Peace and War through Spoken Word

On the evening of the 24th of February, around 140 people attended the Somali Poetry Night. From Sayid Abdullah also known as the Mad Mullah by the British, to modern day poets as Hadraawi and Idaajaa, all have used poetry as the main method of communication in times of War and Peace.

The speakers  were Zaynab Dahir and Abdirahman Abtidoon. Zeynab is educationalist and author of several children books and educational books. She is an activist and promoter of the Somali language among Somali children raised in the UK. She runs her own organisation, Galool Somali, which publishes teaching materials for learning Somali. Abdirahman Abtidoon is a promoter and an activist of the Somali language, art, storytelling and educationist as well as the writer of several books. He is an avid linguist and grammarian as well poetry reader. Both had an introduction into the background of Somali poetry an the role it played during the different episodes of war and oppression in Somalia.

After that came the real poets: Susu Amina, Malique Mohamud, Qali Nur and Nawal Mustafa all shared their own poetry or famous songs and poems by others. Between the different parts of the program, Abdi Baadil, a famous Somali poet, sang songs and played on the Somali lute.

This evening  was not only about the various forms and uses poetry and enjoying different forms of poetry such as Gabay, Geraar, Buraanbur and Heeso. But especially it was about bringing together a community: the large majority of attendees were young people with a Somali background. The athmosphere was very open, lively and warm.

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