Books Over Bullets

Today, the first-ever international book fair was launched in Mogadishu, Somalia. These days, the Somali capital has become a city of firsts: the opening of the first laundry shop, the first flower store, the first automated teller machine (ATM), and even the TEDx talks, the global conference on ideas, was first held there in 2012…. Continue reading…

Reflection on Hassan M. Abukar’s ‘Mogadishu Memoir’

Hassan Abukar, Somali writer, who left Mogadishu in 1978 at the age of 18, has recently written a memoir on his early life in the city.

Close, yet far away

Excerpted from chapter one of Mogadishu Memoir by Hassan M. Abukar (AuthorHouse, 2015). The book is available at Amazon. * * * “Go, greet your father,” my mother commanded me. 

9 Books About East and Horn of Africa You Need to Read Before End of 2013

Writer and poet Taban Lo Liyong, a well known literary figure in the region, described East Africa as “a literary desert.” He made these remarks in 1969, his view being that the region didn’t produce distinguished writers, or if it did, there was no body of work worthy of artistic merit. More than 40 years… Continue reading…

Jeffrey Gettleman and Western Media’s Narrow View of Africa

Many foreign writers on Africa are guilty of two extremes – condescension and too much praise, with the former being more dominant. It is easy to see why it is so much simpler to be disdainful. Arrogance does not require mental application. In fact, it shows a certain degree of laziness. All one has to… Continue reading…

Nuruddin Farah: Keeping Somalia Alive

One late afternoon in April 2012, I was having it rough and could feel the early symptoms of a migraine coming on. After spending some time rubbing my temples and popping some pain relievers, I decided to do the decent thing. I left work early, went home, closed the curtains and tried to take a… Continue reading…

A Tribute to Chinua Achebe, a Craftsman of Indelible Letters

Some people are like events to be carved in our memory. Not even time would, with all the mystery, sweep away the connections formed, the thoughts spurned out of boredom. A few things in this world would even manage to take one from their world and hurl them into a life they never lived. And… Continue reading…

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