Call for a workshop: DPU-SUMMERLAB HARGEYSA

Hargeysa: Exploring social cohesion in a segmented city

A SummerLab training for Urban Planners

Redsea Cultural Foundation is pleased to announce Hargeysa DPU-SummerLab workshop to be held from 1st -6th of September 2019. Students and professionals coming from the UK, Ecuador, USA, Uganda, Djibouti, Egypt, and Austria will be joined by 10 students and established professions from Somaliland, for an intensive week-long workshop, to explore the city.

This summerLab will focus on understanding local cultural forms in an urban context substantially altered by past conflict and climate crisis. It will encourage participants (who will, as far as possible, include an equal proportion of local and international delegates) to explore ways that pastoralist and contemporary customs can be retained in a manner that contributes to a positive urban identity in the current period. This will extend to an examination of the ways urban space can be used to encourage social cohesion even where local custom tends to favor the compound dwelling secured behind walls or other barriers. The summerLab will encourage this exploration using a co-working approach, that seeks to bring local and international urbanists together in a dialogue that culminates with the presentation of innovative and exploratory ideas on how Hargeysa might best serve its residents.

The workshop, which is geared towards students and emerging professionals with backgrounds and/or keen interest in the urban environment, will offer a vital testing ground for the proposing of contextual, hybridized spatial interventions deeply embedded into socio-political agendas.

If you are interested, please fill the application form and provide a concise (not more than one-page) motivation letter expressing why it is important for you to join the course along with your updated CV at courses@redsea-online.org or bring it in person at Hargeysa Cultural Center.

For more info, please visit www.redsea-online.org/SummerLab

application form

Day 3 HIBF 2019

Day 3 HIBF 2019: Research on Migration, Role of Small Magazines and In Conversation with Maaza Mengiste- The Author of ‘Beneath the Lion’s Gaze’

Fatuma Abdishukri Ahmed

Research on Migration Panel

The purpose of this session was for panellists to give an overview and present findings from different research projects they had conducted. The research projects discussed in this session were: Migrants on the Margins, Safe and Sustainable Cities and Security on the Move. The Director General of the Ministry of Planning in Somaliland, Mubarik Abdullahi was also part of this panel.

Researchers on the panel highlighted land ownership as a cross cutting security concern for migrants in the cities. International organisations in collaboration with the Somaliland Government have started rolling out relocation initiatives for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to formal permanent settlements. However, the promise of being resettled has created a new dynamic on informal settlements- people who want to own property but have had no means have now moved to informal settlements in the hope of owning property. Therefore, one downside of the relocation initiative is a pull factor for people to move to informal settlements.

Research on migration panel

 Abdirahman Edle highlighted the following findings from the project, Security on the Move in relation to the poignant living conditions in informal settlements:

  • Serious congestion in the neighbourhoods particularly State House
  • Inaccessibility
  • Poor social amenities and infrastructure

The Director General of the Ministry of Planning, Mubarik Abdullahi emphasized that as far as refugees are concerned, the Somaliland constitution adheres to the International Convention relating to Refugees and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As for IDPs, Mubarik explained there are two groups of IDPs in Somaliland- returnees who had fled the country during the war and rural people migrating to urban centres.

Mubarik suggested the following solutions as means to address the imminent issue of migration in Somaliland:

Urban Solutions: Somaliland has a significant number of IDPs in urban centres. These migrants should be relocated to formal settlements. They also need to be provided with basic social services such as health, wealth, sanitation, education and transportation. In order to ensure sustainable economic conditions, the migrants should be provided with relevant economic opportunities.

Rural Solution: Mubarik profoundly expressed that rural-urban migration is inevitable but the rate at which it happens can be reduced. He further expressed the need to devise strategic policies that will lead to diversification of livelihood and development in rural areas.

Role of Small Magazines

Small magazines play a vital role in providing a safe space for everyone to freely express themselves and feed into the bigger picture of knowledge production. Young people from the region who run small magazines shared their experiences on the challenges they face and opportunities they get from their work.

