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14th Annual Hargeisa Book Fair officially opens

Saturday July 24, 2021

Hargeisa (HOL) - The 14th Annual Hargeisa International Book Fair officially opened on Saturday at the Hargeisa Cultural Center.

The event is more than a book expo. There are cultural events with poets, musicians and an interactive authors panel.

The Director of the Hargeisa Cultural Center and the director of the Hargeisa International Book Fair, Jama Muse Jama, welcomed the authors and guests attending the exhibition.

Somaliland's Representative in Ethiopia, Saeed Mohammed Jibril, said Somaliland and Ethiopia have long social ties.

"Somaliland and Ethiopia have long-standing economic, security, social and cultural ties. These exhibitions will further strengthen the relationship between the two communities and open a forum for discussion," he said.

Somaliland Minister of Information Saleban Yusuf Ali Koore said it was important that our people started writing.

"We are honoured that people have begun to write, and the books they author are a major step forward in preserving our culture," he said.

The chairman of the Waddani opposition party, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi Irro, described the exhibition as a reflection of Somaliland's development and a market for Somaliland that draws international attention.

Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismail Sayli'i said the show would bring social cohesion and said this year's theme of "neighbourliness"  is a character value cherished in Islam.

"Neighborhood starts at your next door, it goes on to your neighbouring country, and it is something that Islam encourages, and we are going to strengthen integration from one country to the next," he said.

Organizers say that the event is a way to promote Somali - a language with a deep oral history -  in its written form. Jama said that the fair has led to a 'literary awakening' within Somaliland.

The success of the Hargeisa Book Fair has led to other cities in Somalia hosting their own literary festivals. There are now book fairs in Mogadishu and Kismayo.

The 14th Hargeisa International Book Fair is being held in Hargeisa and is described as the largest book fair in East Africa, with over 10,000 guests attending each year.



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