The Agony of Somalia

It can be easy to let the abstract nature of research obscure the relevant aspects of your work. When you work in areas like development that abstraction can come as a cost, and sometimes reminders are in order. To that end, I point you to musician K'Naan's NY Times account of returning to his homeland, Somalia, during the middle of a major famine (previously covered here):
...And then come the makeshift camps set up for the many hungering displaced Somalis. They are the reason I am here. If my voice was an instrument, then I needed it to be an amplifier this time. If my light was true, then I needed it to show its face here, where it counts. Nothing I have ever sung will matter much if I can’t be the mouth of the silenced. But will the world have ears for them, too?
I find the homeless Somalis’ arms open, waiting for the outside world and hoping for a second chance into its fenced heart. I meet a young woman watching over her dying mother, who has been struck by the bullet of famine. The daughter tells me about the journey to Mogadishu — a 200-mile trek across arid, parched land, with adults huddling around children to protect them first. This mother refused to eat her own food in order to feed abandoned children they had picked up along the way. And now she was dying because of that.
I highly suggest reading the rest, and keeping it in mind when you think about the extended social impacts of climate.

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