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Fragile peace bolsters Somali Olympic hopes
Runners in war-torn Mogadishu are training religiously, vying for a spot in London's upcoming Summer Olympics.
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2012 12:25

For many in Somalia's war-torn capital, Mogadishu, running was something that was done only when fleeing bullets or exploding shells. But with a relative peace having been restored to the city, the few men and women comprising the Somali Athletics Federation train religiously, holding out hope for a wild-card place in this year's Olympic Games in London.

During the time of al-Shabaab, a Somali Islamic militant group that ruled Mogadishu until African Union forces ousted them last August, runners such as Abdinasir Ibrahim - the Somali 5,000-metre champion - would dash across the front line in order to train, hiding behind moving vehicles as they traversed the conflict.

For female runners, training was even more difficult. Leila, a slight 15-year-old, had to hide her tracksuit beneath a burka until she reached a compound where she was secure enough to run. "The stadiums were closed because of the fighting," she remembers.

The venue for their training is scarred by the years of fighting that enveloped Mogadishu. Konis Stadium was held by al-Shabaab until the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) retook the city.

Olympic hopes in Mogadishu were dealt a crushing blow last April when Aden Yabarow Wiish, the head of the Somali Olympic Committee, was killed in an attack by a female suicide bomber at the National Theatre. But despite this, the runners continue to train, hoping for a spot in London's games.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
In Mogadishu's bullet-ridden Konis stadium, a small group of motivated runners have finally found a place in which to train for the Olympics.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
During Al-Shabaab's reign in Mogadishu, the stadium was used as a base by the Islamic militant group.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
Britain's Mo Farah, the world 5,000-metre champion, was born in Mogadishu and has supported the the Somali Athletics Federation by donating running gear.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
Abdinasir Ibrahim, the Somali 5,000-metre champion, has been running in these worn-out trainers for years, and used to cross the front lines in order to train.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
At age 22, Abdinasir grew up during the war that has engulfed Somalia and its capital since 1992. Bullet holes riddle the window of his bedroom.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
African Union forces retook Mogadishu from Al-Shabaab last August, but a large military presence remains throughout the capital.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
Since the outbreak of conflict here, Mogadishu's main stadium has been occupied by Pakistani peace-keepers, Ethiopian forces, Al-Shabaab and now the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
The capital bears the heavy scars of 18 years of conflict, but normal life is slowly returning to the city. Runners drink fruit juices like the ones at this stall as a replacement for energy drinks.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
With the new peace, residents of Mogadishu are returning to the Lido beach, swimming in the warm Indian Ocean and running along its white sands.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
In a city where an informal curfew was imposed at 4 pm, daily life now carries on into the night.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
When Al-Shabaab controlled the city, 18-year-old Amal Mohamed Bashiir received death threats when she used to train.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
Now that the militants have been driven from the city, girls and women are less restrained by strict cultural practices that were imposed on them.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
This group of four girls are now free to train, hoping to compete in the London Olympic games.


Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
With the relative peace, running is just one part of a new hope enveloping Mogadishu. The city's mayor, himself a former Londoner, is keen to promote the sport.



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captions:
In Mogadishu\(***)s bullet-ridden Konis stadium, a small group of motivated runners have finally found a place in which to train for the Olympics.;*;During Al-Shabaab\(***)s reign in Mogadishu, the stadium was used as a base by the Islamic militant group.;*;Britain\(***)s Mo Farah, the world 5,000-metre champion, was born in Mogadishu and has supported the the Somali Athletics Federation by donating running gear.;*;Abdinasir Ibrahim, the Somali 5,000-metre champion, has been running in these worn-out trainers for years, and used to cross the front lines in order to train.;*;At age 22, Abdinasir grew up during the war that has engulfed Somalia and its capital since 1992. Bullet holes riddle the window of his bedroom.;*;African Union forces retook Mogadishu from Al-Shabaab last August, but a large military presence remains throughout the capital.;*;Since the outbreak of conflict here, Mogadishu\(***)s main stadium has been occupied by Pakistani peace-keepers, Ethiopian forces, Al-Shabaab and now the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).;*;The capital bears the heavy scars of 18 years of conflict, but normal life is slowly returning to the city. Runners drink fruit juices like the ones at this stall as a replacement for energy drinks.;*;With the new peace, residents of Mogadishu are returning to the Lido beach, swimming in the warm Indian Ocean and running along its white sands.;*;In a city where an informal curfew was imposed at 4 pm, daily life now carries on into the night.;*;When Al-Shabaab controlled the city, 18-year-old Amal Mohamed Bashiir received death threats when she used to train.;*;Now that the militants have been driven from the city, girls and women are less restrained by strict cultural practices that were imposed on them.;*;This group of four girls are now free to train, hoping to compete in the London Olympic games.;*;With the relative peace, running is just one part of a new hope enveloping Mogadishu. The city(***)s mayor, himself a former Londoner, is keen to promote the sport. Daylife ID:
1342443618530
Photographer:
Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore;*;Phil Moore
Image Source:
Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Somalia Olympics teamhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-teamen-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Mon, 16 Jul 2012 13:00:22 GMTMon, 16 Jul 2012 13:13:55 GMT http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=05PcfWFarA4JsIn Mogadishu's bullet-ridden Konis stadium, a small group of motivated runners have finally found a place in which to train for the Olympics.Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=05PcfWFarA4JsPhil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesIn Mogadishu's bullet-ridden Konis stadium, a small group of motivated runners have finally found a place in which to train for the Olympics. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0gNgcK1cK8fuPDuring Al-Shabaab's reign in Mogadishu, the stadium was used as a base by the Islamic militant group.Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0gNgcK1cK8fuPPhil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesDuring Al-Shabaab's reign in Mogadishu, the stadium was used as a base by the Islamic militant group. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=09Fz7OP8vB9GH

