Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Embedded with the Pirates of Somalia

The Small Wars Council comes through again with this gem.

Jay Bahadur’s plan was simple. Fly to Somalia to cover the March 2009 elections in Somaliland as a freelancer, then come home to Toronto and hopefully find a job in journalism.

He studied Somalia a bit as an undergrad at the University of Toronto, and after graduating in 2007 he enrolled in a freelance journalism course; he figured he could work the trip into the class somehow.

Things did not go according to plan — but, in retrospect, they probably couldn’t have worked out better. For a class assignment on how to pitch freelance stories, Mr. Bahadur assembled an idea — to embed with the pirates of Somalia — and handed in his homework. It was October 2008. He left for Africa in January 2009. And today, he is on tour promoting his debut non-fiction book, Pirates of Somalia.

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