Day Five – Wednesday 27th July 2016

8:30- 9:20: In conversation with Michaela Maria Muller

Michaela Maria Mueller was born in Dachau, Germany in 1974, where she grew up on a dairy farm. She worked as a bookseller in New York and Munich. She studied history and politics at Humboldt University, Berlin. Since 2006 she has been working as a journalist for German newspapers (Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). She will present her new book just published in German Auf See – Die Geschichte von Ayan und Samir, but she also contributed to research in archives of the German Foreign Ministry about what happened in the years after the release of the passenger machine “Landshut” in Mogadishu in October 1977. The German government made contracts with the Siad Barre regime, and the chancellor Helmut Schmidt in 1978 went to Egypt to meet him. Somalia needed weapons for the Ogaden war, so Germany was in a predicament. In the end they did not send weapons, but only because a German politician of the opposition got hold of the contracts before they were signed. But until the mid 1980s Germany gave lots of money to the Siad Barre regime. Maria will speak on hidden aspects of this story.

9:30 – 10.30 Meet the author: in conversation with Esther Armah

Esther A. Armah is a Ghanaian international award winning journalist across print, radio, television. She is a playwright, writer and journalism lecturer. Esther has worked in the media across Africa in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Lesotho; in the US in New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia and in Europe – in London.

As a writer, Esther’s first book was a non-fiction essay collection exploring identity across media ‘Can I Be Me?’, she is working on her first novel ‘The Sweet Promise of Bullshit’ and a second non-fiction book: ‘Emotional Justice’. Esther created ‘emotional justice’ to engage and explore how untold stories of hidden emotionality shape relationships, culture, society and policy. Armah has written four plays, all of which have been published in New York and Chicago. The plays are: ‘Can I Be Me?’, ‘Forgive Me?’. ‘Entitled!’, and SAVIOUR?  Her essays and articles have been published in New York and London, in publications The Guardian, AlterNet,,, Essence, AlterNet, Gawker.”

Chair: Cadnaan Hagoog is the information and communication officer at the European Union Delegation for Somaliland. He is a member of the Hargeysa Cultural Centre and a volunteer at Hargeysa International Book Fair.

11.00 – 12.30: Leadership in the Somali Society

The Psychology of Leadership by Dr. Hussein A. Bulhan

Leadership is a topic of paramount significance wherever people live, interact, and work together. It plays a critical role in all walks of life including family life, community relations, businesses, religious organizations, and of course politics. Indeed nations rise or fall in part because of the quality of the leaders they have, in part also because of the characteristics of their people and the type of leaders they choose. This presentation first reviews the literature on the psychology of leadership, subsequently focuses on the psychology of leaders in Somali society. It compares leadership in traditional and contemporary societies, identifying changes over the decades to identify how crises of society and politics in pre- and post-independence eras derived from a crisis of leadership.

Leadership: In memory of Sheekh Ibraahin Sheekh Yuusuf Sheekh Madar

Sheikh Adam Siiro will reflect on the leadership of Sheekh Ibraahin Sheekh Yuusuf Sheekh Madar, one of the most respected elders of Somaliland, a judicious mediator at times of conflict, the first Speaker of the House of Elders (Golaha Guurtida) – one of the main pillars on which Somaliland’s democracy and future progress depends. The latest book on the life of Sheekh Ibrahim, Go’aan iyo Geesinnimo written by Cali Cabdi Coomey will be presented.

 16:00-18:00 Books, poetry and stories from Djibouti

One of the major contributions from the Djibouti guests is the launch of Cilmi Boodheri iyo Jacaylkii Taamaka Ahaa, a book about the most renowned love story in the Somali context; it is co-authored by Dr. Abdirascid Ismail and Dr. Idris Youssouf Elmi. This is followed by an account of the history of the city of Djibouti through pictures by Abdalla Hagi and in conclusion with poetry reading by Anab Guleid and traditional dance.

