Last week, I could only watch on television news as soldiers herded scores of my countrymen on to trucks like livestock, to be driven to detention centers. Women carrying babies struggled to climb onto the cumbersome vehicles, built not for carrying humans but cargo and commodities.
If Dadaab were actually counted as a city, it would be Kenya's third or fourth most populous. Yet it's not counted; it doesn't exist. It's a liminal space, neither here nor there, and its inhabitants exist between worlds interminably.
Using blanket terms like "Islamist" to describe any non-secular Muslim group or individual is a lazy way to simplistically term an enormous spectrum of people and attitudes and philosophies and histories.
Last week's carnage in Nairobi underscores the importance of curtailing the flow of guns into the hands of governments like that of Syria or groups like the Somali-based Al-Shabab who use conventional arms to commit atrocities.