Among the odd and sad Mogadishu stories, but not strange to the City’s recent history during Somali’s Civil War include one in which a man from Northwest Regions was kidnapped. The hostage then exchanged hands upon auction.

The new hostage-taker/owner was a religious and pious man, according to the hostage upon his release later. One day the hostage asked his new master, why such a sacred man was holding him hostage for ransom against his will and personal freedom?

The hostage keeper answered that according to the religion, there are two angels on the shoulders of human being, one counting the virtue and the other recording the wrong-doings of every person. How could I employ only one of them?

Luckily, the hostage had managed to escape during the outbreak of fighting in the vanity of the hostage keeper and got returned to Hargeisa with the help of a relief organization in Mogadishu at the time. Happy ending!

This story was related to me by a colleague, Osman,who met the former hostage in Hargeisa.

PS: correction. The hostage was a man with the nickname of Firdhis from Northeast (Puntland) – a true story.


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