Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Fifth Hargeisa International Book Fair - my Somaliland book launch.

The Red Sea Cultural Foundation and its partners are pleased to announce that the Fifth Hargeysa International Book Fair (HIBF) will take place between 13th and 18th July 2012.
Jama Musse Jama, Director of the Hargeysa International Book Fair, says “The Hargeysa International Book Fair has grown exponentially over the past five years, both in size and significance. It not only represents the main platform for arts in Somaliland, but it is now one of the largest public celebrations of literature in East Africa”.
HIBF is proud to host and present the work of internationally based writers, journalists, scholars, independent thinkers and artists. We are excited to welcome to this year’s Book Fair Sheikh Maxamuud Sheekh Dalmar and Said Salah Ahmed. Said Salah Ahmed is a highly-esteemed playwright, poet and teacher who currently lives in Minnesota. Sheikh Mahamoud Sheikh Dalmar is a public intellectual, Islamic scholar and Radio and TV producer, who lives in the UK.

Last year, we were honoured to welcome to HIBF Yasmeen Maxamuud, author of Nomad Diaries. She delighted our many visitors with her talent for language and encouraged lively discussions around social taboos, which were featured in her book. This year’s programme will see a return of the critically acclaimed author of Black Mamba Boy, Nadifa Mohamed discussing her new book. We are also delighted to be hosting the Somaliland launch of the hard-hitting book Getting Somalia Wrong by BBC journalist Mary Harper, and welcome Dr Georgi Kapchits linguist and noted scholar on the Somali language together with many more other guests.
As visitors of the HIBF have come to expect, the week long discussions and events are centred around a theme. This year is no different - the book fair will explore the role of arts and culture in shaping our future. 
HIBF has, since its inception, been a creative space for visiting artists from neighbouring countries and this year we again see many prominent authors and artists from Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia present their work and contribute to critical thinking and artistic dialogue in the region.
The book fair consists of many exciting components including a return of the highly successful moving library tour which provides eager and engaged fans in the six regions of Somaliland with the unique chance to meet and access the visiting artists and books in their own cities and towns.
Because HIBF is committed to contributing to a culture of reading and writing in Somaliland, as part of its programming, we believe it is imperative to increase the skills and capacity of the many young and aspiring artists of Somaliland. In 2011 the book fair piloted a creative writing short course in order to increase the technical skills of participants and the outcome of the short course was such as resounding success that we are excited to provide it again to 18 young writers and journalist. We will undertake the second creative writing course to continue that spirit.
We are also pleased to announce that for the first time the book fair will be joined by Penguin Publishers who will contribute to the delivery of the creative writing course and provide aspiring authors with expert advice on publishing and the contemporary literary world.
Join us for a six day-long artistic production with book presentations, poetry recitals, plays and other performances of artistic expression.

For further information, please write to

(This is a press release from The Red Sea Cultural Foundation)