Hargeisa, 21 June 2009 – New Somali book ‘War and Peace: an anthology of Somali literature’ edited by Rashiid Sheekh Cabdillaahi, with English translation by Martin Orwin.

It is a great pleasure for Ponte Invisibile and Progressio to announce the new publication “War and Peace: an anthology of Somali literature”. This unique and rare collection brings together for the first time classic Somali poems and stories which deal with matters that are of great concern to Somali people; conflict and conflict mediation – in other words WAR AND PEACE.

This valuable work has been collected by Ismaaciil Aw Aadan and Axmed Aw Geeddi, both poets of great calibre, who have enormous understanding of Somali classical poets, their poetry and the historical context of their literature which extents over a period of two hundred years. The book has been introduced and edited by Rashiid Sheekh Cabdillaahi “Gadhwayne”, one of the leading Somali scholars on this topic. Rashiid’s intensive knowledge of Somali pastoral nomadic
society and his expertise as a sociologist of social developments will give the reader a good understanding of a culture which otherwise could easily be considered too complex to interpret or to understand.

This work would not have been complete without the translation into English by Dr. Martin Orwin with the help of Mohamed Hassan “alto”. Dr. Orwin is a Senior Lecturer in Somali and Amharic at Faculty of Languages and Cultures, School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

This publication will not only explain the structure of pastoral nomadic communities and what brought them into conflicts but will also address the question at the centre of this book which is about the role that literature played, and perhaps can play, in matters of peace, mediation of conflict and peace-keeping. It is an important recording of culture where dignity was at the heart of peace and war, and literature was a tool for both. The book will also provide Somali and non-Somali readers with a fascinating insight into the history of a creative community which may have otherwise been lost.

The book will be launched at the Mooge Festival and Hargeysa International Book Fair, 22-27 July, Hargeysa, Somaliland, where there will be a discussion about this work under the heading “the poetry and creativity of yesterday” with some of the most prominent Somali poets and scholars and those who where involved with the publication.

The book can now be ordered on-line by following this link:


Order now “War and Peace: an anthology of Somali literature”.

War and Peace: an anthology of Somali literature /Suugaanta Nabadda iyo Colaadda
Edited by Rashiid Sheekh Cabdillaahi (Gadhwayne),
ISBN: 978-1-85287-329-5 / 978-88-88934-09-9,
Progressio / Ponte Invisibile Ed., London, 2009.
Soft cover, 218 pp. 25,00USD, Now available online.