Sooraan & Jawaan (HORUMARKA WADANKENA) Riwayad Cusub 2014

Hargeysa, Somaliland – the capital of Somaliland – is home to the Horn of Africa’s largest literary event.

 

 

By Ismail Einashe
Hargeysa, Somaliland – the dusty capital of Somaliland – is home to the Horn of Africa’s largest literary event. Now in its seventh year, the Hargeysa International Book Fair is a celebration of books, poetry, and the arts. All a remarkable feat for a small unrecognized nation state situated in a bad neighborhood.

As gun battles rage on the streets of Mogadishu, Hargeysa feels like a world away, a relative oasis of calm. Confusion here is only whipped up by traffic jams, crowds, and an army of goats, mobile phone chatter and incessant construction noise.
Though the scars of the civil war that destroyed the country are still visible, Hargeysa is today an energizing and colorful city. Over the past twenty years Somaliland has been building a hybrid democratic state that fuses the ancient and modern – pursuing a process of political and economic reconstruction that has brought security and relative stability since it unilaterally declared independence from Somalia in 1991.

Hargeysa has been transformed over the past few years, with the situation now stable enough for its dispersed population to return – on the streets an eclectic mix of European tongues, various accents from the English speaking world can be heard. In the four years I have been absent from the city things have moved on remarkably fast. A once sleepy town, Hargeysa is now a small sized city home to some 800,000 people. Everywhere you turn you hear the hum of construction.
It is this stability that the Hargeysa International Book Fair has benefited from. Somaliland’s answer to Hay-on-Wye is about more than just books, it shows just how far Somaliland has traveled in its post-civil war reconstruction. And it provides the best antidote to the lazy, cliché-heavy narratives that see Somalia only through the prism of piracy and terrorism.

Highlights from the week-long festival included an opening session by one of Africa’s greatest writers, and oft mentioned candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Nuruddin Farah. He broke with the oral tradition in Somali and began to write in English in the 1960s, his books are all set in Somalia. In his session, he took apart Somali patriarchy, speaking angrily about the cruelty Somali society metes out to its children and women. Farah said he wanted to agitate for change, and he then challenged the audience to reconstruct old views, for Somalis to find a way to live with each other, after war and after violence. A lively debate ensued, with audience members engaging with Farah, even the formidable and fierce activist and medical practitioner, Edna Adan, took part in the discussions.

Hot on the heels of Farah’s session, was a book launch by Nadifa Mohamed, 2013 Granta Best Young British Novelist. Her second novel ‘Orchard of Lost Souls’, based in Hargeysa in 1988, describes the fall of the Said Barre’s brutal regime, through the eyes of three women. Mohamed spoke movingly about her grandmother who lived through the bombings of Hargeysa in 1988 – and she added how her mother’s stories about Hargeysa before the war gave her a ‘complete oral history’ of the city and allowed her to write her book.

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Hargeysa, Somaliland the capital of Somaliland – is home to the Horn of Africa’s largest literary event.

Hargeysa, Somaliland

By Ismail Einashe
Hargeysa, Somaliland – the dusty capital of Somaliland – is home to the Horn of Africa’s largest literary event. Now in its seventh year, the Hargeysa International Book Fair is a celebration of books, poetry, and the arts. All a remarkable feat for a small unrecognized nation state situated in a bad neighborhood.

As gun battles rage on the streets of Mogadishu, Hargeysa feels like a world away, a relative oasis of calm. Confusion here is only whipped up by traffic jams, crowds, and an army of goats, mobile phone chatter and incessant construction noise.
Though the scars of the civil war that destroyed the country are still visible, Hargeysa is today an energizing and colorful city. Over the past twenty years Somaliland has been building a hybrid democratic state that fuses the ancient and modern – pursuing a process of political and economic reconstruction that has brought security and relative stability since it unilaterally declared independence from Somalia in 1991.

