"Somalia in transition"
Suweys during practice - Death or Play. Women´s Basketball in Mogadishu
Women's basketball? In Europa and the U.S., we take it for granted. But consider this: In Mogadishu, war-torn capital of Somalia, young women risk their lives every time they show up to play.
Suweys, the captain of the Somali women´s basketball team, and her friends play the sport of the deadly enemy, called America. This is why they are on the hit list of the killer commandos of Al Shabaab, a militant islamist group, that has recently formed an alliance with the terrorist group Al Qaeda and control large swathes of Somalia.
Al Shabaab, who sets bombs under market stands, blows up cinemas, and stones women, has declared the female basketball players „un-islamic“. One of the proposed punishments is to saw off their right hands and left feet. Or simply: shoot them.
Suweys´ team trains behind bullet-ridden walls, in the ruins of the failed city of Mogadishu – protected by heavily armed gun-men. The women live in constant fear of the islamist killer commandos. Stop playing basketball? Never, they say.
Women´s basketball in the world´s most dangerous capital.