Since the war in Syria broke out a decade ago, refugees have fled to countries in the Middle East and Europe as well as to countries in Africa that face instability, like Somalia. But now Somali officials say Syrian refugees are enriching the host nation culturally and economically. Syrians who chose to find refuge in Somalia away from their war-torn country may have been driven by the good historical relations between the two countries. In their peace times, both countries shared similar political ideologies. These strong bilateral relations remained and after Syria became engulfed in civil war, some opted to come to Somalia, where there are no visa restrictions for Syrian citizens. There is no official data on the number of Syrian refugees living in Mogadishu, and not all are as successful as Azerkan and Salih. What is clear is that many of these refugees are making a positive contribution to the local economy and culture.
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