Panel on the role of small magazines

The following are some of the challenges highlighted by the discussants:

  • Lack of funds, which limits the type of work they can do
  • Disparities of work submitted. Panellists who run magazines in Somaliland conveyed that they face the challenge of having a gender balance in the content they produce since a very small number of females submit their work
  • The quality of a good number of articles submitted are not per the standards of their magazines

Despite the challenges they face, the panellists emphasized that the opportunities they get outweigh the challenges. The following are some of the opportunities highlighted by the discussants:

  • Collaborating with publishing houses
  • Getting funding from organisations
  • Being invited to workshops that improve their writing and editing skills
  • Working in partnership with international organisations and research institutions

The panellists gave the following sagacious advise to young people who are interested in creating content:

  • Consistency is essential when creating and producing content
  • Content produced should be exemplary
  • Have a collaborative approach in order to form networks

Panel on the role of small magazines

Literature

Maaza Mengiste the author of ‘Beneath the Lion’s Gaze,’ discussed her highly anticipated book, ‘The Shadow King,’ with Nadifa Mohamed, the author of ‘Black Mamba Boy’ and ‘The Orchard of Lost Souls.’ ‘ The Shadow King,’ is set during Italy’s invasion on Ethiopia. The book pursues the lost history of Ethiopian women during the war. Maaza explained how she grew up hearing about this war as a child and she heard the stories of what men did during the war. She noticed women who were mentioned in a few instances, were women whose role was to indirectly aid men in the war.  She conducted research to get a better understanding of what the war was like for women. What she found was quite interesting, she found stories of women who were indeed soldiers. She then discovered her great grandmother, who has inspired part of the story in ‘The Shadow King,’ was a soldier in the army.

Maaza Mengiste in conversation with Nadifa Mohamed

Day 2 of HIBF 2019

Day 2 of HIBF 2019- Socio-Economic and Cultural Relationship between Egypt and the Somali Region, Academic Writing, Archival Research and Mary Harper’s Book Launch- Everything You Have Told Me Is True: The Many Faces of Al-Shabaab.

Fatuma Abdishukri Ahmed- 22 Jul 2019

Day two of the book fair was packed with insightful sessions. The first session was a panel discussion on the socio-economic and cultural relationship between Egypt and the Somali region. Ahmed Ibrahim Awale, one of the discussants presented a brief history on the trade expeditions arranged by Queen Hatsheput and King Sahure to Punt. He also presented on the political history of the two countries; how Khedive Ismail annexed the lands of Zeila and Berbera. During this occupation, the king introduced the tax system to the locals. The tax collected was used to finance the construction of infrastructures and facilities for the local community. The occupation also introduced a sort of indirect governance though Akils (tribal chiefs). This mode of governance is still practiced in Somaliland.

Panel on the socio-economic and cultural connections between Egypt and the Somali region.

During the course of the day, Mary Harper renowned BBC Africa editor launched her book ‘Everything You Have Told Me Is True: The Many Faces of Al-Shabaab.’ Mary Harper revealed her motivation to write this book was to give a voice to the people who have suffered at the merciless hands of Al Shabaab.  In her book she notes that one way of resisting Al-Shabaab is by presenting people with alternative ways of thinking and giving them space to express themselves freely. She cites the book fair as an example of a safe space for young people.

Mary Harper launching her book, ‘Everything You Have Told Me Is True: The Many Faces of Al-Shabaab.’

The panel discussion on academic writing was a powerful tool gifted to young academic scholars in the audience. The panellists provided the following tips when writing academic papers:

  • Write in plain language – academic writing should be simple and straightforward.
  • The first page should focus on what the academic paper is about and not the background information.
  • Arguments presented should be clear to the reader. All arguments used should be backed by evidence.
  • Always think about how to make your work appealing to a wider audience.
  • Academic work should not be suspenseful. All arguments should be at the beginning and upfront.
  • In order to eliminate the pressure of the daunting peer review system, young scholars should ease into academic writing by reviewing essays and books.

Panel on Academic Writing

When discussing her book, ‘Writing Spatiality in West Africa: Colonial Legacies in the Anglophones/Francophone Novel,’ Madhu Krishnan talked about the challenges she faced when doing archival research. Some of the challenges she expressed include: getting funding to travel, difficulty in understanding some of the documents found in the archives and the process being time consuming since some archives lack catalogues. Despite these challenges Madhu Krishnan recognized the importance of looking at primary documents when conducting research.

After a long but informative day, participants visited Hido-Dhawr where they enjoyed Qaraami music.

