I have been in and out of East Africa since 1989. I first went there to visit my girlfriend who was working for an NGO (Non-Government Organization), and then returned to work in Africa myself. Working in the telecommunications field for a British company for a couple years, I then started working for humanitarian relief agencies like IRC (International Rescue Committee).
With IRC I was posted to Bardera, Somalia, as the administrator - and then just after the genocide in Rwanda I was promoted to Team Leader and transferred to Cyangugu, in the southwest of Rwanda on the Zaire and Burundi borders.
Recently I ended a 16 month contract with VSF-Belgium (Veterinaires Sans Frontiers, or Vets Without Borders), where I was based in Nairobi, and traveled to Lokichoggio in northern Kenya, and south Sudan, in the position of Logistic Program Coordinator.
I have now worked in three war zones. In all of the places that I worked and traveled I always inquired as to the local art; no matter how dire the circumstances, there were people that would seek me out to show their wares. I am constantly amazed at how creativity and imagination cannot be suppressed even in the context of war, and man's inhumanity towards their brothers.
To learn more about Zahir Safdarali and the Unik Gallery, please see the Nairobi/USA Page.
If you are
interested in Africa, African names, and the African culture, then take
a look at some of the wonderful books written by Julia Stewart and
illustrated by Todd Schaffer, in the Recommended Books Page.