A life is changed in the tent city on the outskirts of Mogadishu
Amino Hajj Umar, a 70 years old lady from Somalia, returns home after having both eyes operated on for Cataract at the Noor Dubai Camp in Mogadishu.
Amino lives with her husband and her grandchildren in Sayidka IDP, a refugee camp in Mogadishu. Her home, which she shares with her husband and 7 children, is a 3x4 foot make shift tent made of reused cloth and plastic.
Amino was blinded years ago by bilateral Cataract, a condition that clouds the natural lens in the eye and leads to the gradual deterioration of sight into a state of blindness.
"I feel like I was born today, I can see, I can see everything and I can walk by myself", said Amino as she walked us through hundreds of tents at the refugee camp, wearing the protective sunglasses provided by the Noor Dubai camp.
As the drought started, Amino Hajj and her family were forced to leave their hometown in the Shabelley region and move to the refugee camp in Mogadishu.
“The locals here call this place Tent City” she explained as she showed us around the Camp.
“People here don’t have much; it’s difficult to find food. Days pass without finding a decent meal to eat. Our situation here is very difficult”
Walking through the tight passages between tents, we could hear the residents talking. Some tents were so damaged that we could see the people living in them. All the amenities that we take for granted were nowhere to be found. They did not posses toilets or electricity or even fresh water. They tried to find some semblance of peace in this temporary city. Barefooted children ran around between tents as the women used sand and stone to clean the dirt off their cloths.
It is heart breaking, the way people live in the refugee camps of Mogadishu. No one deserves to live this way.
As we approached Amino Hajj’s tent, we were greeted by her husband and the 7 children she shares the tent with. They were all pleased to see her again.
Amino had carried back the box of dates given to her at the camp hoping to share it with her family. The box of long lasting dried fruit would probably last for months as food was difficult to come by.
“These are difficult times” she said. “I’m glad I had the chance to have the surgery done, I have hope for a better future for my children and I want to see them grow. Once the war is over, we will go back home and I will see my family grow, I can see hope now”.