The First Ever Human Library Held in Mogadishu
Aug 06

The First Ever Human Library Held in Mogadishu

SIMAD University hosted the 1st ever Human Library event in Mogadishu, Somalia on Saturday, August 05, 2017 at SIMAD University Main Campus. This is an event where readers of a library can ‘borrow’ human volunteers as a book rather than paper books on the library shelves. These people are widely known as ‘Human Books’, and they voluntarily share their personal stories and experiences to readers to challenge community prejudices and discriminations.

The event was held at SIMAD University Main Campus and the event was attended by SU top management, Human-volunteer books, readers and other honorable members. The event was opened to students and the community at large.

Mr. Mohamud Mohamed Siad, Chief Librarian of SIMAD University Dhoobaale library, has briefed about the Human library and how this event was finally introduced to SIMAD University.

Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Nor, Acting Rector of SIMAD University officially opened the event. He remarked that the event is simply a way of knowing people who have had curious experiences and faced challenges, asking questions, and challenging prejudices.

More than 130 readers have got the opportunity to borrow and read 6 human books. Some of the book titles presented in the first human library event were: Living Veteran of Somali Political History (From law-and-order to chaos), a successful blind student holding Masters degree, a new convert to Islam, teaching as a foreigner in Somalia, Living in the Diaspora (Stories of clash cultures and shock), and talk to a successful entrepreneur within a turbulent market.

The aim of the event was to provide a safe comfortable setting for readers to have conversations that broaden the understanding of the people and our communities and break down the bad stereotypes of the community.

The 1st Human Library was successful; readers and other participants learned a lot from the event and the ‘Living books’ were also happy to share their narratives and experiences.

Generally, The Human Library was conceived in Denmark in 2000 and spread many countries around the world. The event is coordinated by the Human Library Organization in Denmark, which aims to unite active organizers from all parts of the world and to promote the use of the Human Library in efforts to create more social cohesion and safe dialogue.

SIMAD University is proud to have hosted the 1st Human Library event in Mogadishu, Somalia. The event will be held again as there is a need for open and safe conversations among various parts of the community.

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