Qaraami Music at Hido-Dhawr

 

Coexistence, Redefining Africa, Guest Country- Egypt and Knowledge Production in the Global South

Coexistence, Redefining Africa, Guest Country- Egypt and Knowledge Production in the Global South

21 July 2019- Fatuma Abdishukri Ahmed

The 12th Annual Hargeysa International Book Fair (HIBF) officially kicked off on 20th July 2019. The purpose of this year’s book fair is to celebrate and promote literature, culture and arts. It also aims to establish links that preserve and promote Somaliland and its citizens. The book fair has become the window in which Somaliland accesses the international space. Dr. Jama Musse Jama fervently expressed the need for the country to focus more on education particularly higher education in order to be able to create human and economic capital for Somaliland.

HIBF has adopted the theme of coexistence to be central to the events of this year’s book fair programme. Regrettably, no continent today is free from the ailments of political and ideological conflict. In varying degrees, conflict remains a pertinent issue to all countries in the world. Coexistence is and should be the breeding ground for peace and prosperity. Coexistence enables and allows people to not only build together but to also understand one another. Achieving coexistence is an ambitious mission that can only be achieved through commitment, dialogue and compromise.

Egypt is this year’s guest country. It is fitting to have Egypt as the guest country in relation to this year’s theme of coexistence. Egypt coexists as both an African and Arab state and furthermore its citizens coexist despite coming from different religious and socio economic backgrounds. Egyptian Ambassador, Mohamed Emad El-Gimw expressed that Egypt values the brotherly relationship that has existed between Somaliland and Egypt for many years. Somaliland has always had an appreciation for Egyptian academia. A number of young people from Somaliland seek their higher education from Egypt and further to this, majority of foreign educators and health professionals in Somaliland are Egyptians.

The keynote speaker of the day, Dr. Ouma Obama articulated the need to redefine Africa and development aid. Africa as a continent is a victim of definition; it is defined as a poor continent. Inhabitants of the continent need to stop viewing themselves as victims. The continent needs to change its dependency mentality of seating around and waiting for help. Dr. Ouma Obama also talked on how development aid institutionalises poverty. This is because development aid solely focuses on the ‘helping’ aspect rather than focussing on more sustainable economic aspects such as trade.

Keynote speaker, Dr.Ouma Obama

Panellists, Professor Michael Walls, Dr. Mpalive Msiska and Professor Madhu Krishna discussed knowledge production in the global south. The panellists discussed how at the rhetoric level there is a lot of commitment and goodwill on the need to have equal partnership with researchers from the global south yet at the implementation stage the complete opposite is practiced. The panellists noted that researchers from the global south are only involved in the data collection process. There is lack of capacity building within research projects since researchers from the global south are not involved in research design, they have no say to what kind of data needs to be collected and analysis of the research is done in the global north. The impact of a research project is designed and defined by the global north. All the aforementioned practices create a very distorted research environment.

HIBF traditionally has been a safe space for young local creators to discuss and display their talents and passions. This year was not any different as the evening sessions were primarily youth centric, where very talented photographers, poets and artists were given the platform to showcase their work.

Performance by Hido Academy

Research Urbanization Dynamics in East Africa: Insights from Malawi

PhD Session, researching urbanization dynamic in east Africa: insights from Malawi.  Wednesday 13/02 at the 7:45 pm – 10:30pm the Hargeisa Culture Center (HCC).

Academic dialogue in Hargeisa aims to assist in the production of knowledge in the field of Somali studies, also to act as a network for student and scholars during fieldwork in Hargeisa. Similarly, ADIH aims to help scholars gain a better, more nuanced understanding of Somaliland as a subject of study whilst exposing students to a wealth of locally produced
knowledge.
Dr. Jama Musse Jama started the event with the importance of research cooperation introducing Dr. Donald Brown to the audience and stage.
Dr. Donald Brown is from the Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College London (UCL) he started sharing his research experience on his research titled “Researching Urbanization Dynamics in East Africa: Insights from Malawi” Sub-Saharan Africa is simultaneously the world’s least urbanized and one of the most rapidly urbanizing regions. However, while the sub-continent’s population is urbanizing as a whole, there are substantial differences in urbanization patterns and trends within and
between regions. In this talk, Donald Brown shared his experiences from his PhD researching urbanization dynamics in East Africa based on the case of Malawi. Particular attention is focused on to how the research process unfolded, with a focus on study approach and design, and methodological issues faced in the field. The objective of the talk was to spark discussion on what makes Somaliland’s urban transition exceptional in the East African context, and how its study might be approached from both an academic and
policy perspective.
One of the questions raised from the public was ‘How increasing urbanization shrinks space and whether similarity blue between Somaliland and Malawi?’’ Dr. Donald Brown answering this question said ‘’Urbanization involves communal interaction that not necessarily involves neighborhood but villages’’
At last, Dr. Donald explained how urbanization process involved a whole range of socio-economic transformations that are important to note , because of this new settlements newtrade centers and small business emerge Pointed Gender division of labor in the process,
Centrality of statistics and how it’s the discus Regarding settlements.

