Somali Week Festival in London, Matt Baugh Senior Representative for Somalia, Nairobi

This week sees the fifth year of the Somali Week Festival in London, organised by the Kayd Somali Arts and Culture organisation.  The British Office for Somalia is a proud sponsor of this event, which brings together poets, writers and musicians from across Somalia to perform in the UK.  This year’s artists and performers include Mohamed Haashi Dhama ‘Gaarriye’, Abdinasir Ma’alin Aydid, Dr Georgi Kapchits, Amin Amir, Saado Abdi Amarre, Ahmed Shiekh Jama, Jama Kadiye and many more.

The theme of this year’s Festival is translation.  Translating the world’s literary treasures is vital for everyone to learn about other cultures and ideas.  Unfortunately, there is a shortage of Somali works translated into English, and vice versa.  Among this year’s translations by Redsea-online are Animal Farm by George Orwell, and a selection of short stories by Anton Chekhov.  A team of translators are also rendering the work of a number of Somali poets into English.

You might be wondering why an organisation like the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is supporting a cultural event like this.  The answer is that diplomacy is always embedded in a cultural context.  It is impossible to be a fully effective diplomat unless you are engaged in culture and the arts.  Equally well, it is very difficult to make peace where there is no music, theatre and books.  Because it is often the poets and singers and writers of this world who we rely on to remind us of our common humanity, which transcends political or tribal or historical divisions.  

Often where the political environment is very highly charged, like it is in Somalia, it becomes very hard to have an open debate around issues like conflict, security, and terrorism.  But by relating to fictional events and stories about the way people live their lives, it is possible to access experiences that are common to us all, regardless of clan or creed.  And this is why literature plays such an important role in helping to make sense of very complex and difficult political situations in ways that everyone can understand and relate to, and which ultimately brings people closer together.



Matt Baugh
28 October 2011





Sultan Cabdalla Bin Ciise Al Cafraar oo ka tacsiyeeyay geeridii naxdinta laheyd ee DR Xassan Xaaji Al Cafraar

TACSI: DR: XASSAN XAAJI ABUKAR AL CAFRAAR OO LONDON KU GEERIYOODEY ALLAHA U NAXARIISTEE

Somalia to rewrite contracts in response to corruption concerns By Katrina Manson in Nairobi

SAADO: GEENYADII GALBATEY IYO HALAQII LABA AFLAHA (Qoraa sare:Muxyadiin Xuseen Ciid)

UK HOUSE OF COMMON: President Mohamud on the back foot while al-Shabaab attacks continue

Maansadii: Marinhabowga Qarannimo ee aan maalmaha XORIYADA U TIRYAY 1 JULAY 1960

American-Somali relations: What’s in the words? by Abukar Arman

TACSI: Macalin Abdi Jama Warsame (ALLAHA U NAXARIISTO) OO DHAWAAN GEERIYOODAY

YUU AHAA SULTAN ABDALLA BIN SULTAN ISSA AL AFRAR “MAHRA IYO SOQODRA”? QALINKII: Muxyadiin Xusseen Ciid 30/05/2014

QAYB KA MID SAWIRADII SULTAN ABDALLA BIN ISSE INTII UU KU SUGNAA PUNTLAND

المهرة اليوم - خاص استقبلت الجالية المهرية في الصومال السلطان عبدالله بن عيسى بن عفرير باكثر من سبعين سياره وكان على راسهم مشايخ قبائل المهرة ( بن نيمر + الجدحي + بن عتوني + السليمي + وبن عفرير ) وج

قبائل الدارود الصومالية تنصب ملكا جديدا

SAWIRADA CALEEMASAARKA BOQORKA DAAROOD

Security in Kenya Little law, less order Crime, terrorism and police abuse are all rising together

CAMDEN:Father of man stabbed to death in Camden Town street calls for peace

TACSI: REER SHIRE MAXAMUUD OO KA TACSIYEYNAYA GEERIDA MAAMA MARYAN

Daily Nation: How Somalia aid cash funds Al-Shabaab

Ra’iisul Wasaaraha Soomaaliya ayaa uga mahadnaqay madaxda dalka Isutaga Imaadaarka Carabta

Car Bomb: President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has called the UN envoy to Somalia to say he was not harmed during the attack, envoy Nick Kay has tweeted

Insight - Graft allegations test West's ties to Somali president (REUTERS)

Somalia president dismisses US criticism

SAWIRADII AASKA MARXUUM A/RISAQ HAJI HUSSEIN ALLAHA U NAXARIISTEE

TACSI ALCARAB HALYEEY ABDIRIZAK HAJI HUSSEIN iyo Dr ABDI ASIS NUR HIRSI ALLAHA U NAXARIISTO

Somalia’s other pirates – the telecom companies and remittance companies

ALCARAB HAMBALYO MADAXWEYNAHA CUSUB EE PUNTLAND

ISBADALKII PUNTLAND OO RUMOOBAY MADAXWEYNE Dr CABDIWALI CALI GAAS

Doorashada Gudoomiyaha Cusub waxa ay gogol xaar u tahay soo noqoshada C/raxmaan Faroole

Somalia’s Puntland region braces for presidential election

Qarax lala eegtay Hotel Rooble caawa oo sababay dhimasho iyo dhaawac

C/Wali Shiikh Axmed ayaa noqday R/wasaarihii badalay Saacid Shirdoon

Musharax Cabdullaahi Cidi-Libaax oo u tacsiyeeyay Marxuum Faysal Warsame kuna gacanseyray Gudiga Musharaxiintu Magacaabeen

ALCARAB OO KA TACSINEYSA GEERIDA MARXUUM MAXAMED WARSAME MAXAMED

Aaskii Marxuum Faysal Warsame Maxamed oo R/Wasaare Shirdoon ka qaybgalay

Somalia and EU Fight over 'Lack of Aid' Claims

Murtidii Abwaan Maxamed Hiirad & gabeygii Sunaami

Crisis in Somalia - The Elephant in the Room The (by Ali Abdulle)

War Deg-deg: Somalis 'killed in Puntland' during tropical cyclone

Sawiro+ Khudbad:- Musharax Gen Cabdulaahi Cali Mire oo Gaalkacyo uga dhawaaqay Musharaxnimadiisa.

Puntland Election – The Candidates More than 15 years after (By Ali Abdule)

Police hunt missing terror suspect Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed ( Al-shabaab)

The Guardian: Al-Shabaab rebuilds forces in Somalia as African Union campaign stalls

Somali Girl Smuggled into UK to Have Organs Harvested

Maamulka ALCARAB.COM ayaa Idin Leh Ku Ciida Ciid Wanaagsan

Pirates and warlords aside, Michele Ballarin believes she can turn Somalia around

IJJ: How Piracy is Affecting Economic Development in Puntland, Somalia

FADEEXADA DOWLADA FEDERAALKA SOOMAALIYA OO WASIIR CIILMOOGE BANAANKA DHIGAY

In May Mr Abdirizak and President Hassan told the FT they would not sign any oil deals until the petroleum bill and the new constitution were made compatible

Maamulka Alcarab oo idinleh "Ciid Mubaarak" Kulicaam Wa'antum Bikheyr

Press Release, Official Position of Puntland Government on Relations with Federal Government of Somalia

DegDeg: Tarsan oo eeday Afkiisa iyo Muqdisho iyo Muungaab