PhD Days at Hargeysa Cultural Center

PhD Days at Hargeisa Cultural Center

Academic dialogue in Hargeisa is the first academic dialog forum in Hargeisa Somaliland. It 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.

The idea of the “PhD Days at HCC” on Somali related academic studies is also to prepare the ground for the 40th anniversary of the Somali Studies International Congress which, is due to take place in Hargeisa in July 2018. The congress builds up on blocks of academic disciplines consolidated through sectorial meetings based on research area that includes but not limited to;

  • linguistics and literature
  • Anthropology & History
  • Political & development areas 4) Migration & Diaspora
  • Indigenous knowledge and knowledge production
  • other social science and religion;
  • Science and new technology

The forum is also aiming at creating a profiled publication of series of research area summaries by compiling each seminar or single scholar meeting and produce a report and “Notes” towards 2018 Somali studies Congress. The Seminars take place fortnightly on Wednesdays, starting at 7:45pm with a short introduction of the presenting PhD student followed by presentation that lasts approximately 30 minutes which opens up the round table discussion. The structure of the forum dominates the experience sharing, suggestions and concrete constructive critics with inputs to the presenter.

The attendants of this forum are mainly PhD students as it aims to make a strong link among them in a way of informing “who” is working on “what area”, but the forum also has a space for local and international undergraduate students who are in strong aspiration to follow the academic path.  Beyond this, the mailing list also includes internationally renowned scholars who have been and still are working on Somali/Somaliland issues in all domains of academics who also take part in presenting their published works which sums up the overall objective of the forum as it connects, provide open stage for concrete discussion and shoes the end tunnel with such finished and published works as a motivating input.


Wednesdays’ evening is taken in Hargeisa!

 ADIH coordinator Hargeisa Cultural Center

        By Tirsit Yetbarek

Wednesdays’ evening is taken in Hargeisa! It is a day reserved for Academic Dialog In Hargeisa (ADIH) event at Hargeisa Cultural Center. The event 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. The idea of the “PhD Days at HCC” on Somali related issues is also to prepare people for the 40th anniversary of the Somali Studies International Congress which, is due to take place in Hargeisa in July 2018.  So far, we have had 16 PhD level presentations in wide range of areas ranging from politics, economics, linguistics to natural resource utilization by scholars and PhD students who came from universities in different corners of the world.

The event has a special arrangement of presentation where by discussion rather than a hot spot questioning is used on a moon light open space with in the Hargeisa Cultural Center that has an inspiring environment. Participants take ownership in receiving information, sharing their thoughts in a constructive suggestive manner and assist each other in gaining new perspectives that helps at the end to come to common ground with each presentation issues. Only one rule applies here “introduce yourself before you provide your comments “which is aimed at connecting and advancing the bond of knowing each other for more relaxed communication.

Our last three presentations also evolved with similar tone but even got a wider reception owing it to the fact that they were part of the historic, successful and democratic election Somaliland had. All the three presenters were part of the International Election Observation mission as a Sort term observer. First, we had Dr. Scott Pegg Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). His presentation on ‘Twenty Years of De Facto State Studies: Progress, Problems and Prospects’ surfaced issues centering on the struggle for self-determination with in the past 20 years research including Somaliland whereby he stated that the challenge remains constant starting from naming such entities, irregularities in international principles and limitation on new perspective of academic dialog on the area. He further asserted that fundamentally there remains a continued failure to reach agreement on the number of these entities that exist or have existed since 1945. The nuanced and empirically rich academic literature has also largely failed to advance journalists or policymakers’ understanding of de facto states. Yet, the prospects for de facto state studies remain bright. More diverse comparative work, renewed attention to how engagement without recognition might facilitate the participation of unrecognized entities in international politics, a renewed focus on parent state strategies, and increased attention to de facto states and conflict resolution are areas deserving of greater scholarly attention was the pillar point he wanted to pass. Recent developments from Catalonia to Somaliland were discussed with in this presentation framework which lead to heated, informative and interesting dialog night.