Mother Tongue Day

February 21 st is a day devoted to celebrating mother tongue all around the world. Therefore, we also arrange an event at Hargeisa Cultural Centre each year to come together and talk about the importance of Mother tongue and the role it plays in our identity.

Ismaaciil C Ubax, the project manager at Hargeisa Cultural Centre was leading the first part of this event giving the audience a brief background about how this day became significant. Bangladesh fought for recognition for the Bangla language in February 21 st 1948. Pakistan who was separated into east and west had fought after the government of Pakistan declared that the sole language of Pakistan will be Urdu which upset the east. The
east had more population than the west so they argued that Bangla must be the sole language as well. A civil war broke out as a result. Since it was a tragic event inspired by the recognition of mother tongue, February 21 st became the international language day. UNESCO also officially announced it in November 17 th 1999.
Mawlid Adan Biixi began this event with speaking about the richness of the
Somali language. He took examples of words that have multiple meanings and that can be used in different contexts. He also mentioned how there are names for certain things and sub-names as well because our language is rich. An example of such things is Waran. Waran is Spear in Somali but it also has other sub-names such as Hooto, Eello, Xalaash, Qaash and Garmaqaate. Maliid continued taking more examples and tracing back to the original meanings of some Somali words.
Awale Ismail Saleban was our second guest speaker who prepared a poem
for this occasion. The poem was about education and the doors it opens for
people. His poem inspired learning and that included learning our mother
language also.
Dr. Jama Musse led the second part of the event calling Mr. Saed Jama on stage. Mr. Saed is a creative writing teacher and has written many short stories as well.
He shared some of his stories as a motivation for everybody and to also show his contribution to the Somali language. Mr. Saed concluded his speech by saying “We are the only ones who can uplift our mother language and give meaning to it”

The last part of the event was dedicated to Mr. Mohamoud Sheikh Ahmed
Dalmar’s book Irdho.The book metaphorically tells a story about the Somali
language migrating to London. The Somali language screams and shouts for help. It seeks asylum saying that Somali people are here and it followed them therefore wants to be granted asylum so it can stay and live in London.
Overall, this event was successful; there was also a singer who sang a few Somali songs. All the guest speakers presented something important and special for this mother tongue occasion. The purpose of it was to honor our mother tongue and inspire the youth to value it so the upcoming generations will also continue
strengthening it.

Caweyska Qaraamiga (Qaraami Night)

The event of Qaraami songs was different from the regular events that usually happen at Hargeisa cultural centre.

The night was dedicated to Qaraami songs and understanding what Qaraami really means. The guests of the night who were chosen to educate people about what Qaraami is; were Caabi Mire, Marduuf, Buulo and Mohamed Burco.

Dr. Jama Musse Jama started off the event with defining what Qaraami Music is

Jama said “Qaraami are songs with certain tunes (Laxan), Just because a guitar is played for a song does not mean it is Qaraami” After Dr. Jama’s short introduction, Caabi mire who is a well-known singer and his crew started the night and played a series of fifteen Qaraami songs.

The types of Qaraami songs the crew played were Aroor, Beerdillaacshe, Carwo, Hayaan, Madiix, Iskushuban, Kaar, Laac, Nugul, Raaxeeye, Riftoon, Subcis, Rogaal, Xaafuun and Murug. The audience was given a chance to sing as well to keep them engaged in the event.

This was a very Interest event people enjoying the music at the same time learning more about what they were listening. We hope people enjoyed the night and are able now to tell which songs are Qaraami and which are not.