Britain's Mo Farah, the world 5,000-metre champion, was born in Mogadishu and has supported the the Somali Athletics Federation by donating running gear.

Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=09Fz7OP8vB9GHPhil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Britain's Mo Farah, the world 5,000-metre champion, was born in Mogadishu and has supported the the Somali Athletics Federation by donating running gear.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=082Hghf3Eh3A3

Abdinasir Ibrahim, the Somali 5,000-metre champion, has been running in these worn-out trainers for years, and used to cross the front lines in order to train.

Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=082Hghf3Eh3A3Phil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Abdinasir Ibrahim, the Somali 5,000-metre champion, has been running in these worn-out trainers for years, and used to cross the front lines in order to train.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=00D9c1M2J56Qe

At twenty-two, Abdinasir has grown up during the war that has engulfed Somalia and its capital since 1992. Bullet holes riddle the window of his bedroom.

Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=00D9c1M2J56QePhil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

At twenty-two, Abdinasir has grown up during the war that has engulfed Somalia and its capital since 1992. Bullet holes riddle the window of his bedroom.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0gFHe9tciFaNIAfrican Union forces retook Mogadishu from Al-Shabaab last August, but a large military presence remains throughout the capital.Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0gFHe9tciFaNIPhil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesAfrican Union forces retook Mogadishu from Al-Shabaab last August, but a large military presence remains throughout the capital. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0bDg6qY8iQcBy

Since the outbreak of conflict here, Mogadishu's main stadium has been occupied by Pakistani peace-keepers, Ethiopian forces, Al-Shabaab and now the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0bDg6qY8iQcByPhil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Since the outbreak of conflict here, Mogadishu's main stadium has been occupied by Pakistani peace-keepers, Ethiopian forces, Al-Shabaab and now the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0eax48b8Uk0LL

The capital bears the heavy scars of 18 years of conflict, but normal life is slowly returning to the city. Runners drink fruit juices like the ones at this stall as a replacement for energy drinks.

Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0eax48b8Uk0LLPhil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

The capital bears the heavy scars of 18 years of conflict, but normal life is slowly returning to the city. Runners drink fruit juices like the ones at this stall as a replacement for energy drinks.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=01tQ7nye5J369With the new peace, residents of Mogadishu are returning to the Lido beach, swimming in the warm Indian Ocean and running along its white sands.Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=01tQ7nye5J369Phil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesWith the new peace, residents of Mogadishu are returning to the Lido beach, swimming in the warm Indian Ocean and running along its white sands. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0fMBbDlg9Weqr

In a city where an informal curfew was imposed at 4 pm, daily life now carries on into the night.

Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0fMBbDlg9WeqrPhil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

In a city where an informal curfew was imposed at 4 pm, daily life now carries on into the night.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0fnj3EdaQY97O

When Al-Shabaab controlled the city, 18-year-old Amal Mohamed Bashiir received death threats when she used to train.

Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0fnj3EdaQY97OPhil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

When Al-Shabaab controlled the city, 18-year-old Amal Mohamed Bashiir received death threats when she used to train.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=040KaZyg85fdW

Now that the militants have been driven from the city, girls and women are less restrained by strict cultural practices that were imposed on them.

Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=040KaZyg85fdWPhil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Now that the militants have been driven from the city, girls and women are less restrained by strict cultural practices that were imposed on them.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=09CL1pG1oRgbMThis group of four girls are now free to train, hoping to compete in the London Olympic games.Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=09CL1pG1oRgbMPhil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesThis group of four girls are now free to train, hoping to compete in the London Olympic games. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0bNb6y9aOs5Ig

With the relative peace, running is just one part of a new hope enveloping Mogadishu. Mogadishu's mayor, himself a former Londoner, is keen to promote the sport.

Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Somalia-Olympics-team?image_id=0bNb6y9aOs5IgPhil MooreAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

With the relative peace, running is just one part of a new hope enveloping Mogadishu. Mogadishu's mayor, himself a former Londoner, is keen to promote the sport.



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