Puntland Women Writers Association (PWWA) Launched! Empowering Somali women's cultural participation through writing!
On the 26th of May 2014 the official launching ceremony of the Puntland Women Writers Association (PWWA) took place. The festive event was held at New Rays Hotel and Restaurant in Garowe and over a 100 guests attended the ceremony including Ministers, Vice-Ministers, representatives of International Organizations such as the EU, ADRA, CARE International, IOM, UNSOM, Women lawyers, Heads of various Ministerial Departments, students, civil society organizations. They all came to be part of and be witness to a historic moment in the making.
Asli Mohamoud, Program Officer at CARE and a renowned author as well as celebrated member of PWWA facilitated the happening. As she explained the agenda for the night, she elucidated that she too is currently writing two books one of them been on Godobtir which deals with the not-so-much known about Somali Women’s specific roles in peace and reconciliation. The facilitator then called upon Sahro Ahmed Koshin, one of the co-founders of PWWA to say a few words about the rationale behind PWWA. Sahro then went on stage and clarified about the vision, mission, objectives and activities of PWWA planned for this year. She spoke about the backdrop that led up to the establishment of the first ever Women Writers Association which was led by, for and with Somali women. She highlighted that everywhere we looked, be it in the literature world, or in the cultural domain and in academia, Somali women's voices are simply absent. She argued that PWWA aimed at empowering Somali women through writing. Sahro launched the official PWWA website as well as the official PWWA Newsletter which she also distributed to the guests. She explained about PWWA's presence on social media and announced about PWWA's mailing list which already had over a 100 members. As she distributed the PWWA Newsletter, she explained that the final version of the newsletter would appear after including a short report and some pictures of the PWWA launching ceremony in the coming few days.
Several literary artists and respected members of PWWA poetically recited some chapters from their own works in stories, in poetry and spoken word and in buranbuur and geraar The youngest reader was Farhiyo Jamac, a secondary school student and the youngest member of the PWWA Network jubilantly recited 2 poems entitled “Women” and “Migration”. Her poems which depicted the current painful situation of many of the youth fleeing to Northern Africa and to Europe taking great risk and suffering moved many of the people as they clapped and ululated for the young talent. She touched on how the migration of Somali youth overseas is negatively affecting the family unit in ways many people did not seem to be aware of.
The Minister of Federal Affairs, the Constitution and Democracy Mrs Zahra Sicid Nur also spoke and she emphasized on the importance of having such a platform where women can come together and share common interests but also common challenges. She went on to explain that she was inspired by this movement enough to realize her own passion of writing her own autobiography having lived and worked in Somalia the past 17 years. She thanked the organizers, particularly Sahro Ahmed Koshin, the founder of the idea that led up to the successful establishment of the Association and encouraged all PWWA members, young and small to write, keep writing and become an important part of the recording of the history of Puntland. Women's voices need to be heard. Women need to speak out.
Mr. Jama Muse from ADRA who also attended the meeting together with his colleague Mrs Khadra Hussein took to the stage and highlighted the importance of the creation of the network and thanked the founder Mrs Sahro Ahmed Koshin for the initiative which was facilitated by ADRA’s EU funded program called STEP-WINS. He said ADRA would do whatever it could to support this. Minister of Women Development and Family Affairs, Mrs Anisa Hajimumin also came to the stage to express her gratitude and joy for coming to the event and being part of the progress of a unique historic taking place in Puntland.
Mrs Faduma-Shukri Abdi Hersi, the Director of the Gender Unit, congratulated the 100 or guests present at the occasion and for been part of a historic happening and announced that she too was going to write a book about her experiences with the education sector in Puntland and particularly with girl’s education. The Vice-Minister of Health Mrs Amina Mohamed Abdullahi, furthermore spoke at the PWWA launching ceremony and gave her perspective of things. She thanked the organizers and went on to say that she was so inspired that she will consider writing a book about her political career. She also emphasized on the importance of the meeting.
Several guests stood up to congratulate other women in this great achievement which was aimed at strengthening women's roles in society. Others inquired about how they could join the Association. Sahro explained about the online website features would enable members to log in and create profiles. There they would specify the kind of support they needed, that way other members, including those in the diaspora, could respond. She explained that PWWA would conduct several creative writing workshops this year which aimed at providing technical tools and and skills to women who want to write their story.
The media was heavily present and the ceremonial event ended with a lavish mouth-watering dinner which many could enjoy under the beauty of the moon.
You can watch some of the the pictures here at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Puntland-Women-Writers-Association/271873...
Or enjoy various Ministers's tweets about the event:
I will update you when the video is out and on PWWA's Youtube channel.
-- Kind regards Mrs. Sahro Ahmed Koshin Gender Technical Adviser Gender Unit, Ministry of Education Vice-Chairwoman Board of Governors, Garowe Teacher Training College (GTEC) Community Advisory Board Member at WorldPulse Goodwill Ambassador at Globcal International Cooperative Founder and Board Member of Puntland Women Writers Association (PWWA) Garowe, Puntland State of Somalia Tel: +25290598965 (Puntland) Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgSkype: sahroahmedwww.moepuntland.com P *Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this e-mail *