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Blind Somali journalist battles insecurity and challenges of disability

Blind Somali journalist battles insecurity and challenges of disability

Somalia

It is tough being a journalist in Somalia as reporters have been among victims of unrest and chaos since the country descended into war in 1990.

Abdifatah Hassan is a visually impaired journalist from Somalia, he hosts a parliamentary affairs radio show at Goobjoog FM in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu..

According to him, he lost his sight when he was a baby, he said at first it was difficult for him to find work, even after going through training in the field in 2002.

I decided to be a journalist over ten years ago, I got some help from colleagues in the field and efforts have made me became a professional journalist.

He said he got his first job in 2012 and has become a well-known journalist in the country today.

“I decided to be a journalist over ten years ago, I got some help from colleagues in the field and efforts have made me became a professional journalist,” he said.

Hassan hosts a show that talks about issues that affect disabled people in the country and tries to create more awareness for others like him in Somalia.

With the government still struggling against the insurgency and putting institutions in place to run the country, support for people with disabilities is limited.

One of his colleagues, Mohamed Muse said he works well on his own and rarely needs their help.

“I have known Abdifitah for a number of years now, and he is a very talented and respected journalist in the field. He covers events easily and is always on time, without help from anyone,” he added.

Mogadishu’s security has been improving over the years but many parts of the city remain no go areas.

“Somali journalists face a lot of problems when they are on duty. The main problem is that journalists often lose their lives when they cover breaking news. Only last year five journalists lost their lives but most journalists are still ready to take that risk,” former Assistant General Secretary, National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Abdirahman Omar said.

The country is ranked 172 out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

Reuters