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Everything posted by Archdemos

  1. Wow i didn't know things were this bad. Good to back on SOL. Sorry to post such a downer of a thread, although I'm sure some of the facts stated are way off. I don't know why but this reads like a fierce attack on the community.
  2. BARBER shops are excellent places for gossip. Hassan Ali’s place in Kentish Town is no different. The north Londoner arrived in Britain from Somalia with dreams of becoming a mechanic. But he was good at cutting hair: you do whatever work you can, he says. Most Somalis—Britain’s largest refugee population—do not work. They are among the poorest, worst-educated and least-employed in Britain. In a country where other refugees have flourished, why do Somalis do so badly? The first Somalis to arrive in Britain, over a century ago, were economic migrants. Merchant seamen settled in cities with docks: Cardiff, Liverpool and London. As civil war ravaged Somalia in the 1990s, refugees flocked to Britain. In 1999, the high-water mark, 7,495 Somalis arrived (11% of the refugees that arrived in Britain that year). Since then, the influx has slowed (see first chart); it still leaves a large community. The 2011 census identified 101,370 people in England and Wales who were born in Somalia. Poverty is their first problem. Over 80% of Somali-speaking pupils qualify for free school meals. In Waltham Forest, a borough in east London, home to nearly 4,000 Somalis, 73% live in households on benefits. More than 50% of British Somalis rent from local councils, the highest proportion of any foreign-born population. In nearby Tower Hamlets 2010 data showed that Somalis were twice as likely as white Britons to be behind with the rent. The cost of their economic marginalisation hurts them, and is a toll on the public sector, too. Education looks an unlikely escape route. Overcrowded houses mean children have nowhere to do their homework. In 2010-11 around 33% of Somali children got five good GCSEs, the exams taken at 16, compared with 59% of Bangladeshi pupils and 78% of Nigerian ones. Parents unable to speak English struggle. They see their children move up a year at school and assume they are doing well (in Somalia poor performers are held back). Their offspring, roped in as translators, are in no hurry to disabuse them. This helps to explain the pitiful employment rates among Britain’s Somalis (see second chart). Just one in ten is in full-time work. Many Somali households are headed by women who came to Britain without their husbands. Fitting work around child care is a struggle. Without work, Somali men while away their days chewing khat, a mild stimulative leaf. Awale Olad, a Somali councillor in London, supports the government’s recent decision to ban the drug. But others fear it will needlessly criminalise a generation of men. Religion, however, is an overstated problem. It is true that, like their Bangladeshi and Pakistani counterparts, some young Somalis are embracing stricter forms of Islam. Amina Ali, who hopes to stand as an MP at the next election, worries when she sees girls of three wearing headscarves. People can respect Islam without being so conservative, she says. But religion unites young Somalis with other young Muslims, says Ismail Einashe, a journalist. A few are radicalised, but most are not. This cocktail of poverty and unemployment dogs Somalis elsewhere too. In 2009 they were the least-employed group in Denmark. The Norwegian government is so worried about its Somali community it wants research done on their plight. Even discounting such factors as religion, age and experience, compared with other black Africans in Britain, Somalis face an “ethnic penalty” when job-hunting. Their disadvantages are clear. But Britain is rightly perceived as a country in which it is relatively easy to set up businesses; it also offers the hope of a warm welcome with its large Somali and Muslim population. This should bode well for Somalis. Many are hopeful. Somalis want their children to succeed, so growing numbers are hiring private tutors (see article). In 2000 just one Somali teenager in the London borough of Camden passed five GCSEs with good grades. To improve matters, the council and others set up the Somali Youth Development Resource Centre, which mentors students and lends them books. Last year the figure rose to 59%. Abdikadir Ahmed, who works there, says his organisation encourages people to put the entrepreneurial skills they learn in gangs to better use. He works with Somalis locked up in Feltham prison, a young-offenders jail. Their numbers are dropping, he reckons. Somalis played little part in the summer riots of 2011. This investment reflects a deeper change. For years many Somalis kept their suitcases packed, ready to return to Africa for good, says Mr Olad. Firm in the belief that they would soon be on the move, there was little point in putting down deep roots, or encouraging their children to do so. But the current generation of Somalis grew up in Britain. For them a permanent return to Somalia holds less appeal. Young British Somalis still embrace their nomadic heritage. But now they seek a dual identity, able to flit between two homelands and, they hope, to make the best of both. Source:
  3. AUN, very upsetting story and to think this lad had only been the country a very short time before he departed. Imagine that, his last act on this earth was to save a life. An incredibly unselfish act
  4. I don't see this happening anytime soon. The best we can hope for is some kind of federal system with more power being taken away from the centre, but still under a national executive. You have a new generation of people in Somaliland who haven't known anything but Somaliland, who are also fiercely nationalistic. Any government that attempts to mess with that dream will lose confidence overnight. A gradual process that attempts to address the underlying concerns and grievances is what is needed. In short true national reconciliation. The future of all Somalis is linked though, that much i do know. Inshallah provided the south continues to gain the upper hand in re-establishing the state, then there is a real possibility where we could become leaders in Africa for a truly indigenous forms of government that reflects the cultural heritage of the land. Then again this could all be a pipe dream.
