Somaliland: Gariye, The Great Poet Remembered


• Gariye, First Articulator of metrical patterns of Somali poetry

By: Mohamoud H. Qodax

The Great Poet Gariye

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – in a special ceremony, jointly organized by Sagal jet, modern printing company and SONYO – Youth Umbrella, to commemorate one of the biggest composers in the Somali history was held in Somaliland Civil Servant

Center on Wednesday night, where hundreds of people including university students, intellectuals, politicians and ministers have attended.

All participant guests spoke in great length the historical biography of the late poet Gariye who died one year ago in Norway. Speakers have at the same time beseeched Allah to grant him mercy.

“Mohamed Hashi was my classmate. He was more than a poet. He will be remembered and as Somalilanders we can never ever forget such man who sacrificed his life and his remarkable words for the struggle of this nation. He was a national hero and lecturer who will ever be in the minds of all Somali speaking people where ever they are.” Said ruling party chairman Mr. Mouse Bihi Abdi,

Numerous speakers including minister of education MS. Samsam Abdi Aden recited poems of Mohamed Hashi Gariye, where she pointed him to be one of the most important poets in the history of the Somali people. He was a poet who has never been afraid to express the truth and involve in the politics through his unforgettable poets.

Feisal Ali warabe, chairman of UCID and Minister of Aviation spoke Gariye’s genesis and agree to be a poet of reckon.

According to Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame , himself a poet of reckon, the poetry of late Gariye composed through his glorious career of more than four decades shall continue to inspire current and future generations of not only Somalilanders but people from all Somali speaking areas.

Numerous speakers who included ministers, politicians, artists, traditional and religious leaders and students all paid tribute to the legacy of late Gariye.

Mohamed Hashi Dama’a ‘Gariye’ was born in Hargeisa in 1949. He attended school in Sheikh in Somaliland and then graduated in biology at the Somali National University, following which he worked as a teacher for several years. As a keen poet and literary scholar also he later worked at the Academy of Culture in Mogadishu and then as a lecturer in Somali literature at National University.

Since the 1970s, Gariye has been universally regarded as one of the most important Somali poets composing on a great variety of topics from nuclear weapons to Nelson Mandela. A poet who has never been afraid to engage in the politics of Somalia through his poetry, he was the initiator of one of the largest ‘chain poems’ ‘Deelley’ to which many poets contributed, each one alliterating in ‘d’ – hence the name of the chain.

In addition to his poetry, Gariye was the person who first articulated the metrical patterns of Somali poetry, which he published in 1976 in a number of articles in the national newspaper of the time. This work was invaluable and a major intellectual achievement.

Read more:’Gaarriye’

Boobe Yousuf Du’ale in his remark regarding Hashi pointed that Gariye was one of the most famous living Somali speaking poets and briefly spoke about 2 books written about Mohamed Hashi Gariye’s biography and poems.