For nine months in 2011 the prime minister of Somalia was a New York State Department of Transportation worker living in Buffalo, NY with no political experience who hadn’t been to Somalia in over 20 years. Read the story here. Here is a little taste:
Less than two months ago, he was prime minister of Somalia. He battled terrorists, pirates and warlords. He addressed dignitaries from the United Nations.
Now, Mohamed A. Mohamed is back at his old job at the state Department of Transportation downtown, back to his little cubicle with a window overlooking Swan Street.
A few photos of him as premier were tacked to his wall by colleagues, the only visible reminder that these last nine months weren’t a dream.
“It’s a different feeling when you’re heading a whole nation and you come back to your normal life,” Mohamed said. “It’s a little awkward, to tell you the truth.”
Mohamed was as stunned as anyone when he was offered the prime minister’s position last October, after a trip to the U.N. in New York City to speak with Somalia’s president, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
Why isn’t this a movie yet? I’ll write the first scene for you:
We open on Mohamed at the NY DOT. He’s just gotten back from his prime ministership in Somalia. Sitting back in his old cubicle he looks uncomfortable. A few people walk by and quickly welcome him back. He forces a smile. The sounds of the office overwhelms him. He turns his chair a quater-turn and starts to day dream. Slowly the sounds of the office fade as we zoom in to his face.
Jump Cut to a busy street in NY City. Mohamaed is making his way across, dodging traffic. We zoom out and pan up to see he has entered the UN building. He makes his way to the Somali president’s office. Once there he is confused and wants to know, “why me.”
From there it only turns into the biggest adventure anyone has ever had. There is also this contender: a movie about the most interesting man in the world:
At 9, he settled a dispute with a pistol. At 13, he lit out for the Amazon jungle. At 20, he attempted suicide-by-jaguar. Afterward he was apprenticed to a pirate. To please his mother, who did not take kindly to his being a pirate, he briefly managed a mink farm, one of the few truly dull entries on his otherwise crackling résumé, which lately included a career as a professional gambler…
Mr. Fairfax was often asked why he chose a rowboat to beard two roiling oceans. “Almost anybody with a little bit of know-how can sail,” he said in a profile on the Web site of the Ocean Rowing Society International, which adjudicates ocean rowing records. “I’m after a battle with nature, primitive and raw.”