The first in a two-volume set, ‘Somaliland: The way forward’ is edited by Jama Musse Jama and argues that Somaliland’s international recognition is not only long overdue but essential for the consolidation of the peaceful settlement in a uniquely democratic state within the volatile Horn of Africa. It includes chapter contributions by Dr. Mohamed A Omar (then Foreign Minister of the Republic of Somaliland), Dr. Abdishakur Jowhar, Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell, Dr. Michael Walls, and Dr. Steve Kibble. It also contains major writings by the late Professor Ibrahim Megag Samatar, who was an active participant in Somaliland politics for almost five decades.
Mohamed Ibraahin ‘Hadraawi’ is the most famous of living Somali poets, described as ‘the Somali Shakespeare’. This collection of his poetry in English and in Somali marks the first bilingual printing of most of the poems included, and is the first volume in an intended series.
Muuse Ismaaciil Galaal (Muse Ismail Galal in the anglicised spelling) was a researcher, scientist, historian, writer and poet whose most important lasting legacy is the role he played in the creation of the modern written Somali alphabet and in preserving numerous accounts of Somali culture and heritage, which would otherwise have been lost forever.
This prison memoir gives a first-hand account of the brutalities of Siyad Barre’s Somalia, but also of the life of a nomad child brought to the city to live with his aunt. With a father without camels to care for, an urban life was seen as the only option, but hunger was never far away. That motivated Mahamed to perform well at school which gave him the opportunity to go to the United Kingdom. After he earned his university degree, he went back to his home town Hargeysa where he met other young professionals. They decided to volunteer for their community, establishing what became known to the international community as the Hargeysa Self-help Group – locally known as UFFO. For their noble acts, Mahamed and his colleagues were imprisoned and what followed were eight long lonely years, where the studying of insects was the main entertainment of the day. The reasons they were freed, even as the rest of their community was destroyed, were as strange and surprising as the reasons they were jailed in the first place. But there was no time in Mohamed’s life to get depressed or discouraged as the reconstruction of the country had to start immediately.
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