With the well ignited appetite by Dr. Pegg’s presentation, we had our following Wednesday dialog with the young scholar Mr.Yusuf Serunkuma who is a PhD student at Makerere University Institute of Social Research (MISR), Makerere University in Kampala. His work focuses on exploiting the craft and aesthetics of popular culture (poetry, nationalist music, monuments, popular narratives and practices, national celebrations, fliers and symbols of statehood such as the national flag, and recent ethnography, 2015) mostly through ethnography, discourse and literary analysis, Yusuf’s work examines the ways in which Somaliland political identity and national consciousness is mobilized as an independent nation state seceding from Somalia. Using the case study of Somaliland, as a form of de-imagined nationalism, Yusuf then attempts to theorize secessionist nationalism (Eritrea, South Sudan, Pakistan, Biafra, Catalonia, Scotland etc.) as it is distinctly different from other forms of nationalism especially anticolonial nationalism. Participants were impressed with the diverging perspective he was trying to illustrate how identity depiction matters by negating the traditional ‘I am this because I am not that’ which he said unless aspiring nations start centering their self-determination in a way that starts and ends in what they are, he said will still be in a continuous challenge of waiting. In his explanation he stated that in Somaliland’s nationalist project he has two arguments: Firstly, he presents that through its “officially sponsored” popular cultural items (such as the symbols of statehood, monuments, nationalist music and poetry, select events such as the arrest of the Horn Stars returning from Mogadishu in 2015 etc.), Somaliland has constructed a public identity that thrives on an intimate juxtaposition/foil with Somalia. He argues that is perilous as there is potential for nationalist amnesia/violence once the foil disappears. Secondly, that although most of scholarship rightly celebrates the peace and stability in the country of the last 26 years, sustaining the images and histories of violence in its public identity and institutional symbolisms suggests it has remained a country at war.  He asserted that Somaliland ought to build a national consciousness without Somalia as its referent. “my suggestions include monumentalizing cultural and SNM heroes, first presidents, significant historical figures etc.”  Secondly, by defining itself in essentially internationalist terms (democrats, anti-terrorism, victims of a genocide), Somaliland surrenders both the power to define itself in its own terms (say, cultural-traditional) to the international regime of power, which defines those terms.  As well, this has potential to plunge the country into cultural/nationalist amnesia once the terms of the debate shift. On the bases of this presentation participants provided pro and critics by giving example of struggle all over the world which lighted up the discussion. Among the core comments were the international principle of state recognition being binding to have a referent state be it as a mother state or patron which are central in the self-determination process. well his argument popular culture shall be used to identify what Somaliland is as it stands on its own description was concluded with a performance by HCC Cultural Dance team that played ‘Hobbay’.

As the forum is centering Somaliland/Somalia based research with internationally acknowledged methodology and research practice, the three presentations we had resonated on Somaliland statehood and mechanisms for development that coincided with the election the state was on. The third presentation was by Miss Amanda Møller Rasmussen who has a background in Social Anthropology of Development (MA) from the School of Oriental and African Studies as well as in African Studies (MA) from the University of Copenhagen. She has been affiliated to the Centre of African Studies at Copenhagen University as a research assistant and project coordinator. Her research has mainly focused on Somaliland’s fishery sector and its development initiatives, exploring the various economic, social and epistemic networks that surround Somaliland’s fishery development on both a local and global level. During her presentation she stated that although fisheries in Somaliland have seldom caught the attention of scholars or international actors, the successful articulation of a linkage between “Somali piracy” and regional fisheries have led to more and more development attention, resources and technologies targeted at the Somaliland fishery industry. She argues that this has resulted in linking both local and global actors in an effort to securitize the region. Her presentation reflected more upon how these narratives are used to address issues of poverty and fishery development. At the same time, she investigates how these narratives have made the Somaliland fishery industry – a marginal and often unnoticed industry with little influence on the global community – into an arena from where different local and global actors are able to negotiate their interest, positions, and the allocation of development resources in a globalized world. In such a process establishing, appropriating, and re-establishing ideas about potential dangerous fishermen and the legitimacy of international development by linking up to local desires, global agendas, and the development epistemic communities that surrounds fishery development in Somaliland is mandatory was her point to take from the presentation. As always her presentation was also followed by supplementing perspectives and challenges that shadowed fishery which is an industry Somaliland has a wider opportunity for national development.

