Hargeisa and Berbera, Somaliland

“Hi, where are you from?”
–“I’m from Canada.”
“Oh, I’ve always wanted to go to China!”
Mohammed pulled me into a juice shop and ordered two orange juices. “We’re new best friends! What is your phone number?”

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 Hargeisa, Somaliland

Chaos. Guns. Lawlessness. Extremists. Al-Shabaab. Pirates.

None of these words describe Somaliland in any shape or form. On the other hand, those words do describe Somalia, the neighbouring country which Somaliland separated from in 1991 with zero official recognition from the rest of the world. With no one high up willing to differentiate between the two, Somaliland suffers from being grouped in with Somalia’s problems, and is blanketed by myriad travel advisories that really should just cover the latter. Also, many people simply don’t even realise this place exists.

4G. Fibre optic. Cashless society.

These buzzwords, on the other hand, do apply to Somaliland.
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