The Death of a Friend – Cali Jaamac Haabiil

The following poem was recited by Cali Jaamac Haabiil a pastoralist who died in the middle years of the 20th century. He was a prominent spokesman of his clan and a strong opponent of Maxamed Cabdile Xasan with whom he exchanged poetical diatribes. This poem falls firmly within the Baroordiiq (Lamentation) category of Somali oral poetry, with this poem, in particular, being one of the best of examples of this genre. This poem is unique in the sense that the

Continue Reading

Some of the names used for God (Allah) in Somali

An interesting passage from a book by I.M Lewis called ' Saints & Somalis: Popular Islam in a clan-based society'. Although the title of this book is problematic and follows the commonly repeated trope that Somalis cannot see beyond their tribal allegiances, this particular passage is beneficial in that it demonstrates Somalis inherent monotheism which existed in some from even before the advent of Islam.
Continue Reading

Wootargayt (Watergate) – Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac ‘Gaariye’

Wootargayt (Watergate) - Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac 'Gaariye' This poem was composed in 1976 after the United States used its veto in the UN Security Council against the entry of the newly independent state of Angola under Neto. The poet is concerned with the scandals that had engulfed the former American president Richard Nixon.
Continue Reading

Warriors: Life and death among the Somalis – Gerald Hanley

This book, like most forms of colonial literature, is deeply uncomfortable. Many Somalis who have read this book have been critical of the racist stereotypes contained within it. Yet ironically some of the most ‘heart-warming’ quotes about Somalis available on the internet are also from this book. In a way, this book reinforces the colonial stereotypes of Somalis as being amongst the ‘noble’ savages.
Continue Reading

Site Footer