Adolescent Health

On Tuesday night 7:45pm February 19 th, an event held at Hargeysa Cultural Centre assembled a group of professionals who discussed Adolescent Health in Somaliland. This event took place with the help of joined young activists, different organization workers, health professionals and government officials. They spoke about how different factors such as income and education affect Adolescent Health and how they are interdependent on each other.
The event was not held only to inspire Somaliland youth to seek medical help when needed but also to highlight the lack of medical check-ups and counselling that are accessible for the youth.
The guest speakers also touched on the importance of staying healthy and preventing diseases in the first place. Mohamed Dhamac, a member of Sonyo said “a common disease which is prevalent among youth globally is HIV/AIDS and a good way we have always prevented it is marriage”.Other guest speakers also suggested effective ways of avoiding or living with other
types of diseases.
Abdiqani Abdillahi spoke about the adolescence period and the various health related issues that are commonly observed at that this stage of human growth. Important worth mentioning here, is the need to seek out professional health help which, as Abdiqani pointed out, will be disastrous if not taken seriously. The discussion then took another turn with Mohamed
Dhamac, discussing the importance of maintaining a healthy youth and how it’s of immense importance to have a healthy youth as it will lead to healthy community as rightly pointed out by Dhamac.
Our third speaker was Dr. Hamda Abdirahman, a Psychologist and a lecturer who spoke about the mental health of youth. The message she was sending is that, young people want to be heard. Because traditionally we (Somalis) do not consider children’s opinion that much which as a result can cause them to mentally suffer. She suggested that we talk to
children about their opinion and personal problems so they won’t get depressed and end up becoming mentally ill which can actually cause them taking their own lives. Poverty and healthcare was another major issue touched upon in the event and Dr. Barkhad Hussein brilliantly explained the relationship between poverty and healthcare accessibility and he shared a touching story about a young boy who suffered from diabetes. He told us the boy’s journey from middle school to university and the obstacles
he faced on the way. What was deeply sad about this story is the fact that the young boy struggled to pay for his medication and even taking them while in school. “Double 2 Burden” is the term he used to describe the boy’s situation. Dr. Barkhad said, “This is how I will transmit my message, and it is for you to get the point out of it.”

– Dr. Mariam spoke last before the discussion group. Mariam asked the audience “where
do you go when you need medical help?” Then she explored different options people
normally have and what they do instead. Dr. Mariam highly recommended people to go
to pharmacies or hospitals and seek counselors to maintain a good health. The event was
concluded with engagement and thoughts by the audience whose discussions centered
around;

a) The fact that Somaliland Youth doesn’t have a special healthcare system and
b) people/ government’s perspective of youth and the Psychology of adolescence.
The main idea behind this event was for people to hear and learn from each other then spread their ideas to the community especially to those it concerns. They concluded that Adolescent health needs special attention and raising public awareness of the issue. Achieving this would also improve not only youth’s well being but the economy and education of Somaliland.

Breast Cancer

 

A group of female doctors arranged the event on Sunday night March 3rd where they spoke about Breast Cancer and how common it is in our country particularly among women. Breast Cancer is globally the second most common type of cancer. A lot of people die from it due to delay in seeking medical advice but in the case of Somaliland, Women are shy about reaching out for help which as a result causes early preventable deaths. Breast Cancer is not a disease that happens to women only but men can get it as well although it is estimated that only 1% of men get it.

Dr. Saynab was leading this event and introduced the importance of this topic and how they created their team. “We decided to initiate this team in 2015 in the hope of helping people to be aware of this disease but we officially started in March 3rd 2016” Dr. Saynab also talked about the causes of breast cancer. She said “Some of the things that cause cancer are prolonged take of birth control pills, Alcohol, Cigarettes and Qat. It could be hereditary too”

 

Dr. Shukri Daahir spoke next about the percentage of women affected by Breast cancer in the world. She reported that “17.5 million women get cancer per year and 9 million of them die. 1.7 million get breast cancer” Dr. Shukri also mentioned that in every 182,000 women in America 26% of them get breast cancer so it is pretty serious. Dr. Shukri touched on how there is a good medical help in America. The survival rate is very high. However, in the case of Somaliland, women are not as worried as they should be about their health. “Part of it is lack of health awareness and the fact that Chemotherapy is not available in Somaliland. Another obstacle on the way is using herbal medicine which in terms of cancer is not useful at all.”  Dr. Shukri also classified the areas in Africa affected by breast cancer into three different parts. Central Africa, South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa. She said that breast cancer is most common in the Sub-Saharan area because it is where women die at home mostly.

