Somaliland: A journey of Courage: Hargeisa International Book Fair


By: Farhan Abdi Suleiman (Oday)HIBF

Somalilandsun – Life is not train you only how to live, but thought you modes of life in your society and how they see the question of life. People are free to their own opinions and no matter how they understand writing this acknowledgement article.

There will be always a people who against or support your journey and that is the real meaning of life.

Every moment has its own heroes who have been contributing the betterment of their society. Jama Musa Jama and Ayan Mahamoud stood to promote the value of reading & writing, and the development of culture, literature and arts.

 The credit starts with the planning organizations Redsea online and Kayd arts and culture organization. I know you spent many months planning the event and making it such a worthwhile. The sessions were relevant and well attended. I especially liked your selection of plenary speakers. Everyone felt that you did a superb job organizing the event, but more people are claiming that the organizers have not trying to equal the role of participation of local people and diaspora in this year’s event.

Often at times, Hargeisa hosts many occasions, those events have different aspires, but common goal of directing people in to maturity. I had the fortunate to participate the 6th year Hargeisa International Book Fair. It was a well organized event that taps the many features of life and meets academicians, intellectuals, youth and writers in both local and international. It was a courage chapter for the generations of today by making cobblestone to a new page of their life. It was a balanced program which reflects many positive aspects of life.

Despite, the different shapes going through this project, it seems today an event that brought more international writers, literatures , poems and artist which are samples of the culture and history of their nations. This six years book fair is more inclusive than the preceding events. If you visit, you can see a beautiful scene displaying the books of many writers in both local and international. You are following your eyes to a sequence of books that you enjoy to read from one to another.

By observing the event, you can see more outsiders from different countries which decide their participation due to their own circumstances. They shared their experience for the young people to inspire the art of writing and reading. What draws my feeling is their mixing to listen our stories to gain more knowledge for their short settle. Thanks to the international guests for their endless hours of courage they dedicated to motivate our young people to contribute to a good cause.

Looking back the history of the book fair you can simply appreciate the great change of societies reading and writing methods. The program creates a social integration and conducive environment of allowing people to share positively the diverse opinions on society’s progress. It brought a frontward positive thinking among the society. It brought that the youth have the chance to listen and meet international writers by sharing their views and gaining experience.

I attended many sessions from Friday to Monday. The book show of “A flight into the Unknown” by Said Jama Hussein was more attractive to me; his journey brings to our ears the importance and consequences of travelling into unknown destination. The book teaches us the resilience of pain, suffering and difficulty by dealing coolly with problems. Simply I learnt the value of patience.

Saed Salah also shares his 50years journey of teaching experience and how his helping attitude inspires his life career as a teacher. We learnt Saed’s journey as a journey reached by hard work and perseverance. We have appreciated his remarkable contribution that has touched the lives of many people in immeasurable ways.

The guban book of Abuladif Ega was one of the best novels explaining more stories in Somali culture and how the civil war affected the lives of women and children. Saying a lot, how clan supremacy and dependence of chiefs misleads in Somali leadership. It brought to our attention the conflict between modernity and tradition, the story of rural and urban man.

It is important not to forget words of Michela Wrong a British journalist and writer who honored for the Orwell Prize and awarded the 2010 James Cameron prize for journalism “that combined moral vision and professional integrity”. She presented her three books, “In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz”, the story of Mobutu Sese Seko, “It’s Our Turn to Eat”, the story of Kenyan corruption. She shared us her story as freelance journalist in some African countries. In her book In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz”, Michela Wrong explained how corruption determines the failure of African leadership.

My best night was the night of listening and watching the documentary: the forbidden journey- in the footsteps of early explorers in Somali Region of Ethiopia and Somaliland. Hamish Wilson who lived many years in Somali community shared the many positive aspects of culture and history of Somali people. Mr Wilson exhibited in galleries on the walls in the book fair hall representing the wealth of our culture. His story caught the feeling of many Somalilanders as he presented some pictures of how the war had left the country physically devastated and socially wounded where thousands of people had been killed and Hundreds heavily displayed their homes and left nothing to their property.

Sofia A Haid, a long time curriculum management expert and technical adviser at the ministry of education spoke on the current process of national curriculum development in Somaliland. Sofia highlighted that education without competent curriculum can’t be productive.

To sum up, Hargeisa International Book Fair has left living lessons of encouragement which the participated youth are expected of making them true. The age of books started and only readers’ is travelling. Take time to read books you will learn a lot other writers styles. Try to understand the secret of their story telling, you can realize the value of writing. Read and write and you will always be on the top of life’s game.

Written By: Farhan Abdi Suleiman (Oday)


Hargeisa, Somaliland


Farhan is a Social Worker and Youth activist in Hargeisa. He holds a BA in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Hargeisa and also postgraduate Diploma in Peace building & Conflict Management at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) in University of Hargeisa.