reported from Shepherd's Bush yesterday talking to the large Somali community that live in this part of the world about the kidnapping and recent release of British hostages Paul & Rachel Chandler. It brings home again to me how small the world is but also how interconnected we all are. I was once told by a senior journalist based in the region that some of the pirating that takes place off the coast of that country is coordinated by mobile phone from Kensington!
I often pass that mosque in the basement of the house on Uxbridge Road in that at times like this during the year when the Mosques are full, its about the time of Hajj at the moment, and see the very many Somalis coming out at about 6am after morning prayers on my way to the gym. They always strike me as quite isolated in many ways and much has been written elsewhere about their struggle to integrate with communities here. But this report and the efforts that plainly many of them made in order to secure the release of these hostages, coupled with the embarrassment they obviously felt over the whole episode will have done a lot to open people's eyes to these still relatively new neighbours of ours. They're very welcome.