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Geeska Website

Sunday 14 July 2024

Politics

Politics
What Remains of the Dreams of Unity?

Somalia and Somaliland need more good faith dialogue and an honest and amicable divorce, so that two independent Somali republics can live peacefully side-by-sideThe 64th anniversary of Somaliland’s independence was marked on 26 June this year. The former protectorate gained its independence in 1960, while Italian Somaliland gained its independence six days later, following the end of a period of Italian-administered UN trusteeship.

Politics
Kenyan crisis: A tax uprising or a democracy ablaze 

Ruto’s decision to withdraw his measure won’t stop a new democratic consciousness that has taken root among Kenya’s youth. Kenya has once again been shaken by popular protests which started on 18 June, triggered by the so-called finance bill that proposes increasing taxes on various everyday products and services, including the internet, fuel, bank transfers, private cars, and even bread in order to finance the country’s ballooning debt.

Politics
African debt burden: who profits as austerity grips the continent? 

Too often analysis of political unrest across Africa neglects the economic factors driving it. That exonerates those who profit at the continent’s expense and doesn’t allow us to think more constructively about solutions. “The world never does anything for Africa,” says Khadidja Salah*, a Sudanese refugee. Salah travelled to Cairo for a medical visit before the war in her country began last spring.

Politics
Eyes on “critical minerals” at the South Korea–Africa Summit

South Korea is seeking critical minerals directly from African countries to protect its supply chains, but what are African countries getting in return? South Korea’s strategy towards African countries focuses on securing critical mineral resources essential for maintaining its industry, which accounts for 3% of global manufacturing output, ranking 6th globally after India.

Politics
The plight of Sudanese refugees stranded in Ethiopia

Sudanese refugees stranded in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, face violence, intimidation and critical shortages of food and medicine.  The Sudanese refugees in the Amhara region of Ethiopia have entered their second month of being besieged inside the Olala Forest after fleeing from the Komer and Olala camps due to the threat of attacks from Ethiopian armed militias.

Opinion

Can the East African Community become a true union?

Can the people of the East African Community (EAC) overcome cross-border suspicions and create a cohesive union of its 302.2 million citizens?  East Africans, both citizens and governments, seem half-hearted about integration. 

My lifelong search for like-minded pen pals

Exchanging correspondences with friends has enriched my life and built a strong network which have uplifted us all. Over the years, I've had and still maintain a group of close and distant friends who I regard as pen pals. As time and circumstances change, so have our interactions. 

What can Somali youth learn from Kenya’s Gen Z uprising?

Kenyan youth unite beyond party and tribal ties to demand a voice in shaping their nation’s future. Can young Somalis learn from this and do the same? In 2019, a picture of a young student and activist captured the headlines of leading newspapers, not just in Sudan but across continents. The picture featured a young woman standing on top of a white car, draped in a flowing traditional Sudanese white dress. Her right arm was outstretched, finger pointing skyward in a gesture of defiance.

Nairobi protests and renewing Kenya’s geopolitical credentials 

The Kenyan government is throwing its chips in with the west, assuming that it will enable it to its economic woes but he’s repeating mistakes of old.  President William Ruto’s trip to Washington foreshadowed increasing political turmoil at home. A restive Generation Z has found renewed vigour by staging a series of protests across the country, including in Nairobi, triggered by a punitive Finance Bill heralding more austere and elevated taxes on the middle class.

Fadhi ku dirir: cultural symbol or a symptom of despair? 

For the last generation, fadhi ku dirir was a chance to get together, chat, reminisce and spend time with friends. For this generation it’s a coping strategy for despair. Late one night, I agreed to meet my friend Ahmed the following day at our favourite café in the heart of Hargeisa. Ahmed and I have been dear friends for many years, and these meetings are special because we don’t often get to see each other.

Culture

Art
A new wave of polemical Somali music

The memorandum of understanding signed by Ethiopia and Somaliland has sparked a wave of polemical songs Music has always been one of the strongest means of assisting the liberation or control of people. It is also one of the most profound means for the expression of our humanity, our hopes, fears and aspirations, clearly shaping how people receive and react to events and to each other.

Books
Unveiling the hidden violence in the DRC’s cobalt mining industry

 Siddharth Kara’s Cobalt Red unveils the hidden violence that sustains the mining sector in the DRC and highlights its role in the modern world from our phones and tablets to electric cars.  Have you ever wondered where the raw materials for your phone battery and other rechargeable devices come from? They’re called lithium-ion batteries, and despite the name, only about 7% of the materials used in these batteries are lithium.

