Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud left the Somali capital on Sunday for Djibouti to attend a convention marking the 40th anniversary of Somali language reforms. This is the second visit by Mr. Mohamud to the tiny Red Sea nation since his election last September by Somali MPs in Mogadishu.

The Somali language is spoken by about 15 million people and dates back to ancient times. The convention underway in Djibouti will mark 40 years since the new Somali alphabet was introduced. In October 1972 Somalia’s former President Mohamed Siad Barre introduced the English Latin alphabet replacing the previously used Arabic script. The initiative was the brain child of Somali linguist Shire Jama Ahmed.

Siad, who introduced many policies to Somalia designed to free the nation from century old views and influences saw language as integral part of his long term nationalist program. He felt that Somalis needed a new identities and nationalist views. He saw Arabic as religion identity but felt Somali people lacked strong cultural and language identity. He further argued that Somalis needed language reform that was modern, practical, and precise, and less difficult to learn than Arabic. He introduced the policy of “bar ama baro” or “teach or learn” in an effort to speed up the transition from Arabic to Somali. The bar ama baro program required students to learn the new Somali language in the morning and by afternoon they had to be teaching rural areas. It was one of his most successful policies and in a period of just five years he made history. By 1978, the majority of Somalis were said to be literate and his program became the fastest developments of mass literacy anywhere in the world.

Somali linguists and academia will celebrate the 40th anniversary since the development from Monday 17th to the 22nd of December. The event will be attended by Somali politicians and academia from Mogadishu, Somaliland, Puntland, Northern Frontier District (NFD) region of Kenya, The Somali State of Ethiopia and Djibouti. The event will bring together Somalis from the entire Horn of Africa for the first time in many years.

President Hassan on his part promised to revive the Somali language and help restore it along with the Somali State while preparing for the convention.

The convention was organized by the Djibouti-based Somali Pen organization and they will launch the largest Somali dictionary since 1976 when President Siad unveiled Qaamuus kooban ee af Soomaali ah and Qaamuuska Af-Soomaaliga.

Somali President Hassan arrives in Djibouti to mark 40th anniversary of Somali language reform
Somali President Hassan arrives in Djibouti to mark 40th anniversary of Somali language reform



  1. Wow i just love the somali language, it’s a thing that can unite us together regardless of tribe it’s our identity and culture.

    Arabic is also our twin, and beautiful language too. Somali is full of ancient Arabic words which illusrates our close connection with the Arabic language and culture. God bless Somali and Arabic.

  2. we made(mareihan) Somalia proud in the 70s by creating best somali army and writing the language. for those who dont know Shire Jama Ahmed was mareihan and single handedly founded the writing system.

    we will never allow jubbaland or puntland, somaliland in in our country. we dont care about darood or anybody. look what the isaaqs are doing today. many somalis were against when jaalle siyad attacked hargeisa but now they know what he was trying to stop/; dismembering somalis. dont get me wrong i am against hurting innocent people.

  3. Jaalle,

    You are very wrong and rather seem no different to the other tribalists. Everytime someone says "we" as collection of clan did this and that, they are nothing but tribalists and rather hypocrites especially when they point fingers on others.

    Somalia was made by Somalis. Somalis had unity and worked together. There was no Marehania, it was Somali Republic, there were Hawiyes doing their jobs, Isaaqis, Majerteins, Ogadens, Madhibans, Dhulbahantes, Warsangelis, Samaroons…everyone was doing their job.

    When Somalia became Marehan affair and Siad replaced everyone with Marehan, Dhulbahante and Ogaden, it collapsed and the ran to Bay and Bakol before seeking refugee status in Kenya.

    Somalia functioned well when Somalis loved their country and had unity and we had Siad Bare leadership doing his job probably, then there was Omar Arteh Ghalib who made Somalia's strong foreign policy and without foreign policy Somalia was and is nothing.

    Siad Bare had more faith in Hawiye than his Marehan and most of the army were Hawiye in particular the air force was almost exclusively Abgaal club.

    When they withdrew their support from him, he was looting the last silos in Bakool, he didn't even flee to Marehan region because it didn't even have a single farm to feed his last combat units.

    Stop the lies.

    • your right but your wrong about the air Force and SNA THE MAJORITY WERE DIR CLAN, Specially the Issa, Surre and Issaq, 70% of them went to Djibouti Army after the Attack on Hargaisa All Dir and Hawiye troops left Siad Barres SNA after the attack IN 1988, after that the SNA was purely Daarood

      • I guess that's my grand father and familys memebers were put in jail even though they were MJ's, you isaaqs are funny acting like you guys were the only one's who suffered at hands siad barre.

  4. Somaliland press why u don't show How Silanyo has been welcome also with red carpet and President Guelleh waiting him under his plane. All faqash would be surprised. Shame on u.

  5. It was Fun watching THREE Somali PRESIDENTS 🙂 From THREE different countries.

    55 Countries in Africa Guess how many have BANTU-PRESIDENTS?

    3 Countries with SOMALI-PRESIDENTS is a fair start!

    OMAR GELLEH knows what is coming and 🙂 THe Faqash are about to get the SHOCK of their lives, May they die of heart attacks the ba5tards!

