Night Fair in Mogadishu Emphasizes Importance of Somali Culture

The Speaker of the Somali Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari speaking during the night cultural fair held in Mogadishu, Somalia. © IOM 2015

The war in Somalia affected the growth and popularity of the local arts and cultural practices. To revive that, IOM is working with Radio Dalsan in Mogadishu and Middle Shabelle to engage the youth in different artistic activities. These include: music and storytelling competitions, art festivals, as well as art exhibits in Mogadishu, Jowhar and Balcad.

On June 15, one such occasion took place in Mogadishu. Over 600 people, from both the community and senior members from the government, attended the event. Books on Somali culture, traditional plays emphasizing peace and the importance of reconciliation, and songs exhorting communities to build stronger relations were performed during the night event.

“I am delighted to enjoy traditional food and performances in a peaceful environment, one that is different from what was there years ago in this city. We thank God for that,” Mohamed Osman Jawari, the Speaker of the Somali National Assembly, said at the event.

Novels such as Ayaan Daran (The Unlucky Lady), Adeegto (The Servant) and nonfiction books such as Hadimadii Gumeysiga (The Ploy of Colonialism), Taariikhdii SYL (The History of the Somali Youth League) were availed during the occasion. Artists also performed the Shirib and Guuroow dances, while famous singers like Muslima Kassim, Hodan Africa and Ubaxa Boon Dheere (Flowers of Boon Dheere District) sang patriotic songs.

The Minister of Information, Mohamed Abdi Hayir, emphasized the importance of such events in creating community cohesion. “The main aim of this event is to remind you about the importance of culture, the diversity within our communities, and how we can use that in reconciliation efforts.”