Book lovers, writers and artists of diverse genres are converging today in Mogadishu for the third annual Mogadishu Book Fair which has attracted participants locally and internationally.
The book festival which will feature at least 40 guests will run for three days with book readings, plenary discussions and presentations by authors and book signings among other events.
Said Bashir, one of the organizers of the event described the event as a success compared to the previous ones. “This year, the Book Fair is different from the previous ones in several ways. We have gained immense experience by overcoming challenges we encountered in the earlier events. Every year comes with its challenges, novelty and desire,” said Bashir.
The event has attracted the attention of diverse writers across the continent and beyond. “One major prominent issue in this year’s book fair is that it will be attended by new writers from around the world. We used to hold this event in August every year but we extended one month this year to accommodate the huge interest of external participants,” Bashi observed.
Among the foreign participants are Kenya’s award winning photojournalist and activist Boniface Mwangi, Peter Chonka a researcher on transnational Somali language media and Dominique Uwase Alonga, a book publisher from Rwanda.
Abdirahman Mohamed Ali one of the participating authors told Goobjoog News the Book Fair is an opportunity for Somalis to find home grown solutions and earn a living instead of migrating abroad.
“Last year’s Book Fair took place I was in the middle of writing this book “Dal dadkiisa oo wada dhoof yahay – a country whose people are on the move” and it encouraged me to continue my writing. The book is carrying a message for the people to work in their country. I want to show my fellow citizens that we can get education, economic wealth and ideas in our country instead of going to abroad. These are my thoughts” said Abdirahman Mohamed Ali.