  5. This one here best represents the long road trips I've enjoyed this summer. Takes a while to get into:)
  6. Apophis;865835 wrote: I'm a semi regular user of the Piccadilly Line and I'm always impressed how neat and compact the Bromton is but cycling in London is like playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded revolver, not pretty! Yeah allhamdullilah no major issues as of yet. I find its women drivers are the ones to be extra careful around, they literally have no spacial awareness. Bloody frightening at times. I was taking a right turn at a roundabout with my hand extended. I was also wearing my helmet, and high visibility jacket but this lady thought it wise to go around me. I'm also a driver but its only until i took to biking that i realised that most drivers see cyclists as a nuisance. There's a major lack of respect there. This video just highlights some of the everyday occurrences. Never undertake a bus or you'll need an undertaker yourself.
  7. Apophis;865644 wrote: A fellow London underground user? Yes indeed:) I can be found on the central line in west london. This little beauty is incredible, fits under my desk at work with no problems. Its also managed to be a great convo starter with the directors at work. "So David what route did you take this morning, oh yeah...... " Yes I'm a hopeless sycophant.
  8. LOL what a gimmick. People need to get this, my best purchase of 2012. Folding Brompton bike.
  9. I'm off to Dar es salaam/ Zanizibar/Arusha and Mogadisho in early 2013. Inshallah cannae wait. First time in the capital. I'll be hosted by some great Xamari friends. Look forward to posting some pics but its primarily a business trip. I commend my brother Alpha on his change of heart.
  10. Another incredible Saturday night. Mo's desire and will made sure he would not be passed until the line. The country really is basking in Olympic glory. This man is legend and a perfect example for kids from all races. Hopefully he has flung the door wide open for young Somali kids who can now look at Mo and think i can do it too. Great night. Britain and Somalia are very proud tonight.
  11. I used to frequent his restaurant in london. Top bloke also.
  12. You should've yelled mzee Ibrahim from the top of your voice lol. He hasnt changed much still looks the same. Incidentally i'm planning a trip back to the mother land in the new year with a friend. I'll be in contact for tips and lo down on Dar. The male Somali athlete has potential. With correct training and nutrition he could get somewhere.
  13. AUN Samia, that was heart wrenching. I simply never knew. Bile is a legend.
  14. Nothing much mate, whats happening with you. Have you been able to catch any Olympic events. Seems to be a good games so far. Looking forward the 5k final myself.
  15. Great commentary on the BBC by Steve Cram and Brendan Foster, you could see what it meant to them also. Yes Yes where is Lazy G! As we would chant on the terraces, Who are ya! Who are ya!
  16. What a night, I've lost my voice. A very mature and authoritative run by Mo. I expect him to go on and double up next weekend in the 5km. Queen Lizzy will probably knight him. Arise Sir MO of Feltham. Great night for the minorities with the ginger cocky coolness that is Greg Rutherford also winning. I hope Mo goes on to inspire an entire generation of Somali athletes.
  17. Trevor Nelson and his knack for stating the blimmin obvious. Huw Edwards and Hazel Irvine were also very poor, content with regurgitating some mundane and archaic facts. Poor commentary throughout. I really liked Danny Boyles depicti onof Britain past and present, even though it was a little politically correct. Queen Lizzy rocked the show.
  18. Ramadan seems to be flying past us as usual. Already day 3. Anyway oats do the trick for me and provide enough fuel for the day. I do find myself eating less than usual though. Its also not too bad at work either. I conserve energy by making sure i only visit the priniter twice a day. My colleagues do not like me much for this. I find the busier you make yourself the less you think about food. Seems to be working.
