A Book Fair Blossoms in Mogadishu

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK | MOGADISHU (IDN) — A Book Fair is flowering in Mogadishu, bringing the world of literature and other areas of learning to a region challenged by the coronavirus pandemic and political tension linked to disagreements over the ongoing parliamentary elections in the country.

The event had been suspended last year due to Corona-19.

This year’s event was limited in size but according to the founder of the fair, Mohamed Diini, organizers are already working to accommodate more people next year.

Book fairs are a popular event across the continent. Every summer, for example, the Hargeisa International Book Fair is held in Somaliland, bringing writers, poets, artists and thinkers from around the world to share and discuss their literary works with a wider audience.

The goal of the event, say organizers, is to promote a culture of reading and writing in the region by producing and publishing high-quality Somali literature and translating international classical literature – fiction, poetry and drama into the Somali language.

The event is considered the main cultural event in Somaliland and one of the largest public celebrations of books in East Africa. Organized by the Redsea Online Culture Foundation, the event aims to stimulate the revival of all forms of art and human expression, including painting, poetry reciting, story-telling, drama composition and writing.

The Somali Moving Library Tour is the Book Fair’s flagship outreach event. It takes place a week before the opening of the festival in Hargeisa and is held across all regions of Somaliland.

Other countries with upcoming book events are South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Sierra Leone. An African Book Festival will be held Aug. 19-21 in Berlin, among others.

Ghana holds a special place on the continent as Unesco’s World Book Capital to be held on April 23, 2023. [IDN-InDepthNews – 20 December 2021]

Image source: The Mogadishu Book Fair

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