Well this is ADIH November with Wednesdays’ well spent, academic environment celebrated and the waiting for the next PhD presentation taking over as the last Wednesdays of each month are dedicated to a documentary featuring night that brings the public together to give the dialog another emerging dimension of academic discussion with socially significant documentaries. This week we are screening ‘Cultures of Resistance’ directed by Iara Lee to lead the way for another intellectual dialog and say goodbye to November a month that once again placed Somaliland back on top of democratic practice success story in Horn of Africa a region dominated by fear after election season.

Short course on Photography | HIBF Courses

The course

Redsea Cultural Foundation (RCF) is running a short course on photography on the 17th- 20th July 2017 in Hargeysa as part of the 10th Hargeysa International Book Fair. Places are limited to 10 students for the course and the deadline for the submission of application is before the 10th July 2017.

The course will cover:
– Brief history and principles of photography
– Technical training on manual camera settings: Exposure/Shutter
– Speed/Aperture/Depth of field
– Using natural light and using Flash
– Creative and professional development
– Simple post-production and editing

Requirements for applicants:
Each prospective student should write a short application stating why they want to do the course, and what their experience is so far, with 4/5 photos to support their application. Applicants must have access to a camera that works in ‘manual’ mode, preferably a digital SLR (but it can be a compact camera).

The successful applicants will have to present these in the class and explain what they would like to get out of the course.

Applications need to be submitted in person to the Hargeysa Cultural Centre (HCC) no later than Monday 10th July 2017, 14.30 (2.30 PM Hargeysa Local Time). The course subscription is free. Applicants are required to have HCC membership card which is available upon request at the HCC Office.

Course Lead:
Kate Stanworth is a professional documentary and portrait photographer and photo editor, from London. She has a degree from Norwich School of Art, and a Masters from the University of London. Her clients include many NGOs and publishers and she is working on self-initiated photography projects in Argentina, Somaliland and Europe. Her images have been published by the BBC, Time Out, The Guardian, CNN, International Business Times, High Life Magazine, TANK Magazine, Save the Children, Shelter and Mencap, among many others.

Redsea Cultural Foundation invites you to apublic lecture by Professor Ahmed I.Samatar

The 2016 United States presidential election had two unusual characteristics: (a) a woman, for the first time in the country’s history, became the nominee for one of the two major parties, and (b) the contest was extraordinarily uncivil and divisive. In the end, the least expected candidate, Donald Trump, won — though he lost the popular vote by more than 2.5 million ballots. President Trump’s in-coming administration seems to promise drastic change in both domestic public policy and approach to world affairs. This presentation interrogates two pertinent questions: (a) what were some of the main reasons behind Trump’s unexpected victory? and (b) what are some possible implications, if any, for Somaliland.

Public talk At Hargeysa Cultural Centre By Dr. Anjanette DeCarlo.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii, B. frereana) resin harvesting has a deep historical and cultural heritage in Somaliland, providing economic benefits for centuries. Today the resins are highly relevant in the global economy, with applications in cosmetics, aromatherapy, and emerging medical and therapeutic applications. Thus, the
frankincense forests are key cultural and economic elements in Somaliland. However, our recent research is indicating that the demand for frankincense resin internationally is outpacing the supply. Sixyears ago there was a small market for these Somali resins now there is a booming market and a rise in the selling price. Harvesters are
drastically over harvesting trees in an effort to gain economically and meet exporters demand, causing the trees to die rapidly. This situation overall indicates the beginning of a serious and highly damaging resource conflict, and the impending collapse of thefrankincense forests.”

