Dr Ahmed Sharif Abbas was born and raised in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in 1945. After studying medicine at the Leningrad Medical University in the USSR, he returned to Somalia in 1968, where he became head of the Paediatric Department of the General Hospital, Mogadishu, during which he completed his masters from the Institute of Child Health, University of London, UK in 1977. After ten years’ clinical work, he became Director General of Preventive Medicine and Primary Health Care at the Ministry of Health.
When civil war broke out in 1991, he and his family were forced to flee from Mogadishu, first to Mombasa (Kenya) by boat, then by plane to Abu Dhabi (UAE) and on to Muscat, Oman, where he was appointed Director of Health Affairs for the South Eastern Region. In 1996 they finally reached the United Kingdom, where they were granted asylum. While in London he obtained a PhD in Health Service Management by distance learning from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA.
As a prominent figure in the Benadir (inhabitants of Mogadishu) community in London, he was invited by former Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia, Hon. Osman Jama Ali, to work on a programme of reconciliation within the Somali Community. He became Secretary and Trustee of the Somali Initiative for Dialogue and Democracy (SIDD), a charity established in 2006 to contribute to the creation of a stable, democratic and prosperous Somalia, at peace with itself and its neighbours.
Throughout his adult life, Dr Abbas has been a prolific author on a wide variety of topics, from public health to paediatrics to politics.