Sada Mire: Uncovering Somalia’s heritage
Sada Mire fled Somalia’s civil war as a child, and lived as a refugee in Sweden. But now she is back in the Horn of Africa as an archaeologist, making some incredible discoveries.
Sada Mire is only 35, but she has already revealed a dozen sites that could be candidates for Unesco world heritage status.
She has a fellowship in the department of art and archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and is head of the department of antiquities in the breakaway territory of Somaliland, in the north-west region of Somalia. She is the only archaeologist working in the region.
It’s a remarkable journey for a girl who fled Mogadishu in 1991, aged 14, as Somalia descended into the chaos of civil war.
Driving her forward is the urge to uncover and preserve a cultural heritage that has been systematically looted, both in colonial times and more recently by warlords trading national heritage for guns.
The region has proved to be rich in archaeological wonders, which Sada Mire has been logging for the last four years with a team of 50 helpers.