Mogadishu hosts its third annual book fair
Mogadishu - Hundreds thronged the venue of the third annual Mogadishu Book Fair to attend the opening day of Somalia’s biggest exhibition of literary works.
Intellectuals, authors, scholars, playwrights, poets, musicians and book enthusiasts turned out in large numbers for the start of the three-day book fair.
Notable speakers at this year’s fair include the renowned author of ‘Making Sense of Somalia’, Dr. Abdurrahman Abdullahi Badiyow, and the award-winning Kenyan photojournalist and human rights activist Boniface Mwangi.
The Deputy Mayor of Mogadishu Abdullahi Haji Ereg and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating, were among the prominent guests who visited the Mogadishu hotel that is hosting the event. The book fair is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development for the second consecutive year.
The deputy mayor said his administration would promote the opening of book libraries and furnish support to young upcoming writers.
“We have made an undertaking to provide a market to young writers. We intend to have the leaders from Banadir region, together with their librarians, attend the next book fair and provide a report on the success of the fair,” stated Mr. Ereg.
Book launches, signings, panel discussions and cultural entertainment will be held during the second and third days of the annual fair.
“This is a truly important opportunity for me to showcase my work. I am motivated to write even more books, just by the number of people attending this event,” remarked 25-year-old author Gallad Mohamed Barre, who is exhibiting a book titled, ‘Sideed Kunoqon Kartaa Arday Guuleeysta’ (How to become a successful student).
“This is the second year I am attending the book fair. Many more books have been showcased this year compared to previous years, and this portrays the relative peace in the country,” exclaimed book enthusiast Ahlam Mohamed Elmi.
Another author, Saara Abukar Osman, is exhibiting a book titled ‘The Pre Colonial Rulers’, written by her father who passed away in May of this year.
“It is a book that talks about the history of Mogadishu and Banadir before the seventeenth century and the people living in Banadir,” Saara explained. “It is truly an honour for me to exhibit this work at the Mogadishu Book Fair as a legacy of my father, who was also an author. I hope to emulate him by writing a new book”.