x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Mogadishu Rising

This event occurred on
November 26, 2014
10:00am - 4:00pm EAT
(UTC +3hrs)
Mogadishu, Banaadir

2012 saw the rebirth of Mogadishu amidst a fragile peace for the first time in 23 years. In 2013, we reflected on the past, present and future, and rediscovered Somalia. In 2014 we will highlight the bold innovation, creative ideas and fearless individuals that are bringing Mogadishu back onto the world stage. Somalis are returning home, construction is booming, and new businesses are lining the busy streets.

Join us as we celebrate #MogadishuRising.

Beach View Restaurant and Banquet Hall
Wadada Liido
Mogadishu, Banaadir
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Abdi Aynte

Abdi Aynte is the founder and executive director of Heritage Institute for Policy Studies, Somalia’s first think tank, based in Mogadishu. He’s an award-winning journalist with 10 years of experience, working for some of the best names in the industry including Al Jazeera and BBC. As a widely published writer, Aynte’s articles have been published by the New York Times, Foreign Affairs and African Arguments. Aynte has advised the UN, AMISOM and a number of international organizations on Somalia.

AbdulFatah Adam

AbdulFatah is focused on the rebuilding of Mogadishu, bringing his experience as an architect to the redevelopment of one of the world’s most destroyed cities. As Mogadishu emerges from decades of conflict, AbdulFatah says it is important to understand culture when building infrastructure. He will showcase the history of Mogadishu, how it was once the most beautiful city in Africa, and share his vision of how Somalia can regain its former glory.

Abla Elmi

Initially designated as a school project, the Mogadishu Diaries developed into a much sought after video series as it caught the attention of the Somali public, especially its youthful fraternity starved off original Somali stories. The six part series takes viewers through episodes that cover among others; an introduction to the history of Somalia, arrival in Mogadishu, the arts and cultural scene, Diaspora kids, inspirational people and a parody of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (titled ‘the Fresh Prince of Mogadishu’).

Ahmed Haji Mohamed

Forced to grow up in Ethiopia due to the conflict in Somalia, Ahmed found a calling in martial arts. He began studying Tae Kwon Do and quickly moved up the ranks. Returning to Mogadishu, Ahmed hoped to find support for martial arts, but realized he would need to start a school himself. Ahmed now trains dozens of youth and has found it an effective means to teach discipline and keep kids out of trouble.

Deqo Mohamed

Dr. Deqo Aden Mohamed is the daughter of Dr. Hawa Abdi. She was born in Mogadishu and grew up feeding the refugees her mother was harboring. Today, she works full time on the ground in Somalia. She leads all operations in the Hawa Abdi Village in Lower Shabelle, while ensuring the safety of the 300 families who have found permanent shelter in the community. She leads the 400-bed Dr. Hawa Abdi General Hospital, the Waqaf-Diblawe Primary School, a women’s education centre, and a smart farming agriculture project.

Iman Icar

Iman Icar served with the Benadir Regional Administration as the Deputy Mayor of Mogadishu, working on the redevelopment of the city with a long term vision. Iman believes that to transform the city it is essential to transform the minds of residents. “I realized one day how we could not do our jobs because we were all traumatized. People would just fight and hurt and undermine one another,” he said.

Nick Kay

Nicholas Kay is a British diplomat. He serves as the UN Special Representative for Somalia, working closely with the Somali government on local affairs. Kay served as the United Kingdom's Regional Coordinator for Southern Afghanistan and Head of the Provincial Reconstruction Team for Helmand Province from 2006 to 2007. He acted as the British Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2007 to 2010. From 2010 to 2012, Kay was also the British Ambassador to Sudan.

Nimco Sabco Mohamed

Nimco Sabco Mohamed is a feminist and a social activist. She has become the go-to woman within her community for dispute resolution and a champion of women’s rights. Sabco will talk about the women’s movement in Somalia throughout history and perform baranbuur, a form of Somali poetry. She will emphasize the current situation for women and what is needed to develop a new generation of women leaders.

Qadar 'Keyo' Mohamed

Born and raised in Mogadishu, Keyo started his music career singing songs by his favorite Somali artists at local parties and weddings. Audiences loved his voice and often told him he sounded better than the original artists. Two years ago at age 17, Keyo began writing his own songs and performing them for eager crowds. He will talk about his dream of filing the gap of young, prominent local Somali artists and his plan to become the Chris Brown of Somalia.

Sadik Adawe

Sadik grew up in Mogadishu and during the prolonged conflict, fled to Yemen by boat as an illegal migrant, eventually making it to Saudi Arabia where he found temporary refuge. After being deported to Yemen, Sadik fought to attend college and graduated with an international business degree. He decided to return home to Somalia to help his country rebuild, starting the Bahnano Diagnostic Center and creating jobs.

Zahra Qorane

Zahra snaps pictures of the beauty and life of Mogadishu she experiences with her mobile phone and shares them with the world. Zahra will talk about why she choses to only post positive images of her city and why she feels it is important to challenge the image portrayed by mainstream media. One of her photos garnered international attention with a feature in the Guardian.

Organizing team


Mogadishu, Somalia


Washington, DC, United States
  • Sebastian Lindstrom
    Communications Coordinator / Head of Camel Milk
  • Alicia Sully
    Rainmaker / Cinematographer
  • Mohamed Mascud
    Mogadishu Magic Man
  • Samira Duale
    TEDx Adventure Coordinator
  • Zakaria Dahir
    Sound Engineer / Transport Facilitator
  • Osoble
    Mascud Wingman + Activator
  • Abdulaziz Billow
    Media Outreach Master
  • Bashir Peace