“Prince Claus Fund stimulates the freedom of cultural expression” Ambassador Joost Reintjes
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – 69 years old renowned Somaliland poet Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame, alias Hadraawi, has been honoured by the Prince Claus Fund for his dedication to culture through profound and beautiful poems that not only enrich the centuries-old Somali poetry tradition but build bridges and promote peace as well.
Hadraawi who was among the Ten artists, thinkers, filmmakers and organisations from countries that include Syria, Burma and Somaliland honoured for their dedication to culture and development was presented with his “Prince Claus” award at colourful ceremony attended by various dignitaries at Ambassador hotel in Hargeisa on 18th April 2013.
Representing King Claus of Holland was that country’s envoy to Kenya, Somaliland and Somalia Ambassador Joost Reintjes who upon congratulating Poet Hadraawi informed of his pleasure to be in the country he first visited when he was twelve years old.
The ambassador who also gave a brief of the Prince Claus said that the annual awards are very prestigious and honour artists, thinkers, filmmakers and organisations for dedication to culture and development in various countries.
“While the 2012 Principal Award to Argentinian Eloísa Cartonera shall be presented in Holland, I am very happy to be here presenting poet Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame, alias Hadraawi with his Prince Claus 2012 award on behalf of my king” said Amb Reintjes
The government of Somaliland thanked King Claus, the people and government of the Netherlands for the recognition and subsequent award to one of the country’s top artist whose poetic acumen is reckoned with by all Somali speakers.
“On behalf of the government and people of Somaliland, I thank and extend our appreciations to the government and people of the Netherlands for the recognition of the works of poet Hadraawi and subsequent Prince Claus award” said education minister Hon Zamzam Abdi Aden
Congratulating poet Hadraawi for his recognition by the Prince Claus fund were many friends and colleagues among them Mr Boobe Yusuf Duale and Poet Hasan Haji Abdilahi “Hasan Ganey”, who said the nomination is clear testimony of the impact that the poems of Hadraawi attract.
The awardee Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame Hadraawi who thanked the prince Claus fund for recognizing him and Ambassador Joost Reintjes for conveying the award all the way from Holland said that he shares the recognition with all Somalis.
The function was graced by many dignitaries among them politicians, government officials, traditional ad religious leaders, Artists as well ordinary Somalilanders from all walks of life.
The Prince Claus Fund
The Prince Claus Fund was inaugurated in 1996, named in honour of Prince Claus of The Netherlands. It receives an annual subsidy from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Fund has presented the international Prince Claus Awards annually since 1997 to honour individuals and organizations reflecting a progressive and contemporary approach to the themes of culture and development. Recipients are mainly located in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
The Prince Claus Awards
Honourees are determined by a jury of honorary chairmen who are experts from fields relevant to its mission of culture and development.
The most important consideration of the jury is the positive effect of a laureate’s work on a wider cultural or social field. The Prince Claus Fund interprets culture in a broad sense to encompass all kinds of artistic and intellectual disciplines, science, media and education. Outstanding quality is an essential condition for an award.
The Principal Award of € 100,000 is presented during a ceremony at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam in December every year. The additional awards of € 25,000 each are presented in the Dutch embassies in the countries where the recipients live in December and January
The Prince Claus Fund’s 2012 Principal Award has been granted to Eloísa Cartonera. This Argentinian non-profit publishing house creates handmade books of outstanding aesthetic and literary quality from waste material.
The other 2012 Honourees are:
1. Sami Ben Gharbia, Tunisia (1967, Tunis) is an innovative cyber-activist who works mainly through social media.
2. M/s Habiba Djahnine, Algeria is a respected writer and filmmaker whose main focus is documentary cinema directed to an accurate portrayal of Algerian realities.
3. Yasin al Haj Saleh, Syria (1961, Raqqa) is a writer, public intellectual and voice of reasoned analysis in the midst of the current Syrian crisis.
4. M/s Widad Kawar, Jordan
The passion and commitment of collector Widad Kawar (1931, Tulkarem) rescued and preserved important cultural heritage that otherwise would have been lost forever. Her superb collection consists of more than 2,000 examples of the textile artistry of Palestinian, Jordanian, Syrian, Bedouin and other Arab cultures.
5. Teresa Margolles, Mexico
Teresa Margolles (1963, Culiacán, Sinaloa) is a radical and challenging visual artist who examines the social causes and consequences of death through powerful artworks.
6. Boniface Mwangi, Kenya
Boniface Mwangi (1983, Taveta) is a self-taught photojournalist and exemplary photo-activist, determined to reduce violence and build peace through culture.
7. Phare Ponleu Selpak, Cambodia
The active Phare Ponleu Selpak (1994, Battambang) is a far-reaching cultural organisation that empowers youth and successfully integrates local traditions with new ideas to uplift, support and enrich post-conflict Cambodia and the Khmer culture.
8. Ian Randle, Jamaica
The pioneering Ian Randle (1940, Hanover) transformed the knowledge production and circulation in the Caribbean through his first local independent publishing house.
9. Maung Thura, alias Zarganar, Burma
The charismatic performer, comedian and social activist Maung Thura (Yangon, 1961), stage name Zarganar (‘tweezers’), uses humour as a potent weapon in the struggle against tyranny and injustice.
10. Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame, alias Hadraawi, Somaliland
The profound and beautiful poems of Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame (1943, Togdeer) enrich the centuries-old Somali poetry tradition, build bridges and promote peace.