Somaliland: State Burial for late Poet Gariye

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Late Gariye

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The late poet Mohamed Hashi Dama’a ‘Gariye’ will be buried on Monday in Hargeisa.

The body of the late Gariye who died a week ago in Sweden where he had sought medical attention will arrive on Monday morning at Berbera airport where the state burial committee appointed by president is awaiting.

Immediately on arrival, the body of the famous poet will be transported to the capital city Hargeisa for a state burial, which shall be graced by H.E Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo among other high-ranking dignitaries and public.

Mohamed Hashi Dama’a ‘Gariye’ was born in Hargeisa in 1949 where he still lives. He attended school in Sheikh in Somaliland and then graduated in biology at the Somali National University, following which he worked as a teacher for several years. As a keen poet and literary scholar also he later worked at the Academy of Culture in Mogadishu and then as a lecturer in Somali literature at National University.

Since the 1970s, Gariye has been universally regarded as one of the most important Somali poets composing on a great variety of topics from nuclear weapons to Nelson Mandela. A poet who has never been afraid to engage in the politics of Somalia through his poetry, he was the initiator of one of the largest ‘chain poems’ ‘Deelley’ to which many poets contributed, each one alliterating in ‘d’ – hence the name of the chain.

In addition to his poetry, Gariye was the person who first articulated the metrical patterns of Somali poetry, which he published in 1976 in a number of articles in the national newspaper of the time. This work was invaluable and a major intellectual achievement.

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