Hargeysa has been transformed over the past few years, with the situation now stable enough for its dispersed population to return – on the streets an eclectic mix of European tongues, various accents from the English speaking world can be heard. In the four years I have been absent from the city things have moved on remarkably fast. A once sleepy town, Hargeysa is now a small sized city home to some 800,000 people. Everywhere you turn you hear the hum of construction.
It is this stability that the Hargeysa International Book Fair has benefited from. Somaliland’s answer to Hay-on-Wye is about more than just books, it shows just how far Somaliland has traveled in its post-civil war reconstruction. And it provides the best antidote to the lazy, cliché-heavy narratives that see Somalia only through the prism of piracy and terrorism.

Read the rest of this entry »

Somaliland: An Inspiring Book Fair, A Raft Of Challenges (The Economist)

By C.H. | Hargeysa, Somaliland
IN a scruffy hall off the dusty main thoroughfare of Somaliland’s capital, Nuruddin Farah, a Somalia-born novelist, is berating the audience at the Hargeysa International Book Fair over what he sees as the inherent cruelty of Somali society. Somali history, he says, “is a consequence of this cruelty…we can never be a democratic society until we change our behavior towards those we consider lesser.”
Despite being born in the south of Somalia and living in Cape Town Mr Farah, probably the most well-known Somali writer, feels quite at home in the internationally-unrecognized state in Somalia’s north: “I have come to start a debate with my community”. Debate permeated the fair in August and is now in its seventh year. Jama Muse Jama, formerly an Italy-based academic and businessman and now a Hargeysa-based publisher founded the fair in 2008 as a means to allow Somalilanders “to regain their public space… to sit down and simply debate”.
Alongside authors including Nadifa Mohammed, a much-lauded young British-based author born in Hargeysa, topics including the preservation of Somali heritage, mother and infant mortality, female genital mutilation, Somaliland’s own state-building and western stereotypes of Africa exercised hundreds of attendees. Poets, including the incomparable Hadraaawi, Bob Dylan-like here, declaimed sonorously, dervish-like female sitaad dancers whirled. A delegation of writers from Malawi, the guest country, and a sprinkling from Kenya alongside guests from Europe and America underlined the fair’s international credentials.
Hargeysa itself is buzzing. Roads that for decades had been pockmarked by damage caused by war are now being repaired. Construction is booming too with gaudy McMansions, hotels and malls going up. Many are funded by Somaliland’s wide diaspora. The logos of Dahabshiil, a regional money-transfer giant, and conduit for all those diaspora remittances, and mobile phone companies Telesom and Somtel and private university billboards are everywhere. Petrol stations, often bearing the blue-and-yellow livery of Hass Petroleum, based in Kenya, are springing up. Outdoor stalls and cafes bear handpainted signs and the ubiquitous details of the Zaad mobile-payment system. Earlier this year, the opening of a swimming pool, atop a hotel roof, caused local excitement.
Mohamed Awale, the director of planning at the Ministry of Commerce, lauds Somaliland’s regulatory reform to ease investment, but worries that without foreign recognition, Somaliland may remain stuck in “transitional” phase. He also worries about the plight of Somaliland’s young. Some 75% of the population are reckoned to be under 21, and 80% of them unemployed. Another economic threat is financial. Western banks are clamping down on their dealings with money-transfer agents to limit the risk that they may be implicated in financing terrorist or other illicit activity. That may reduce the flow of funds from Somaliland’s diaspora, exacerbating poverty.
Since declaring independence in 1991, Somaliland has sought international recognition and the funding and foreign investment it would bring. It has held a raft of elections judged reasonably fair by international observers, but is little-noticed. The international community, with the backing of the African Union, is focused on Somalia, where international forces are trying to curb an Islamist insurgency and shepherd the country through federal elections, which are scheduled for 2016. Somaliland itself has elections scheduled for 2015, although implementation of a voter-registration system could cause delays.
Yet Somaliland may soon attract increased attention. One reason is the widening contrast between Hargeysa, where the streets are relatively safe, and Mogadishu—where on August 15th, at least 10 people were killed in a government-led attack on a militia leader near the city’s airport. Despite its lack of official recognition, Britain and Denmark are collaborating on a “Somaliland Development Fund” worth US$50m, to back the government’s own ambitious infrastructure development plans.
Oil firms are also taking note. A host of companies, including Turkish and Norwegian firms, have been searching for oil and gas in the east of Somaliland. Although commercial potential has yet to materialize, big hydrocarbon discoveries could bring as many challenges as benefits in an economy that is currently reliant on remittances and livestock exports to the Middle East. Some of the sites being explored are disputed between Somaliland and Puntland, a part of Somalia. Some of the clans in the disputed territories do not recognize Hargeysa’s authority. “It scares me what would happen if someone did make a big oil strike,” says Michael Walls, a Somali expert at University College London (whose own in-depth study of Somaliland’s state-building was launched at the fair). A conflict over oil would be a cruel blow indeed.

