Iris Kapil grew up during the Great Depression in western Pennsylvania-eastern Ohio. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison; where she received a B.A. (1953); met and married a Fulbright Scholar from India; had two children; and received an M.A. (1962) in anthropology. They later adopted another child. During the 1960s Iris taught sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and; with her husband and children; began living abroad. In Somalia; Turkey and India she conducted sociological research projects; from which she published academically. In 1972 Iris returned to the U.S. for the children’s schooling and her graduate studies at the University of Chicago. She transferred in 1973 to the Kellogg School at Northwestern University for an M.B.A. (1975) in Hospital/Health Services. After a year with an American public health program Iris moved to Paris; France to be with her husband and for twenty years worked in the planning and evaluation of primary health care programs in Turkey; India; Indonesia and the United States. She now lives in the Research Triangle; North Carolina.
Mogadiscio was not always the sprawling jerry-built urban landscape we see today. Until 1991, when the government fell and clan militias, in a civil war, reduced it to rubble, Mogadiscio was a lovely, vibrant city. Tales of Mogadiscio describes a time, during the 1960s, when Mogadiscio was the capital and center of a newly independent Somali Republic. The stories portray individuals and the city’s various communities. Mogadiscio is observed and reflected upon by the author, who lived among its people and loved the city.