Watch Full Video

Resdsea Cultural Foundation is pleased to invite you to a public talk at Hargeysa Cultural Centre by Dr. Anjanette DeCarlo.

The title of her talk is “FRANKINCENSE IN PERIL – Analysis of Resin Economy in Somaliland”. The event will take place Wednesday, 19th October, 2016. — 19.30-21.30.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii, B. frereana) resin harvesting has a deep historical and cultural heritage in Somaliland, providing economic benefits for centuries. Today the resins are highly relevant in the global economy, with applications in cosmetics, aromatherapy, and emerging medical and therapeutic applications. Thus, the
frankincense forests are key cultural and economic elements in Somaliland. However, our recent research is indicating that the demand for frankincense resin internationally is outpacing the supply. Sixyears ago there was a small market for these Somali resins now there is a booming market and a rise in the selling price. Harvesters are
drastically over harvesting trees in an effort to gain economically and meet exporters demand, causing the trees to die rapidly. This situation overall indicates the beginning of a serious and highly damaging resource conflict, and the impending collapse of thefrankincense forests.”


Dr. Anjanette DeCarlo, Ph.D., is currently a Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at St. Michael’s College. Previously she was a Senior Jeffords Fellow at the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy & Security at the University of Vermont (UVM). Her Ph.D. in natural resources from UVM focused on environment, women’s empowerment, and conflict resolution as a merged agenda for sustainable development. She is currently working on reconciliation in post-war countries as well as the power of trade and commerce to create peace in conflict
zones. As a development consultant with 20 years field experience, she specializes in Africa, Latin America, and the United States.

Dr. DeCarlo will be joined by Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim Awale, currently chair of Candlelight Organization, which is a prominent environmental organization in Somaliland, as well as the chair and founding member of Somaliland Biodiversity Foundation, and a faculty member at the University of Hargeysa where he teaches environmental science.”

A day to remember HCC has a permanent space

Somaliland Government has assigned a plot of land to the Hargeysa Cultural Centre. We had the privilege to work with, and get their assistance, Minister for Information, Guidance and Culture; Minister of Religious Affairs; Minister of Public Work and Housing, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Planning, Minister for Presidency and the Mayor of the Capital, to secure this space for the Culture and Art in Somaliland. We are thankful.
We were lucky to get support and assistance from our former board member and now Minister for Environment Shukri H Ali Bandare and we are thankful.
We got support and assistance, sometimes donations but also othertimes the very needed urgent loan, from Somaliland business people, among them Daallo Airlines, Dahabshiil Group of Companies and Telesom; but also from other friends of the HCC who provided rescue hand when we were close to give up.
I want to thank all of you, and in particularly thank those who joined  this morning the board, the staff, the volunteers and friends of HCC, to celebrate the foundation of the future Center.
14581591_10154033372652219_295630192310281575_n 14595626_10154033375067219_5930289323339332820_n 14606312_10154033372527219_1575776901287083833_n 14650585_10154033372287219_6184633954604269536_n 14657354_10154033372397219_2634902261105672104_n 14666033_10154033373887219_4653585889299621507_n 14666137_10154033373092219_5253045906855568927_n 14671100_10154033374752219_6284647178281369742_n 14671314_10154033374197219_349576737446086735_n 14681651_10154033374187219_6403930140907336666_n 14691081_10154033374742219_376462342034872949_n 14705763_10154033374467219_5608068639396269652_n 14713652_10154033372217219_1676844411669953643_n 14717182_10154033374772219_6715304745471525030_n 14717242_10154033371957219_748519934029362769_n 14720425_10154033373577219_1021828326011530435_n 14721754_10154033374422219_8578610770655071650_n 14725562_10154033371952219_4232289305766884067_n 14729369_10154033372277219_9168215792135216680_n 14731228_10154033373522219_2377580243060028600_n 14732164_10154033371892219_8567038897716811955_n 14732175_10154033374522219_6320812511829563975_n

Ilbaxnimadii Islaamka iyo Saamaynta ay ku yeelatay adduunyada inteeda kale.

