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Thabit Tasted & Tried: Mogadishu Mayor Wins Hearts & Minds In The Face Of Tragedy
Somali News

Thabit Tasted & Tried: Mogadishu Mayor Wins Hearts & Minds In The Face Of Tragedy

When Thabit Abdi Mohamed assumed office as the Mayor of Mogadishu on the 15th of April this year he knew the task ahead was enormous and more demanding than his Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of Somalia in Washington. He was going back home to a city which was steadily on the rise but also facing security challenges in the face of an insurgency by the Alqaeda linked Somali militant Alshabaab. Despite that readiness of the security challenge ahead the October 14 bombing was beyond the imagination of many Somalis. This was to be the worst terror attack in the world in recent years with death toll hitting 300 plus and some 400 more injured. This is indeed the most immense disaster for a Mayor with a diplomat background and only in his eighth month in office. They say the strength of a man is exhibited during hard times and if how the Mayor tackled the Mogadishu truck bombing aftermath is anything to go by then by judgment of the Somali public the Mayor has come out heroic. Mohamed was on the ground zero of the attack at Zoobe area soon as the search and rescue efforts kicked off helping out the emergency response team of a city which by international standards is less equipped to deal with such an enormous disaster. A video of him in tears and appealing for Somalis to come to the aid of their fellow citizens sufficed on social media.Through the appeal many Somalis in Somalia and diaspora grasped for the first time that Mogadishu was dealing with a disaster of  an apocalyptic scale. "Before seeing this clip, I used to oppose the administration of Thabit, but now I have realised that he is a brave and empathy to his people" Ibrahim Abdulkadir reacted on twitter. Its been a sleepless three days for the Mayor according to those close to him. On day two the Mayor in a country with no emergency blood bank was at the Madina Hospital donating blood. The number of injured was alarming and a challenge to the six medical facilities dealing with the emergency. Mohamed would then send a passionate appeal to the public to come out in many and save lives by donating blood. And the response was positive. And the public poured their appreciation to the on hand role taken by the Mayor "Good work and we will never forget your reaction about the event! Thanks bro" Issa Bunka tweeted. He would lead and call out on the city's residents to come out in hundreds in one of the largest protests to be seen in Mogadishu ever since the civil war. Next would be at the voluntary information to oversee how desperate families were assisted to trace their missing kin. He would be seen at the Aden Abdulle International airport overseeing the airlifting the injured to Nairobi and Instanbul. Next meeting medical doctors deployed by Djibouti. "Thabit is a true leader. A true leader leads from the front. He has proved to be the Mayor that this city needs" Ali Abdi a Mogadishu resident told Radio Dalsan at a protest led by the Mayor. The young "digital" Mayor use of social media as a tool to crowd source is something many a communication expert will say worked well in this tragedy. And through the same social media Somalis have expressed their appreciation with many changing their Facebook profile to feature the photos of the Mayor.