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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 November, 2004, 13:33 GMT
Life in Somalia: Nimo's story
Eight residents of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, tell us what the new government's priorities should be and how they have survived 13 years of anarchy.

Scrap metal worker

Khat dealer


Bus driver




Nimo Ali Hassan

I started selling khat - a mild stimulant - two years ago when my husband divorced me.

I had to do something to support my two children.

It's a very dangerous business because most of my customers are gunmen.

Nimo Ali Hassan
Some men use whatever money they get to buy khat instead of looking after their families.
Twice, they have stolen my khat and my money. They pointed their guns at me and said they would kill me unless I gave them what they wanted.

I was terrified.

And the wholesaler - a woman - who supplies me did not understand and insisted that I still had to pay her.

Most of the khat dealers are women because there is nothing else to do.

I have never tried khat because I don't want to.

It's a bad thing but I have no choice.

Some men use whatever money they get to buy khat instead of looking after their families.

That's why I don't like it.

Khat must be fresh and it is flown in every day from Kenya.

For myself, I am afraid that a new government might regulate the khat trade but for Somalia, I think they should.

Also, if there were a government, I hope I would be able to find another job. I would prefer to do something else.

Or I might find a husband and then I could be a housewife.


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