Book Presentation: Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State by Mary Harper

Written by admin on March 19th, 2012

When: Friday, 20 April 2012 at 6pm

Where: Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, London, E2 6HG

Kayd Somali Arts and Culture is pleased to invite you to a presentation and discussion of the new book Getting Somalia Wrong? with author, Mary Harper, and discussants Idil Osman and Quman Akli.

Two decades of state collapse, conflict, mass displacement, natural and man-made disasters have earned Somalia the unenviable reputation of the world’s most failed state. Add to all this, the boom in piracy off the coast of Somalia and the rise of Islamic extremism on land and Somalia poses the greatest policy challenge for  international decision-makers.

In Getting Somalia Wrong Mary Harper provides a concise account of how and why Somalia reached its present situation of state collapse, whilst managing to defy classical theories on the nation state by having functioning sectors.The author argues that, the Somalia we once knew, may no longer function in the conventional way, but in many respects the situation is far from being failed. The Somali people have responded to their harsh reality by creating alternative forms of business, justice, education and local politics.

Mary Harper a journalist and writer, specialising in Africa. She is Africa Editor at the BBC World Service and as a experienced journalist, Mary has firsthand experience of the vibrant, resilient and dynamic character of the Somali people. Her analysis in this book is much enriched by an exploration of how Somali people have responded and thrived despite the lack of central state.

Idil Osman holds a BA in Journalism Studies and an MA in Creative Writing and has worked extensively as a national and international journalist for the BBC, the Guardian and the Voice of America. She’s the co-author of ‘Somalia to Europe; Stories of the Somali Diaspora, a book that chronicles the civil war experiences of Somali Europeans and their subsequent migration to the UK. She’s currently doing her PhD at Cardiff University looking at the role of the media in conflict zones.

Quman Akli is an independent research consultant and has a special interest in international refugee protection and advocacy. She frequently visits the Horn of Africa and participated in the 2010 Presidential elections in Somaliland as a member of the team of international election observers. She is an active member of the UK based Somaliland Diaspora community and contributes to several initiatives including as chair of Somaliland Focus and a trustee of Kayd Somali Arts and Culture.

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