Monday, June 23, 2014

Boko Haram "Mum" Working to "Reconcile" Jihadis and Other Nigerians

Meet Aisha, whose claim to fame, other that her appointment to a reconciliation outfit, is her ability to whip up a delicious cauldron of soup:
In April 2013, Aisha was one of two women appointed to the government-initiated Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North. She was also named as a must-have participant by Boko Haram representatives. 
A lawyer and human rights activist, Aisha along with 25 other committee members consisting of politicians and northern community leaders were given the task of identifying and engaging key leaders of Boko Haram, and developing a framework for amnesty and disarmament of the group.  
Sheathed in a full black niqab with only her light brown eyes peering out from behind her spectacles, the 44-year-old told Al Jazeera about how she first became involved with Boko Haram, including its slain chief Mohammed Yusuf who was shot dead allegedly while trying to escape police custody in 2009.  
"I would visit his house regularly and always cooked food to bring to the almajaris [pupils] of the Quranic school," Aisha said.  
"Yusuf would always be there preaching and he liked my cooking very much, especially my egusi soup. He prayed that Almighty Allah would reward me because so many were eating from my pot, and that was how we established a close relationship. The boys called me 'mum'. Many of them didn't have mothers."...
Sounds to me like all the motherless lads need is a hug and a steaming bowl of egusi soup. ;)

Update: Sounds tasty (and filling):
Egusi soup is a kind of soup thickened with the ground seeds and popular in West Africa, with considerable local variation. Besides the seeds, water, and oil, egusi soup typically contains leaf vegetables, other vegetables, seasonings, and meat. Typical leaf vegetables for egusi soup include bitterleaf, celosia and spinach. Typical other vegetables include tomatoes and okra. Typical seasonings include chili peppers, onions, and iru (fermented beans). Typical meats include beef, goat, fish, shrimp, or crayfish.

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