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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Professor Samatar at the Hargeysa Cultural Centre

On the evening of 31 May, the Hargeysa Cultural Centre hosted a lecture by Professor Ahmed Ismail Samatar, one of the most prominent Somali scholars. Professor Samatar, lecturer at Macalester College, Minnesota, and founder of the international journal of Somali studies Bildhaan, delivered a lecture on the role of art and culture in the development of a nation. Over eight hundred people attended the lecture, with some of those who could not get in resorting to climbing trees to attend the lecture. The great majority of the audience were young people who asked most of the questions in the open debate that followed on Somali culture and heritage and on politics. The lecture was simultaneously translated into sign language for the deaf, and provided places for young people with special needs. The evening started with a traditional dance performed by a young troupe trained at the Cultural Centre and concluded with Professor Samatar leading the audience in the singing of a classic Somali song.  

The Hargeysa Cultural Centre is supported by the Rift Valley Institute with a grant from the European Union. The photographs of the evening were taken by Esse Musse, a young photographer trained at the Cultural Centre.

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