Book lovers, artists and authors are converging this week in Garowe town, the administrative capital of Puntland for the third Garowe Book Fair.
The event opened by Puntland President Mohamed Ali Gaas Monday, himself launching a book has attracted 64 authors displaying works of various genres and punctuated by presentations, interactions between writers and readers among a host of other activities.
Among the books on display are one penned by President Gaas titled, Nasri Wadaha Nalka U Siraaday Naruuradii Ummadda Soomaaliyeed, loosely translated, The glad tidings of success for the Somali people. Gaas hailed the book fair as an avenue through which Somalia’s oral literature and traditions can be documented for posterity and wide reading.
“This has to be the way to migrate from oral community that we are famous for. We used to be known as the people of poetry. The need to be writers and readers is what is required now,” said President Gaas.
Among other writers are fiction writer Mohamed Dahir Farah who encouraged upcoming writers to take up book writing, noting, “The constant usage of a language is a service in every sphere of life.”
Today’s presentations will include panel discussion on the challenges and the opportunities facing the Somali Arabic Writers, The Somali Nomadic Culture and the state of children literature in Somalia.
The event is organized by Scansom Publishers and Somali Institute for Development Research and Analysis (SIDRA).
The Book Fair will conclude today.