The world knows Somalia as the land of lanky, raw-boned children and pillaging gunmen, but with due time, the world has started addressing it as a ‘ Nation of Poets.’
Ubah Christina Ali Farah, a Somali, and Italian writer who won an artist in residence fellowship at Stellenbosch Institute for the first semester in 2020 is ranked among one of the most successful and richest writers around the globe.
It is uncustomary for Somali women to be a storyteller in the lead, but now the tables have turned, and they are soaring high.
In an interview with Ismail Einashe, Farah recalls her need to pursue literature out of Somalia because she feels that in her native country there’s no place for freedom in thoughts for writing as it’s still unconventional for women to live according to their choice in a male-dominated society in Somalia.
Ali Farah, born on 29th May in 1973 was blessed with a Somali father and an Italian mother which proved to be a boon for her career in writing as she gained knowledge in both Somali and Italian languages.
As a child, she always had a diary with her in which she noted her daily incidents and encounters in Somalia, which motivated her to write about her country and make the world notice the very presence of Somalia.
As Somalia is engaged in a civil war, many women have fled from the country to pursue their careers in some other country. Their pity sights and bitter experiences made her write about the Somali women for the world to acknowledge their bravery and their undying attitude.
Her novel ‘Little Mother’ talks about Somalia and also has three poems that echo the voices raised by Somali women. ‘Arranged Marriages’, her recent novel, is all about the story and struggle for independence for a woman who finds herself being dominated by the man of her life.
Her huge success and that of her fellow Somali writers have made way for others in the country who are looking to shine bright and excel in their careers, irrespective of the gender inequality prevalent in the society dominated by males.
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