On October 14, Mogadishu suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent global history. A truck packed with military-grade explosives detonated near a gas tanker in the city's center, killing 300 and seriously injuring hundreds more. That number is expected to rise in the coming days as citizens and government officials clear through the rubble from the blast radius, reportedly spanning hundreds of meters (authorities suspect that extremist group al-Shabaab are responsible for the attack on Mogadishu, though the group have not yet taken responsibility).
When an act of terrorism in a majority Muslim place like Mogadishu occurs, the coverage is far different than if the event had occurred in a western country. Muslims are the most victimized group by acts of terrorism, but these horrific events do not receive the same quantity or quality of coverage as attacks in places like Manchester or London. Such a culture of information risks confirming prejudices of Islamic countries as inherently violent and troubled, and the citizens as enemies of civilization. It is key that we actively combat the biases that are broadcast in mass media, internet, and in-person, and that's a full-time effort for anyone who wants to honestly label themselves as an ally.
But there are recovery efforts in Mogadishu right now that need our immediate attention.
Dr. Sadiyo Said has launched a crowdfunding campaign benefitting the registered charity Eva Organization for Women. "[The organization's] aim is to empower people who are in charitable need, in particular women, their families and young people to have a positive impact on the world in which they live."
Somali Mental Health Foundation is a non-government organization (NGO) based in the United States and operating across Somalia. Its focus on "severe mental health disorders" will be critical to bring awareness and treatment for survivors of the attack combatting PTSD.