Video | Telling the stories of Somalia’s lost warriors

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Video | Telling the stories of Somalia’s lost warriors

From refugee to storyteller, a Danish Somali filmmaker challenges stereotypes about young Somalis – one film at a time.

September 11, 2018| Arlaadi Online

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In 1991, a year after civil war broke out in Somalia, Nasib Farah fled Mogadishu. He was 10 years old and travelling without his parents, who had sent him with a group of older asylum seekers, telling him to pretend they were his family.

“My parents simply wanted me to be safe. They wanted a better future for me,” he explains.

Armed with just a few phone numbers and four English words – “I am a refugee” – he escaped across the border to Ethiopia, before flying to Germany and eventually settling in Denmark.

As a refugee and a black Muslim, he had to grapple with inequality and discrimination, but went on to create a non-profit organisation focused on helping other young Somalis through tutoring and afterschool activities.


Then, wanting to tell the stories of the young people he met, Nasib started a community TV programme for the Somali community in Denmark. He began making documentaries he hoped would initiate deeper debates about integration, education, crime – and a topic many seemed to want to discuss – the reasons why some young Somalis were choosing to join armed groups. 

Lost Warrior, Nasib’s second documentary with Danish filmmaker Soren Steen Jespersen, tells the story of Mohammed, a young British Somali man deported from the UK to Somalia after serving a prison sentence for drug-related offences.

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Back in the country he fled at the age of three, Mohammed is recruited into the armed group al-Shabab. But he defects after witnessing acts of violence and the film picks up with him as he tries to live under the radar in Mogadishu while attempting to reunite with his wife and son in the UK. Read more Lost Warrior: Leaving al-Shabab


Credit: Aljazeera

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