Given the relatively recent origins of the Somali written script, literature is a young and rapidly evolving art form in the region. In the diaspora context, many young Somalis have taken to writing, publishing, storytelling, and broadcasting their work online, transforming modes of communication and exchange, and reaching new audiences. This event celebrates the work of journalists, filmmakers, and storytellers who are writing, blogging, showcasing, and reporting online.
Fathia M Absie, former Voice of America (VOA) broadcaster and reporter, is a Somali-American writer and film-maker. She has been an active social worker for many years, but is also an inspiring storyteller. Her first film, Broken Dreams, is a collective outcry on identity and the plight of young people joining extremist groups.In 2014 Absie also published the graphic novel The Imperceptible Peace-Maker, an allegory on vigilante justice. Her second film is a narrative called The Lobby, a story about friendship and cultural differences. Absie is currently working on her third film, Grapes of Heaven, a story about the human resilience, finding faith and being given a second chance at love. Absie hopes to inspire change through the power of storytelling. She considers herself a humanist and a citizen of the World.
Mona Kosar Abdi is a Somali–American Multimedia Journalist. She is a reporter at the ABC television network, and a contributing writer at the Al Jazeera Media Network and CNN News Cable. Abdi also founded and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Gazzetta media outlet.
Sagal Ibrahim Shire is a Somali fashion and lifestyle blogger based in the UK. Her discussion will focus on the role of Muslim-Somali fashion and hijab-wearing women in the UK and in the west. She blogs at sagaleeyaa.com.
Popular vocalist and musician Aabi Mirre Da’ar will conclude the evening with a performance. Aabi is a renowned oud player and vocalist. He is also brother of Abdilahi Mirre Da’ar, a visiting artist for the 2014 Somali Week Festival, who passed away early this year in Hargeysa.