    • LOOL what about Faroole? he was also there, mayn I'm not a fan of him, but he sure knows how to play his games by keeping an eye on on them, he would be like hadee anaka iyo Jubbaland will declare an dependent states if Sheikh Hassan Culusow tries anything stupid.

      • Walaal noone other then Somaliland has legitimacy to declare independence and nobody wants to declare independence that was never a country before.

        – Somaliland Majority want independence even if there are Minorities that want the blue flag. That Majority controls the Majority of the British-Somaliland.

        – Italian-Somaliland or Somalia gained independence as a single country in 1st Jul 1960 from Italy. Neither Puntland-province nor Jubaland-province want independence as such a project is not feasible.

        Faroole is a Road map Signatory if he wishes to collapse the Moqadishu Government he only needs to go on air and declare his loss of confidence in Hassan Mahamoud and Moqadishu. Faroole is being paid a lot of Money to remain silent and everyone will turn a blind eye when he extend his term and shoots anyone who resists. He extends term to Jan2014 by which time Elections will happen and he will WIN to remain in power for another 4-years = 2018 by that time Moqadishu will have another Election and Faroole can run for office in moqadishu AS he was promised in 2012-Selection process. He did not get involved 2012 because he is guaranteed 2016-Selection process.

        • well, the world sees somalia as tribal based society and somaliland is mainly considered as one tribe project but noways only few sub-clans thanks to Siil'anyo . for example Hartis who are the majority in Sool and Sanaag don't support separation and majority of their lands is out of Somaliland control, expect LA which is run by Dibjiro who only care about their pockets. Samaroon also don't support separation. 1960 borders are no longer exist as Somaliland claims that they declared their independence in May 18th 1991 which only applies to TRIANGLE CITIES.

          it's true Faroole threats Mogadishu government if he doesn't get what he wants he will declare an independence and Faroole doesn't need money from Mogadishu he has three airports and Bosaso port as well as pirate money lol . Jubbaland hasn't been fully formed yet but it will be just like Puntland only they will supply us weapons using Kismayu port, Dhulbahante, Ogadeen and Marehaan have always been close.

          even tho I don't believe Somaliland has any chance of becoming a country but I personally don't have anything against their Independence only if all the people support it ( 5 regions) , if some Dhulbahante sub-clans want to be part of Garadagland then so be it and if some Isaaq subclans want to stay with Somalia then they shall remain so.

          it's only fair.

          oh btw president of zone 5 was also there as well as NFD, they were only celebrating Siad Barre's success nothing more nothing less. LOL

          • KC stop thinking tribal one sec and be logical please recognition of Somaliland or not Will be determined by all his citizen from Saylac to Taleex through referundum IC do not care which clan vote yes or not the most important is majority choice so 50,1% of course they are unionist and other reclaim their lost sovergnity so one side Will be disapointed for ex even if Harti vote totally for union it still could not be sufficient ( Samaron, Isse and Issaq most are pro independence) thus must accept to live in their former country Somaliland as they did in Ethiopia and Kenya lol.

          • Hornid sis think twice, why are you dividing Somalia unless you think your Qabil is better off separate, well you are wrong. united we stand divided we fall.
            btw I'm only going to accept referendum through Saylac to Kismayo since Somalia is technically ONE or each region in North Somalia having their own referendum rather whole northern population.

          • Walaal the biggest problem that lead to the destruction of Somali-Republic was and still is that Somalis ignored there were 2-countries that united.

            Treating SomalilandRepublic (a country) like a small Province like Puntland or Jubaland is part of the problem not the solution.

            From 1960 the Project of Union of 5-regions failed because the people of Somalia wish to commit fraud and claim complete power over all other 4-Regions.

            I understand you want Somaliweyn BUT treating somaliland as a small Gobol is never going to bring somaliweyn close.

            The Somaliweyn project failed and will forever fail so long as people are willing to commit fraud in the name of Somaliweyn.

            Somaliland and Somalia must be treated as EQUALS otherwise it will never work.

          • p.s

            Somalia too can be broken into 100smaller units and everyone in Somalia should be given a referendum to share a country with Criminals or not?

            Somalia politics:

            – President = Hawiye or Darood.

            Dir, Rahanweyn, Bantu, Barwani, Bajuni, Madhibaan and Xamaris will never be allowed to Become President and so they should choose a referendum giving them freedom from Hawiye and Darood Domination???

            It is not difficult to supply Weapons to all the groups above to ensure Somalia remains a HELL hole For the Next Million years.

          • no there will be political party's unlike Somaliland clan political partys, which was a disaster in 2012

  6. what unity?, have u listen the only somalilander whom advocate for unity"profesorr samater" has being called " from north" like he is a shame of it, he mention that. he is 4 somaliweyn and that says it all the intend of somalis from somalia, to hell with them.

  7. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk,kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk, your right MANAXE, most other somali websites reported this.kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk