logo Burngreave Messenger Issue 31 - May 2003
Spotlight on Spital Hill

Malii.com logo.Malii.com - Internet Café Shop
by Mark Lankshear

Since its opening in February, Malii.com is proving a popular venue on Spital Hill. Ali Saeed explained this family business was just starting to pay its way, although all the staff were still volunteers. The mixture of a relaxed place to drop in for coffee and conversation and internet computers was drawing in both young and old from all communities.

Safiya Saeed explained that they wanted to open a new room with more privacy, particularly to encourage women to get using computers. “After the war in Somalia between ’91 and ’93, many women had to flee and arrived in England as single mothers. They are really effective at supporting each other, but need a step-up to help them learn new skills and feel confident enough to try out the internet.”

Kasim Awad, a café regular, told me it was packed last Friday. “It was the first public elections for the President in Somaliland – it was very close. We were all here tracking the results on the internet. President Dahir Riyale Kahin won, by only 0.01%. Ahmad Muhammad Silanyo, who came second, is contesting the result, but has promised not to do anything that would compromise peace and stability in Somaliland - a sign of mature politics and a great example for Africa.”

And this is a great example of another flourishing new business on Spital Hill, with Ali and his family offering a warm welcome and new place to log-on and really put the world wide web to work.



Ali and Saiya sat in front of computers.
Ali and Saiya offer a warm new welcome on Spital Hill.