdi is known as “the Mother Theresa of Somalia.” In her new memoir, “Keeping Hope Alive: One Woman: 90,000 Lives Changed,” Dr. Abdi explains why she established a hospital, school and shelter for internally displaced people just outside the war-torn capital of Mogadishu. Tens of thousands of displaced Somalis still live there today. She also recounts the difficulties she has encountered as one of the few female physicians in Somalia and her harrowing experience of being kidnapped by militants. Dr. Abdi joins us along with her daughter, Dr. Deqo Mohamed.

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