When the Music's Over

Intervention, Aid and Somalia

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Pub Date 14 Jun 2022 | Archive Date Not set

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Description

A gritty and moving personal account of the struggle to provide humanitarian relief during Operation Restore Hope in war-torn Somalia.

In 1993, Gareth Owen volunteered to go to Somalia with an Irish aid agency.

Located in a remote desert outpost, he encountered the brutality of conflict and famine and experienced the hardships and struggles of an extraordinary race of desert warriors. He rubbed shoulders with the French Foreign Legion and Greek Special Forces and worked alongside a band of international aid workers striving to feed the Somali people. And as the country began to recover, he found himself losing connection with the Somalis as their resentment towards the international presence grew and violent confrontation erupted. 

In this accessible and engaging memoir, Owen, now Humanitarian Director at Save the Children UK, recounts the entanglement of violence and humanity at the heart of this notorious peacekeeping operation. This is a story of human resilience and contradictory friendships, of loyalty, courage and extraordinary endeavour — but mostly it is a story about the meaning of human connection in desperate circumstances. 

Part memoir, part history and part politics, When the Music's Over sees beyond the criticism of humanitarian intervention and challenges us to consider the enduring importance of international solidarity in a world where notions of common humanity and universal peace are increasingly being abandoned.
A gritty and moving personal account of the struggle to provide humanitarian relief during Operation Restore Hope in war-torn Somalia.

In 1993, Gareth Owen volunteered to go to Somalia with an Irish...

Advance Praise

"Breaks through the hidden silences that still surround discussion concerning interventions in theatres of war. Gareth Owen writes with a honesty, sensitivity and critical self-reflection, which is often missing in books of this kind. In doing so, he brings a new kind of tragic and yet learned music that puts the human back into the humanitarian." – Brad Evans, Professor of Political Violence & Aesthetics at the University of Bath


"Owen has rendered the intrinsic dilemmas, moral ambiguities and political hazards of humanitarianism in a powerful and poignant personal memoir of his time in Somalia." – Andrew Thompson, Professor of Global & Imperial History, Nuffield College, University of Oxford

"Breaks through the hidden silences that still surround discussion concerning interventions in theatres of war. Gareth Owen writes with a honesty, sensitivity and critical self-reflection, which is...


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ISBN 9781914420436
PRICE $20.95 (USD)

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