Everything You Have Told Me Is True by Mary Harper
Sunday 7 July, 13:00 – 13:30
British Library Knowledge Centre, Main Auditorium
Book launch with the author chaired by Dr. Idil Osman.
BBC Africa Editor Mary Harper presents an intimate account of everyday life under, within and alongside notorious terrorist group Al Shabaab in Somalia.
Al Shabaab is one of the century’s most successful violent jihadist movements. It has governing power, ruling over millions of Somalis and vast swathes of territory, and kinetic power, committing spectacular acts of violence. But what lies behind the headlines and the bloodshed? Who are Al Shabaab, and why do people join? How does this organisation govern, educate and indoctrinate?
Reporting on Somalia for twenty-five years, Mary Harper has gained extraordinary access to members of Al Shabaab—and, disturbingly, they in turn have access to her. In this engrossing book, she paints the complex picture of life for ordinary people in the group’s shadow—stories of tremendous loss, unbearable compromise, and unexpected profit. She reveals a resilient movement with many faces, and discovers that it can be difficult to know where Al Shabaab begins, and where it ends.