Idris Youssouf Elmi, a Djibouti national is an expert in the dynamics of language and situation (attitudes, feelings and representations). He has also studied the phenomena of migration in the Horn of Africa. He has taught French language and culture and education for many years at the University of Djibouti. Idris is currently the UNESCO Program Coordinator at Djibouti. Idris has published extensively and is the author of, among others, La Galaxie de l’Absurde, (Editions de l’Harmattan, Paris 1997), a prize winner of the Académie d’outre-mer (1998) and the poetry collection Nostalgies ou le Joug du verbe (1998). He has also written plays, poems and articles in French and in Somali.

Dr. Abdirashid Ismail is a senior lecturer at the University of Djibouti where he teaches general linguistics and Somali linguistics. He was a president of the committee which laid the foundation of the Intergovernmental Academy of Somali Language in which he now serves as vice president. He is Co-editor of Afmaal 1 among the other linguistics works and his latest book is on Cilmi Boodheri which will be launched at this years’ Hargeysa International Book Fair.

Cabdalla Xaaji (Djibouti) is the author of Xeer Ciise, a detailed reference book on one of the strictest indigenous rules comparable to the modern contemporary laws. He is a TV program officer and he manages the archive department of Djibouti National TV. Cabdalla is the author of Qalin ma koobaan, an anthology of the poetry of Ali Mooge. Ali Mooge was a contemporary poet who died prematurely in his early 30s but left an extraordinary production of poems. Abdalla will talk about the history of City of Djibouti.

Anab Guleid is one of the few Somali women renowned for reciting the gabay. Anab breaks the boundaries placed upon women’s artistic freedom, opening doors for the younger generations. As an advocate for the preservation of culture and the environment, her poems often carry the theme of social justice.

Chair: Zainab Aadan is a storyteller, entertainer and educator based in the UK. Zainab is an activist and promoter of the Somali language among Somali children raised in the UK.

18.00-18.20 Traditional Dance

18:30-21:30 Book launch: Abdisalam Hereri, Cabdiraxmaan Faarax “Guri Barwaaqo”

18:30-19:10 Far Tasowday, Cabdiraxmaan C Faarax “Guri-barwaaqo”

Mr. Abdirahman Farah ‘Guri Barwaaqo’ is a connoisseur of the Somali language, he’s currently the Head of Department of Culture and Language at Hargeysa University. Among his books are Magac Bilaash u Ma Baxo (Nicknames Don’t Lie), Mahaadhooyinkii Gaarriye (a biography of Gaarriye) and Hal­bixinta Ereyada Kumbuyutarka (a book on Somali terminologies for technical items). Abdirahman’s latest book is Far Tasowday (the neglected alphabet) in which he describes the alphabet proposed for the Somali language by Mohamed Abdi Makaahiil.

19:10-19:40 Feedh Qalloocan, Nuuraddiin Faarax, translated by Cabdisalaam Hereri.

Abdisalam Hereri, renowned TV and Radio program producer, translated From a Crooked Rib by Nuruddin Farah. This is the first time Nuruddin Farah is translated into Somali, and HIBF is proud to celebrate this fist time epic literary work.

Chair: Fardus Saeed Diri, activist and founder of Ayeeyo, a Somaliland based NGO focused on working with young girls.

 19.45-20.30 The role of leadership in Islam: As epitomised by the prophet Mohammed (PBUH)

As the only man in history who has succeeded in both secular and religious levels and was the force behind the Arab conquest of the 7th-8th century, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) could be described as the greatest political leader in history. There are numerous quotes defining Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) status as the supreme incomparable leader in human history and even the greatest leader of all time.

The concept of leadership in Islam is the practical manifestation of the management of the trust given by God to man (Adam) in running the affairs of earth according to the will and wish of the Almighty. The embodiment of this concept is the practice of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The panel will be opened by his excellence Sheikh Khalil Abdullahi Ahmed, the Minister of Endowment and Religious Affairs of Somaliland, followed by discussion of the theme by Sheikh Almis Yahya Ibrahim and Sheikh Mohamud Sheikh Dalmar.