SOMALIA – SOMALILAND – SOOMAALILAND

Centar grada-City centre

Centar grada-City centre

Dzamija u Hargeisi-A mosque in Hargeisa

Dzamija u Hargeisi-A mosque in Hargeisa

Mala dzamija-A small mosque

Mala dzamija-A small mosque

Pecinski crtezi-Rock paintings in Les Gaal caves 1

Pecinski crtezi-Rock paintings in Les Gaal caves 1

Pecinski crtezi-Rock paintings in Les Gaal caves 2

Pecinski crtezi-Rock paintings in Les Gaal caves 2

Pecinski crtezi-Rock paintings in Les Gaal caves 3

Pecinski crtezi-Rock paintings in Les Gaal caves 3

Pecinski crtezi-Rock paintings in Les Gaal caves

Pecinski crtezi-Rock paintings in Les Gaal caves

Pijaca zlata i novca-Gold and money market

Pijaca zlata i novca-Gold and money market

Pogled iz pecina na dolinu-A view of valley from the caves

Pogled iz pecina na dolinu-A view of valley from the caves

Sa cuvarem u pecini sa crtezima-With the body guard in Les Gaal caves

Sa cuvarem u pecini sa crtezima-With the body guard in Les Gaal caves

Simpatija-Affection

Simpatija-Affection

Sudbina u svojim rukama-Destiny in her own hands

Sudbina u svojim rukama-Destiny in her own hands

U aerodromskoj zgradi

U aerodromskoj zgradi

Vojnici-Somali soldiers

Vojnici-Somali soldiers

Aerodromska zgrada-The airport building

Aerodromska zgrada-The airport building

U centru glavnog grada-In the centre of the capital

U centru glavnog grada-In the centre of the capital

Ulicna pijaca-A street market

Ulicna pijaca-A street market

Zaigrani-Playful

Zaigrani-Playful

Stigao sam u ovu odvojenu somalijsku teritoriju iz obližnjeg Džibutija,
avionom sovjetske proizvodnje i mojih godina; ruski pilot u papučama i preko
merdevina ulazi u pilotsku kabinu, a desetine izuvenih somalijskih izbeglica
već leži po podu jer nema dovoljno mesta. Ipak, uspešno smo sleteli na
visoravan na kojoj leži glavni grad Hargeisa, s prijatnom klimom i još
prijatnijim ljudima.
Neposredno pored aerodroma, za slučaj prinudnog bekstva, nalazi se jedan od
retkih hotela koji pruža kakvu-takvu sigurnost. Tu se nalaze samo pripadnici
Ujedinjenih nacija i razni svetski pregovarači, koji pokušavaju da zemlju
vode ka relativnom i često neuspešnom miru.
Somalilend je ponosan na to što je odvojen i drugačiji od Somalije, koja je
već dugo zahvaćena opštom nestabilnošću, velikim siromaštvom i poznata po
organizovanim piratima koji napadaju brodove na izlazu iz Crvenog mora.
Život u Hargeisi je drugačiji, a Somalilend počinje da dobija obrise
organizovane države. Bio sam oduševljen pećinskim crtežima iz neolita, koji
u punom koloritu predstavljaju ljude, životinje i običaje tog vremena.
Otkrili su ih francuski arheolozi tek 2002. godine; do njih se teško dolazi,
a same pećine su prirodno uklesane u brdu i na visini koja je njihovim
stnovnicima pružala veličanstven pogled i kontrolu nad jednom velikom
dolinom. Zovu se Les Gaal, i, da se nalaze u Evropi, poput pećine Altamira
na severu Španije, bile bi prava turistička atrakcija.
U sveopštem šarenilu i haosu Hargeise izdvaja se pijaca zlata, para, kao i
svega ostalog što vam nije potrebno. Stotine miliona somalilendskih šilinga
u prljavim novčanicama leži u prašini i metalnim kavezima na ulici. Tu se
nalazi i zlatni nakit primitivne izrade, koji čuvaju i prodaju žene koje ne
žele da se slikaju čak po cenu da ništa ne kupite. Uopšte, svako slikanje
izaziva reakcije negodovanja, ali mi prividnu sigurnost pružaju dva moja
čuvara naoružani kalašnjikovima. Njih su mi dodelili u Ministarstvu turizma,
uz dozvolu za kretanje, što je ovde neophodno zbog mogućnih terorističkih
napada. Poslednji je bio nekoliko meseci pre mog dolaska, kada su dva
automobila-bombe ostavili kratere u centru grada. Ako izuzmemo takvu
neugodnost, ovde vas očekuju samo prijatna osećanja.
Manja neizvesnost daje svemu tome neodoljivu čar putovanja po ovakvim
predelima.

Februar 2009.
_________________________________________________________

I arrived in this separated Somali territory from neighbouring Djibouti, in
an airplane made in the Soviet Union and as old as myself. A Russian pilot
in flip-flops climbs into the cockpit up the ladder, while dozens of
barefoot Somali refugees are already lying on the floor as there is no space
left. Yet, we successfully land on a highland where the capital, Hargeisa,
is located; a city with a pleasant climate and even more pleasant people.
Close to the airport, in case of emergency, there is one of the very few
hotels which provides some safety if you have to get away quickly. Usually
it is only the UN envoys and various international negotiators that stay
there, most often taking this country towards relative and often
unsuccessful peace.
Somaliland is proud to be separated from Somalia and different from it;
Somalia proper has been unstable for a long time, enveloped in terrible
poverty and is famous for organised pirates who attack ships leaving the Red
Sea.
Life in Hargeisa is different and Somaliland is starting to look like an
organised state. I was delighted to see the cave drawings from the Neolithic
period, depicting in a full spectrum of colours, people, animals and customs
from that period. They were discovered only in 2002 by French
archaeologists; the caves are difficult to access and are naturally carved
into hills, at an altitude that must have provided their inhabitants with
magnificent views as well as the control over a large valley. They are
called Les Gaal, and were they based in Europe, like Altamira in the North
of Spain, they would become a famous tourist attraction.
In the all encompassing chaos and colourfulness of Hargeisa, one thing that
stands out is the market selling gold, money and everything else that you
don’t need. Dirty banknotes of hundreds of millions of Somaliland schillings
are scattered in the dust, or in metal cages on the street. Here you can
also find gold jewelery crafted in a primitive way, guarded and sold by
women who would not let their picture be taken, no matter what; even if it
meant that you would not buy anything from them. Generally any photo taking
is met with a lot of opposition, but my two bodyguards with kalashnikovs
give me a false sense of security. I was allocated them at the Ministry of
Tourism, together with a permit to move around, which is required because of
possible terrorist attacks. The last attack happened a few months before my
arrival when two car bombs left huge craters in the city centre. If you put
aside that sort of trouble, everything else awaiting you here is pleasant.
A degree of uncertainty only contributes to an irresistible charm linked to
travelling in regions like this one.

February 2009

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