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.
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.
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.
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