Culture
Taming the buzz: Hargeisans and telecommunication

Somalis, with their ingrained love for communication, have eagerly embraced each new device to facilitate it, transforming it into an extension of their vibrant culture

Thoughts
Memories of khalwa: traditional Quranic education in Eritrea

Mohamed Kheir Omer recalls his memories of khalwa, the setting of his traditional Quranic education, in EritreaLike most Eritreans born into Muslim families, my first steps into education began in a Quranic school, or khalwa, in the late 1950s. This was long before George Bush’s so-called War on Terror in the early 2000s, after which these spaces came to be thought of as terrorist training grounds. This was also before Saudi-inspired Muslim groups who call themselves salafi began to emerge. 

Culture
A Gut to Soothe a Gut: Tizita and the Anatomy of Longing

Ibrahim Osman reflects on the way Tizita, the Amharic music genre, deals with the themes of memory, longing and nostalgia.

Thoughts
Freire in Somali

“Word is not the privilege of some few persons but the right of everyone” — Paulo FreireTranslating Paulo Freire (1921-1997), who was the pedagogue of the oppressed, into the Somali language was a significant endeavor for me, that holds profound implications for education and empowerment within the Somali context, and there is a significant relevance to the Somali people and their unique socio-cultural and historical circumstances.

Thoughts
Remembering Said S. Samatar

Somali scholar Said Samatar not only wrote; he crafted stories through graceful words, painting our inner ugliness as well as our glory in history, writes Faisal Roble 

Art
Sado Ali Warsame: An Icon of Art and Politics

(I)Sado took the stage at the National Theater in Mogadishu on January 21, 1989, during a state event celebrating the media. She sang her famous song “Land Cruiser” in front of a large audience, including President Mohamed Siad Barre and his government officials. More than one hundred and fifty Land Cruisers were parked in the theater lot for Somali officials and dignitaries.

Multimedia

Fanon in Somali

Why have I dedicated myself to this arduous task, you may wonder? Well, as Fanon himself eloquently stated in his treatise, “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.”

🎬 How did the West get away with Lumumba’s assassination?

Stuart Reid’s new book, The Lumumba Plot, revisits Patrice Lumumba’s assassination, with strong insight into the role of the US in assassinating Lumumba and bringing down the government of one of Africa’s most iconic leaders. 

🎬 Who can live without a port?

Leaders across the Horn of Africa have touted the innumerable benefits of building ports for their people, putting them at the heart of their projects to develop their regions. 

🎬 What Palestine means for South Africa

South Africa’s decision to take Israel to the ICJ on charges of genocide could cost his country, says former South African ambassador and anti-apartheid activist Ebrahim Rasool, but is an act of “enormous integrity” 

🎬 Geeska - New Horizon

Geeska is a platform that contributes to shaping the image of cultural media in the Horn of Africa.

Interviews

Interviews
Abdulqadir Mumin as IS caliph would challenge its dogma, says Christopher Anzalone

After reports named Abdulqadir Mumin as global leader of ISIS, Geeska interviewed expert Christopher Anzalone to discuss IS-Somalia’s growing influence in the IS network and examine the reports’ credibility. On 31 May, Africom (US Africa Command) issued a relatively routine statement regarding an airstrike it conducted on IS militants in Dhaardaar, a town located just under 100 km from Bosaso in Puntland.

Interviews
Helmi Ben Meriem: “To appreciate Nuruddin Farah read his fiction and non-fiction”

Helmi Ben Meriem speaks to Geeska about his research on Nuruddin Farah’s fiction and non-fiction writing, as well as broader currents in Somali literature todayHelmi Ben Meriem is a Somali studies scholar of Tunisian origin whose research focuses on Somali-Anglophone literature.

Interviews
Gulied Dafac: “Many children are rendered stateless by the law”

Dr. Guleid Jama “Dafac” engages in a conversation with Geeska regarding his research on rights of children living in unrecognized states, focusing on Somaliland, and discusses the path forward.Children face a myriad of unique challenges that significantly impact their well-being and development. Some of the specific issues they confront include:

Interviews
Abiy believes in the myth of his own indispensability, says Tom Gardner

Tom Gardner, the Economist’s Africa correspondent speaks to Geeska about Ethiopian politics and his new book on the “Abiy Project” 

Interviews
Searching for identity

I’ll tell you about the shifting desert around Djibouti–Abdourahman Waberi"Dad, why don’t you drive, cycle, skate or even ski?” Abdourahman Waberi’s daughter asked him one morning as they were on the way to her school in Paris’ 9th arrondissement. The reason was obvious as Waberi had a disability that discernibly impacted the way he walked, but she was laying the groundwork for a more prying question. “Kids are always curious and can be quite tough sometimes and that morning she bluntly asked me, ‘dad why do you dance when you walk?’”