Source: The Economist

 

Somaliland199

Taariikh-nololeedka Ciyaaryahankii Xulka Hargeysa ee Dheereeye oo Geeriyooday

Taariikh-nololeedka Ciyaaryahankii Xulka Hargeysa ee Dheereeye oo Geeriyooday

August 21, 2014 – Written by Ali jaamac

Allaah ha u naxariistee marxuum Maxamed Axmed Maxamed (Dheereeye) waxa uu ka mid ahaa xiddigihii kooxda kubadda cagta ee Gobolka Hargeysa sannadihii siddeetamaadkii.

Sawirrada marxuum Dheereeye oo la dhashay saddex carruur ah iyo aabbihii Axmed Maxamed

Haddaba, waxa aynnu qormadan ku soo bandhigi doonnaa taariikh-nololeedkii marxuum Dheereeye. Waxa uu ku dhashay xaafadda Geed-goble ee caasimadda Hargeysa sannadkii 1959kii. Aabbihii waxa uu ahaa dadkii la soo shaqeeyay mustacmaraddii Ingiriiska, waxaannu madax ka noqday waaxdii isgaadhsiinta ee maamulkii gumaystaha ee Somaliland ka talinayey ka hor 1960-kii, waxaannu aabbihii geeriyooday isagoo aad u yar, da’diisuna ahayd 9 jir.

 

Waxbarashadiisii qur’aanka waxa uu ka bilaabay malcaamad ku taallay xaafadda Geed-goble, waxana naanaysta Dheereeye ee uu caanka ku ahaa u bixiyey macallinkii malcaamadda u bilaabay oo la odhan jiray Aw Xasan.

Xiddigihii Ciyaaryahannada reer Hargeysa ee sannadihii siddeetamaadkii

Madrasadda wuxuu ka ahaa inamada ugu sarreeya xagga aqoonta ee mar walba imtixaanka ku guulaysan jiray kaalinta koowaad amma labaad. Yaraantiisii waxa uu aad u jeclaa ciyaarta kubbadda cagta oo heer lagu xasuusan karo ka gaadhay. La soco qaybo kale oo ka mid taariikh-nololeedka marxuum Dheereeye…..

 

Xigasho: Jamhuuriya

Somaliland1991

Ophir Heads For Somaliland Exit

Ophir Heads For Somaliland Exit

Eoin O’Cinneide 

Ophir Energy is looking to quit its offshore Somaliland acreage, with the Africa-focused player also aiming to dispose of its interests off the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in Western Sahara.

The London-listed player is also set to let a production-sharing contract off West Africa lapse and said it did not take up a second phase of a contract of Ghana following a duster earlier this year.

Ophir used to have a 75% stake in blocks SL9 and SL12, known as the Berbera blocks, off the semi-autonomous Somali territory of Somaliland, before farming out a 50% stake in each last year.

The explorer said on Thursday, however, that it is now looking to shed its remaining 25% holding in the acreage, which covers 24,420 square kilometers and sits in water depths of up to 1425 meters.

Norwegian player DNO denied on Thursday that it is looking to get out of its Somaliland acreage after a team working for it reportedly came under fire recently.

