London-based Somali author Dr. Mohamed Dahir Afrah was for years the face of the diaspora of the country in the Horn of Africa.
No wonder the news of his death on Sunday spread like a bushfire, both among the Somalis in Somalia as well as in the diaspora.
Villa Somalia, the state house in Mogadishu, was one of the offices that led to the death of Dr. Afrah responded, undoubtedly a celebrated literary giant, particularly when President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo issued a statement expressing condolences to his family, friends and the Somali people at large.
“I am sure that Dr. Afrah was a man who devoted most of his life to developing the Somali language and maintaining Somali culture, leaving the Somali people with an enduring legacy, ”said Farmaajo in memory of the author of Maana-faay < / em>, a powerful Somali language novel.
Somali speakers know Maana-faay from 1979. It is still a popular book today.
Wherever he went or attended conferences, Dr. Afrah always asked about this particular novel as the most significant of his many works.
Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble praised Afrah as a man who recognized the literary status of Somalia through books, articles and other performance works.
Said Salah Ahmed, another Somali literary giant and an old friend of the author, told the media that the works of Dr. Farah have no parallel.
Ahmed, currently living in Minnesota, USA, said that Dr. Farah’s work and guidance undoubtedly had more of an impact on Somali culture.
“In his Maana-faay novel, he managed to get over the public which their own circumstances can be easily absorbed by those reading the book or following it through publications in the newspapers or over the air, ”noted Ahmed, the Ustad (teacher) who founded IFTIN Artist group that served the Somali education sector.
Afrah’s other novels are also written in Somali Guur-ku-sheeg (1975) and Galti-macruuf (1980) were also appreciated, celebrated and constantly re-published.
Born in Somalia, Afrah had achieved many academic credentials including a doctorate on Somalia’s transitional nature of post-independent poetry e. Over the years he has become known as a novelist, playwright, journalist and scholar.
While in the UK he organized the Somali section of PEN International, Somali PEN, an association of poets , Editors and novelists.
Abdinasir Yusuf Moalim, the Somali PEN representative in Mogadishu, told the Nation on Sunday that Afrah had made the transfer have the base of the Somali PEN from London to Djibouti.
In 2000 Afrah was one of the top organizers of the Somali Reconciliation Conference, which took place in the city of Arta in Djibouti, and worked closely with Djibouti to turn the month-long meeting into a successful endeavor that led to the formation of the Transitional National Government for Somalia.
At the end of the conference, Afrah became a member of the transitional parliament and state minister nister in the interim government.
The celebrated literary master convinced Djibouti’s President Guelleh to declare February 21 as Somali Language Day, as a reminder of 1972, as Latin Alphabet for the Somali language was adopted.
African Union programs
Afrah was involved in African Union programs Strengthening African languages involved.
In 2012, a council was formed in Djibouti to direct an academy for the Somali language called AGA (Akadamiya Goboleedka Afka-Soomaaliga), Afrah was named Director selected.
Not only academically and poetically, Afrah had also written politically stimulating books, including Dal Dad Waayey iyo Duni Damiir Beeshay: Soomaaliya Dib ma u Dhalan Doontaa ? ( A country without a leader in a world without a conscience: Can Somalia be revived be?) in 2004.
In 2015 Afrah became a member of the National Independent Constit. Somalia appointed the Institutional Review and Implementation Commission, of which he was Chairman, and replaced the resigned Asha Guelleh Dirie.
Afrah had written mostly in Somali, but also in Arabic and English .
He was 69 years old.