Somalia’s annual Mogadishu International Book Fair has resumed after the suspension of the event due to the coronavirus pandemic last year. Restrictions on the invitation-only event were implemented this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Away from the political tensions associated with disagreements over the country’s ongoing parliamentary elections, the sixth edition of the Mogadishu Book Fair was a major distraction for residents of the capital, Mogadishu.
This year’s book fair was limited to a few people, especially authors, due to the coronavirus pandemic. But according to the fair’s founder, Mohamed Dini, organizers are already working to accommodate more people next year.
“In short, we are actually doing about 10% of what we did and eventually, we just wanted to do something, even if it was very little so that next year, we could go back to our previous position, insha Allah,” Dini said.
Selected students from Mogadishu schools were invited this year to a children’s corner where they enjoyed reading, storytelling and cultural stories.
Hanan Abdi Tahleel of Mogadishu International School is one of them.
He said he is overjoyed and excited to participate in the Mogadishu Book Fair this year, adding that he enjoyed telling stories from the fictional tales of Sigal Shidad and Wael Waal. She also said that she was looking forward to participating next year.
Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, who is working to resolve the election impasse, has congratulated the organizers of the book fair.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister stressed the need to encourage pen and book to replace weapons and tribalism.