In SADR, the company currently has a 50% operated stake in four offshore blocks – Daora, Haouza, Mahbes and Mijek – together covering 74,327 square kilometers in water depths of between 200 meters and 2500 meters.

“Ophir is negotiating an agreement to dispose of its interests in SADR in exchange for an overriding royalty,” the company said on Thursday.

The explorer also looks like it is ready to quit the AGC Profond block in the joint development zone off Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, where it has a 79.2% operated stake. The block covers 9838 square kilometers in waters depths of 75 meters to 3500 meters.

“Interpretation of the 3D seismic survey undertaken in 2013 has continued and, whilst a number of promising leads and prospects have been identified, the production sharing contract is set to expire in September,” Ophir said.

Ophir bit dust at the Starfish-1 probe off Accra, Ghana last summer with the drillship Stena DrillMax, going deeper than originally planned. Although partners in the Offshore Accra Contract Area were given a six-month extension to begin exploration and bring in new players, operator Ophir decided not to accept the extension – which was set to end in September.

The company’s website no longer lists Ghana among its assets in Africa.

Ophir reported a net profit of $339.05 million in the first half, due to its farm-out in three blocks in Tanzania to Pavilion Energy for $1.25 billion. It did, however, booked a writedown of $65.9 million on the unsuccessful Affanga Deep-1 well in the Gnodo block off Gabon.

Shares were up around 4% in London at 9:30am on Thursday.

Source: Upstream

DNO Denies Somaliland Exit

Steve Marshall 

DNO has categorically denied that it intends to pull out of Somaliland after a team working for the Norwegian independent reportedly came under fire in the breakaway region of Somalia.

The team was carrying out a water survey for DNO in the Hudun area within its operated onshore exploration block SL-18 on 11 August when gunshots were reportedly fired in the vicinity at around 3:30pm, a company spokesman confirmed in an email to Upstream.

“No one was injured and the team was immediately repatriated to Hargeysa. The Somaliland authorities are investigating the matter further,” he stated.

The survey was being carried out as part of a DNO-funded project to provide local communities with safe drinking water. The company did not disclose the nationality of the team.

However, the spokesman added that “it is not correct that DNO is pulling out of Somaliland”, refuting local media reports that claimed the company was heading for the exit in the autonomous region due to the growing security threat.

Oslo-listed DNO holds a 60% operating stake in the block, its sole asset in the self-declared independent territory in north-west Somalia that it entered last year.

The explorer, which is targeting spending of between $10 million and $20 million on its Somaliland operations, has carried out a study of remote data and intends to gather more seismic data in the license.

However, deals signed by the regional administration with oil companies are deemed illegal by the Mogadishu-based central government.

“As in every country in which we operate, the safety and security of operations is our first priority,” the DNO spokesman said.

“We are in regular contact with the Somaliland authorities and closely monitor the security situation in Block SL-18.”

Somaliland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Behi Yonis was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal that he had heard about the Hudun gunfire incident but didn’t know the full details.

He said the region’s authorities were in the process of recruiting a security force of about 420 personnel, paid for by oil companies, to protect its oil assets. “We won’t have any events then,” he added.

The Somaliland move to form an independent security force has though reportedly come under scrutiny by United Nations monitors as Somalia is the subject of an arms embargo aimed at curbing years of conflict in the volatile Horn of Africa state.

Meanwhile, London-listed Ophir Energy said on Thursday it was pulling out of its acreage off Somaliland.

Genel Energy has temporarily suspended seismic operations in Somaliland “due to a deterioration in the security environment”, having reportedly pulled out staff last year amid escalating violence.

“Discussions continue with the Somaliland government in order to facilitate a resumption of activity,” the London-listed company stated on its website.

The Anglo-Turkish company, led by ex-BP boss Tony Hayward, acquired operating stakes in five onshore blocks covering a total of 40,300 square kilometers – an area the size of Iraqi Kurdistan – in 2012 and is targeting resource potential of around 2 billion barrels of oil in the underexplored region.

Read more on the DNO incident in Somaliland in Friday’s edition of Upstream newspaper.

Source: Upstream