Dr. Sahra Caydiid listed the symptoms of breast Cancer. She said “if you see these signs then you should immediately contact a doctor. Symptoms are Change in your normal breast color, change in size, unusual hardness of the breast, swelling, blood or milk leaking from your breast, severe pain, and laceration as well as skin holes.”

Lastly, Dr. Afnan spoke about the treatment of breast cancer in which she categorized into four stage treatment. She said “When the tumor is only in the breast and has not spread to any other place then we cut out the breast. If the tumor reaches the muscles around the breast and the glands, we also cut it. However, when it spreads to the entire body, there is nothing we could do about it.” Therefore Dr. Afnan highly recommended that we (both men and women) do checkups every now and then.

This event was very important for it was an eye opening to our community and will eventually save lives. It was a motivation to those who are too shy to come get help and enlightening to those who don’t understand the risk they are taking by dealing with breast cancer at home. In the end of this event, the audience was given a chance to ask questions and all three doctors answered them. We had ninety people come to the event twenty six of them males and sixty four females. What we hope people to take away from it is that breast cancer is a life threatening disease and should be dealt with in hospitals and to also prevent it by staying healthy and checking yourself up regularly.

Dacar Cas/Somaliland Red Aloe: New species of Aloe described in Somaliland

By the two researchers Mary Barkworth who is a plant taxonomist who retired from Utah State University in 2012.

In 2015, she became interested in helping Somalilanddevelop, in Somaliland, resources for studying its biodiversity, particularly its plant diversity, Mary’s research was focused on two groups of grasses, neither of which is well represented in Somaliland, but she was able to assist in
bringing the Somali Red Aloe to the attention of scientists because as a taxonomist, she is aware of the requirements for formally naming species that has not previously been recognized. And
Ahmed Awale is well known in Somaliland for his passionate commitment to the Somaliland’s environment, which is reflected in his many publications and his work as Chair of Candlelight, an organization devoted to the environment, education, and health in Somaliland. He discovered the first population of the Somali Red Aloe while traveling for Candlelight in 2013.

Because of his knowledge of Somaliland’s plants, particularly its succulents, he realized it might be undescribed. The recently published paper is an outcome of his insight. Formal recognition of the Somali Red Aloe will, it is hoped, aid in promoting conservation of Somaliland’s rich natural heritage and its recognition as an integral part of Somaliland’s cultural heritage. Mary Barkworth talking about the researcher process and the researcher’s hypothesis while describing the new Aloe.
Ahmed Ibrahim Awale talking about the discovery of new species of Aloe in Somaliland and Description and identification of a new alone species, material and methods, figs and introduction of the Researcher. Also A new species of Aloe ( Asphodelaceae )is described from Somaliland. It differs from other species in forming large clumps and in having sap that is initially yellow but quickly turns bright red and then dark red or reddish-brown, paniculate red-flowered inflorescences and uniformly colored
leaves with red teeth. And recognitions raise the number of species known from the combined area of Somaliland and Somalia from 31 to 36.
Also differed from other Aloe species in the region in having leaves with reddish teeth and, when cut, an exudate that rapidly turns from yellow to bright red.
Also noticed the plants, referring to them as (Dacar Cas), or Red, to distinguish them from other Aloes in
the region, such as Da’ar Buduk (Dacar Budhuq), the name used locally for A. retrospections Reynolds.
Also noted he is collected cuttings to grow and observe in Hargeisa. The flowers were protandrous, forming plump, well-filled anthers that matured before the styles had fully elongated. Both the anthers and the styles appeared fully functional. These observations made it unlikely that the plants were hybrids. After very interesting presentation that questions and discussion session starting, Ahmed Awale
and Mary Barkworth reflecting on the question.

About

The Hargeysa Cultural Center was opened in August 2014 in Hargeysa, Somaliland. The Center was established by Redsea Cultural Foundation (RCF). Since its establishment, the Hargeysa Cultural Center has become an important feature in Hargeysa’s cultural landscape. The success of the center owes much to the respect that RCF has gained from its work on running the annual Hargeysa International Book Fair, which, now in its eighth year, has become one of the most admired cultural events in the region.

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