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

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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.
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Goobjooge- Qisadii Al-Itixaad iyo cabdullahi Yuusuf – Abdibashir

This is a very interesting and informative book on the beginnings and expansion of the Islamist group Al-Itixaad Al-Islaamii. This book provides an eyewitness account of how the group started, ideological differences within the group and some of the challenges they faced. The author provides insights on how members of Al-Itixaad viewed the older generation of Somali Ulema. The following points are some the differences between the old guard and the new generation that came to the forefront in the

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Gidaarka Baarliin ‘The wall of Berlin’ – A poem about the ‘Nabsi’ that befell the city of Berlin

A poem on the concept of 'Nabsi' in the Somali tradition. Nabsi or the 'equalizer' can be viewed as something similar to divine retribution or even 'Karma'. In this poem Cabdullaahi Qarshi discusses the Berlin Wall as a form of Nabsi. Musa Haji Ismail Galal states the following about the context of this poem "In Berlin, The Berlin Conference of 1884-5 was a turning point in the European nations squabble over Africa. The great powers - Britain, France, Portugal, Germany and Belgium (in the person of King Leopold who was working to obtain a personal empire) - realised at this conference that there was nothing for it but a rapid partition of Africa between them. The scramble for territories had begun.Ironically, the very city in which Africa was divided up is now itself divided. The reference is to the Berlin Wall built in 1961 to separate the Eastern and the western sectors of the city."
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