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Escaping militant Islam in Eastleigh

In the heart of a seemingly hopeless ghetto is a school that is saving lives

By Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens  

In the heart of a seemingly hopeless ghetto is a school that is saving lives Source: TeachandLearn/Flickr Creative Commons

Every country with large, unregulated slums uses nicknames to refer to them: Jamaica has its “shanty towns,” Brazil its favelas, or morros (“hills”), South Africa its “townships.”  In Kenya, they are known as “informal settlements,” and some of the most notorious of these are found in the eastern Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh.

Populated largely by Kenya’s Somali diaspora community, it is a hotbed of gang activity, prostitution, drugs and, increasingly in recent years, jihadist recruitment via the Somali based al-Shabaab militia. Yet, in the…

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