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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Eastleigh Launch: Impact of War on Somali Men

There has been little enquiry into the reality of the lives of Somali men and male youth following the collapse of the State in 1990.

On 5 March 2017, the Rift Valley Forum and the Aw Jama Cultural Centre hosted a panel discussion to discuss the findings of the inception phase of RVI’s Impact of War on Somali Men research project. The study investigated the impact of war and state collapse on Somali men and male youth through interviews and focus group discussions with some 400 men and 90 women in south-central Somalia, Puntland, Somaliland, and Dadaab and Eastleigh in Nairobi, Kenya.

The study findings provide evidence that Somali society still sets exacting standards for men and manhood, but war and instability since 1991 have severely curtailed male capacities and opportunities to live up to these. Whilst many older men feel dispensable and uncertain about their roles in the family in particular, among male youth there is still optimism despite profound challenges and hardship.

One such young man is Mohamed Hussein Geeldoon, who spoke about his book, We Kissed the Ground (Carrada Ayaan Dhunkannay). His personal account of growing up and surviving the war and his hazardous attempt to reach Europe via Uganda, Sudan, Libya and the Mediterranean, was one of several life stories collected during the study.


Haroon Yusuf
IWM Research Team

Adan Abokor
IWM Research Team

Yussuf Mohamed Barre
IWM Research Team

Judith Gardner
IWM Research Team

Mohamed Geeldoon

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