The Mayor of Mogadishu by Andrew Harding
A Story of Chaos and Redemption in the Ruins of Somalia

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While corruption still prevails, Harding reveals enormous goodwill in the beleaguered people who have returned to rebuild their beloved country. A beautifully rendered narrative and characterization portrays the soul of a country few Westerners truly understand.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

In The Mayor of Mogadishu, one of the BBC’s most experienced foreign correspondents, Andrew Harding, reveals the tumultuous life of Mohamoud “Tarzan” Nur - an impoverished nomad who was abandoned in a state orphanage in newly independent Somalia, and became a street brawler and activist. When the country collapsed into civil war and anarchy, Tarzan and his young family became part of an exodus, eventually spending twenty years in north London.

But in 2010 Tarzan returned, as Mayor, to the unrecognizable ruins of a city now almost entirely controlled by the Islamist militants of Al Shabab. For many in Mogadishu, and in the diaspora, Tarzan became a galvanizing symbol of courage and hope for Somalia. But for others, he was a divisive thug, who sank beneath the corruption and clan rivalries that continue, today, to threaten the country’s revival.

The Mayor of Mogadishu is a rare an insider’s account of Somalia’s unraveling, and an intimate portrayal of one family’s extraordinary journey.

 

About Andrew Harding

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ANDREW HARDING has been living and working abroad, as a foreign correspondent, for the past 25 years, in Russia, the Caucasus, Asia and Africa. He has been visiting Somalia since 2000. His television and radio reports for BBC News have won him international recognition, including an Emmy, an award from Britain’s Foreign Press Association, and other awards in France, the United States and Hong Kong. He currently lives in Johannesburg with his family.
 
Published November 29, 2016 by St. Martin's Press. 301 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Mayor of Mogadishu
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Sep 19 2016

While corruption still prevails, Harding reveals enormous goodwill in the beleaguered people who have returned to rebuild their beloved country. A beautifully rendered narrative and characterization portrays the soul of a country few Westerners truly understand.

Read Full Review of The Mayor of Mogadishu: A Sto... | See more reviews from Kirkus

The Economist

Above average
on Nov 17 2016

Mr Harding poignantly describes the churning of emotions that many migrants (not just Somalis) experience as they are tossed and tugged between competing cultures.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by JOSHUA HAMMER on Jan 06 2017

...Harding’s book captures both the fragile hopes and the appalling violence of Somalia. It also conjures the ambiguity of its central character, a self-mythologizing showman trailed by a whiff of corruption and not averse to shading the truth.

Read Full Review of The Mayor of Mogadishu: A Sto... | See more reviews from NY Times

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