The tragic loss of Somaliland’s epic Waaheen market

On the eve of Ramadan at the start of this month, the epic Waaheen market at the centre of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, caught fire. The flames engulfed the entire market and took 12 hours to put out. There were no fatalities—it was Friday, the holy day of prayer for Muslims, and the market was closed—but the market no longer exists. Around 5,000 small businesses were impacted, with damages estimated at $2 billion so far. For a country that legally speaking doesn’t exist in the eyes of the rest of the world—despite Somaliland existing independently of Somali for over 25 years—it’s a big financial hit for this former British