We can learn from our mistakes by reading books, President says

Our society needs to be educated so that we can establish a government with solid institutions that promote peace and development, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has said.

Speaking during the Mogadishu International Book Fair which entered its second day in Mogadishu today, the president said there was need to promote a writing and reading culture as it was the surest way to preserve and learn from the country’s past and present for a better Somalia.

The president said it was time Somalia’s historical artifacts and literary collections in various places in the world were returned. “We have priceless Somali cultural collections stored in a number of universities in the world including Lund University in Sweden. Time has come for these collections to be returned home,” said President Mohamud.

The Mogadishu International Book Fair has attracted a host of writers, poets and artists of various genres and is billed as first of a kind in Mogadishu signaling changing times as Somalia emerges from a dark history of conflict and war.

Past mistakes

Inspired by his predecessor, Yussuf Abdullahi, whom the president says he has read his works with keen interest despite what he termed as his controversial politics, the president said it was only possible to appreciate our mistakes if we took time to read books about others.

“We cannot progress if we don’t read to know the mistakes of Mohamed Siyad Barre, Zayid Mohamed Abdulle and mine,” the president noted. “I have also been inspired to write and I am already working on writing a book soon,” added President Mohamud.

The president interacted with attendants and participated in a question answer session where he fielded a number of questions.

The President called on parents to give their children equal opportunities in education noting that education was key for the country’s development.

The day concluded with a key note presentation from celebrated author Professor Abdalla Mansur whose works include the Somali dictionary among a number of other works on Somali language, origins and people.

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