After cameras and journalists turned elsewhere in the world, Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines went back.

Then in July and August, the world watched and international aid agencies scrambled as tens of thousands of Somalis fled famine and fighting in the devastated Southern part of the country, controlled by the armed group al-Shabab. And they continued to flee - to the Somali capital of Mogadishu, and refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia - in the following months, when the world seemed to lose interest.

Tens of thousands of Somalis have died and the UN has warned that three quarters of a million more are at risk of dying before the end of the year.

Somalia’s weak Transitional Federal Government, the Obama administration, and the United Nations have all blamed the anti-government group al-Shabab for restricting international aid operations in the areas they control. But is al-Shabab the only reason a drought and food crisis has turned into a deadly famine?

So little has been done so far. If the World Food Programme and other government agencies can’t help, let us help instead.  With the holidays coming up, ask friends and family to skip your gift for the year and instead donate to any of these organizations:


UN Foundation

Hope International

ONE also has a list of numerous other organizations


What sets good travel writing apart is detail, detail, detail. Which cafe, on what street, overlooking what view? You must sweep the reader up and carry them off on the journey with you. Paint an evocation of where you are so we can experience it along with you. Be specific and drop “stunning”, “breathtaking” and “fantastic” from your lexicon, otherwise it’s just a TripAdvisor entry.

Sally Shalam, Guardian hotel critic in our tips for travel writers

(via guardian)

Travel writing is often so boring. I don’t understand how some authors ever get published in the first place. Don’t just tell me, show me your adventures, using words.

(via guardian)