by DAVID AXE
On Sunday gunmen shot and killed Muktar Hirabe, director of Radio Shabelle in Mogadishu, making him the fifth Somali reporter to die this year, in a country where being a journalist is one of the most dangerous jobs there is.
With Hirabe was Ahmed Omar Hashi (at right in the photo), a Shabelle senior producer and my friend. Hashi was shot in the hand and stomach, but survived. He called me on Monday. He does not know who targeted him, but he is certain they will return to finish the job. He told me he needs $1,500 to get a visa and get out of Somalia, before the gunmen strike again.
I have promised to help Hashi, as best I can. I am good for $300, and World Politics Review publisher Hampton Stephens has pledged $500. Meanwhile, WIB-pal Paul McLeary in Washington, D.C., has promised some cash and volunteered to facilitate the wire transfer. Who else can help? We have two days …
To donate, use the Paypal button at left. Any donations flow to me. I then forward them to Paul, who will be making the wire transfer at the end of this week.
Update #1, 6/9/09: Donations are trickling in. We’re close to our $1,500 goal, and should hit the mark by the Thursday deadline. We’re aiming to make the transfer on Saturday. I’ll be speaking to Hashi on Thursday to check on his condition and make sure he’s ready to receive the money.
Update #2, 6/9/09: We’re now within a couple hundred dollars of our goal, thanks to Hampton, Alex, Xiaolu and a dozen other contributors. Any donations received after Wednesday will not clear in time to make the first wire transfer, planned for the end of this week. I will arrange a second transfer at a later date, so feel free to keep giving. And thanks, everyone. You’re saving a life.
Update #3, 6/10/09: Donations have now exceeded $1,500. I will be sending Hashi the money in two batches, since the more recent donations will take until next week to clear Paypal.
Update #4, 6/11/09: The money is on the way.
Update #5, 6/12/09: I spoke to Hashi today. He said he is feeling better, and will “never, ever forget” all your help raising money. Funds arrive in Mogadishu on Saturday.
(Photo: David Axe)