  19. Just saw my dads account and contact details. Eye opening stuff.
  20. I'm a big fan, with him at the forefront UCID have a good chance. Ramadan kareem to all the special SOL'ers btw. Good times
  21. With minimal consultation, governments and local authorities are signing away huge tracts of land for lease on the cheap. Now communities are raising their voices in opposition to these projects that bring little local development. The ruins of a dispossessed community in Kiboga, Uganda/Photo/SVEN TORFINN/THE NEW YORK TIMES The Nguruman Escarpment is one of global tourism's secrets. Rising from the arid and salty wastes of Lake Magadi as the Rift Valley heads south out of Kenya is a steeply rising expanse of yellow-fever acacia thickets and vast savannah meadows. At its northern edge, it overlooks the Serengeti plains from a height of 2,000m. It feels as if God installed a private balcony to gaze over creation. Visits are by invitation. Bill Gates has been here; Kofi Annan stayed here while mediating the Kenya crisis in 2008; and Kenya's prime minister Raila Odinga has used it as a retreat. In the shadow of the Ngurumans lies a darker reality: the dispossession of a Maasai community to secure this paradise. The Olkiramatian Group Ranch, a community of about 8,000 people, faces eviction following a legal battle with Nguruman Ltd, the company that owns the escarpment property. In 1996, during a severe drought, the community's herders took their livestock up the escarpment. The northern edge of the escarpment has traditionally been used for dry season grazing. On that occasion, however, they found their access paths blocked. A few days later, they received a court writ accusing them of trespass and charging them with destruction of grassland valued at almost $2m. Recently, a court in Kericho ruled in favour of Nguruman Ltd and its sole director, Hermanus Phillipus Steyn. The ruling meant that if they were unable to pay the damages, some 3,000 families resident in Olkiramatian Group Ranch and the neighbouring Shompole Group Ranch face eviction from their homes. The land grab had started in 1986 when Steyn, a South African investor, along with 14 officials of Narok and Olkejuado county councils – the two local authorities under whose jurisdiction the Ngurumans fall – obtained the title deed to a small ranch known as Kamorora, on which the lodge sits. Kamorora had been illegally registered. However, over the course of the next few years, Steyn quietly bought out his co-directors in Nguruman Ltd. As sole proprietor, he was able to dictate terms, preventing the surrounding communities from accessing the escarpment. In Kenya, such stories are common. Presidents and their homeboys settle their people in new lands, saving a chunk for themselves. They are then reluctant to implement land reforms that would secure individual and communal land rights or deal with historical dispossession. These were some of the underlying issues that led to the bloodletting following the botched 2007 presidential elections. The tension between a deregulated land regime and claims to territory from marginalised ethnic groups such as the Maasai has defined much of Kenya's politics. It is perhaps because of this raw domestic competition over land that it has escaped relatively unscathed from the bigger phenomenon sweeping Africa: the global land grab. Over the past decade Africa has experienced unprecedented pressure from foreign investors seeking cheap agricultural land. The figures are imprecise, collated by activist groups without verification from state authorities, but point to the scale of the problem. A review of data from several national reports, together with surveys by the African Union, the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank, suggests Africa has effectively given away some $100bn of land since 2000. The international market price of land is, of course, subject to huge dispute – not least because of the lack of reliable national valuation systems. Market prices for land sold or leased in Africa vary spectacularly. For example, an acre (0.4ha) of land in Kitengela, just outside Nairobi, sells for a minimum of $10,000 an acre, yet there are reports of land in the Tana Delta, where Qatari companies are planning a rice project, being leased for as little as $3 an acre. In South Africa, tracts in the Winelands can change hands for as much as R500,000 ($60,000) an acre but sell for as little as R700 in the Karoo. In Ghana, land prices have escalated sharply over the past two decades and plots in the Eastern Region, north of Accra, are sold on long leases for $40,000 an acre. Leases in Nigeria are generally more expensive still. Leases around urban centres such as Lagos and Abuja are among the most expensive in the world. With growing activism and laws in Africa and beyond constraining the operations of mining and oil conglomerates, the trade in land and agricultural commodities is becoming the last frontier for buccaneer capitalism. A recent report by the International Development Law Organisation found that, globally, "in 2009 alone, transactions covering at least 56.6m ha were concluded or under negotiation, more than 13 times the average amount of land opened to cultivation annually between 1961 and 2007. Most of the 2009 deals were in Africa, where 39.7m ha changed hands – more than the cultivated areas of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland combined." Wall street goes farming Demand for African farmland has boomed since the early 2000s. Global food prices have trebled because of harvest failures and the growth of biofuel production, which has displaced food crops. Reinforcing these pressures, says journalist Fred Pearce in his book The Land Grabbers, was the credit crunch of 2008. This prompted Wall Street investment banks like Goldman Sachs to shift risk from the sagging sub-prime markets into commodities exchanges. Between 2003 and 2008, notes Pearce, investment in commodity exchanges rose from $13bn to $300bn. At the same time, Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar went looking for cheap farmland in Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Africa to..........$00bn-of-land-501814588.htmlbn-of-land-501814588.html
  22. It always pains me to see children working, but as Malika points out its better than many alternatives. Wishing the wee one all the best.
  23. nice motor Adam, perfect for a place like London