Sheekh Maxamuud Sheekh Axmed Dalmar iyo Xarunta Dhaqanka ee Hargeysa. Waxa hagaya Sheekh Almis Yaxye

Soo ifbixii Islaamka ee qarnigii 7aad iyo aasaasiddii imbraadoriyaddii Islaamka ayaa soo shaacbixisey muddo lix qarni ah hormur ku socda xawli aan hore loo arag, oo taabanaya dhinacyo badan oo aqoonta ah. Kolkii ay Yurub ku jirtey wixi loo yaqaannay xilligii mugdiga, ayaa aasaaska xaddaaradda adduunku ka dhismaysay xarumo cilmiga ee adduunka muslimka ah, sida Baqdaad, Dimishiq, Qaahira, Kordova, Baleermo iyo kuwa kale.

Guuliihii aqoonta iyo cilmibaadhista ee culuunta kala duwan, sida xisaabta, falagga, fiisikada kimikada, caafimaadka iyo in ka badan oo ah cilmiyada dabeecada, ayaa midhodhal noqday. Taasi waa sheekada werinaysa casrigii dahabiga ahaa ee ilbaxnimada Islaamka ee sida qotoda dheer u beddeshay wejigii adduunka.

Intaas iyo in kabadanba waa hubaal inaad waxbadan korodhsan doonto hooska daawo mawduucaasi oo dhamaystiran

Researchers meeting at Hargeysa Cultural Center

Hargeysa Cultural Center hosted an evening of networking for researchers working on Somali studies coming from Somaliland, Somalia, UK, USA and Ethiopia. Several universities, including University of Hargeysa, Puntland State University, University College London and Bristol University as well as partner institutions including Rift Valley Institute and Progressio attended the informal meeting. The evening intact brought together groups of researchers with vast experience and areas of interest to encourage the sharing of knowledge, experience and current works. Over 100 people attended the evening’s events, despite each participant’s busy schedule, the event was a welcomed break and an opportunity to develop further links beyond the participant’s respective organization and field of interest.

14390916_893775927395266_5223556087729071380_n 14433127_893775890728603_3869173257277178455_n 14440774_893776117395247_2635026043832310968_n

The evening was also an opportunity for researchers of all levels from across four continents to network and learn more about current research topics within the region. Within the Somali regions, a lack of dissemination and sharing of knowledge is often noted as a challenge within the research field. This evening was an opportunity for researchers to network and form relationships that would encourage communication amongst researchers and to establish a link with the Hargeysa Cultural Center, where research dissemination is encouraged and a platform for discussion is always available.

14433012_893776384061887_5522455980469597496_n 14364847_893776194061906_7253162271599792666_n 14449820_893776207395238_5597653688947298528_n
Dr. Jama Muse Jama, Director of the Hargeysa Cultural Center, began the evening with some dinner and entertainment in the Center’s outdoor theater. Guests were welcomed with an array of traditional Somali dance and music followed by a tour of the facilities. Jama, also used the opportunity to inform guests of the upcoming Somali Studies conference that is to be held in 2018. Rare copies of books and articles were made available for the guests to view and read. For participants residing outside of Somaliland, the event was an opportunity to learn more about research within the Somali regions and how to best access resources, which is a challenge for many Somali researchers.

14368642_893776364061889_2396507047595907849_n 14355765_893776214061904_4057584402632075623_n
The evening ended with some live Somali music in the Center’s theater, were the participants heard some traditional and modern Somali songs.


Wednesday 21 September


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.

Mailing form

Our Contacts

26 June Street No. 2, Sha'ab area, Hargeysa, Somaliland


Xarunta Dhaqanka ee Hargeysa