What books to read in 2017: 4 books and Somali Authors to start the year

Literature is truly an amazing resource in any society, with the amount of history and culture being shared throughout the world. There are wonderful authors from every region who persistently convey their thoughts and beliefs through passionate storytelling and captivating phrasing. The following Somali authors accomplish so much with their incredible works, enabling many to experience the truly compelling ideals expressed with these books. Authors Abdi Ismail Samatar, Zeynab Ali, and Abdullahi Janno use different methods to convey timeless tales of sociopolitical strife and intrigue, each a Somali immigrant with a unique perspective.

Abdi Ismail Samatar, Africa’s First Democrats: Somalia’s Aden A. Osman and Abdirazak H. Hussen

With an astonishing work that encapsulates the change that many have been looking for in terms of Somalian literature, Samatar truly showcases the shift in paradigm from a discussion of tribalism to an emphasis on the impact of colonialism. Samatar is a professor at the University of Minnesota, specializing in Geography, Environment, and Society. His work has often attacked the idea of clannism throughout the typical African literature, and this book conveys the importance of the cultural dynamic of leadership in the political sector post-colonialism.

Zeynab Ali, Cataclysm: Secrets of the Horn of Africa

Ali is only 18 years old and has self-published her first book. As a Somali refugee in America, she has a great deal of insight into the current sociopolitical climate plaguing the nation. Her voice contributes to the understanding of modern refugees. A high school student preparing for college, Ali is able to convey not just Somalian historical information but also her own personal memoir in dealing with the tragic situation. The book combines an academic tone with interspersed personal narratives that captivate and intrigue. Her life, and the lives of her parents, add to the overall importance of the story.

Abdullahi Janno, Qasaaye: A Collection of Stories

With a book that takes the reader through six different tales of the personal experiences of one Somali refugee in America, Janno expresses the common cultural mix-ups and issues faced by any immigrant. This set of stories reveals the ultimate quest that plagues us all: finding our place in the world. Janno is a writer who lives in Minnesota, and he strives to convey complexities with humor. Qasaaye is the protagonist of his debut work, and the entire set of stories is an incredible opportunity for personal exploration and cultural understanding.

Ahmed Ali and Bisharo Yusuf, I Love My Prophet Muhammad (SAW): Children’s book

Children’s books that teach diversity and Identity are more important than ever. Our kids need inclusive children’s books.

Six years ago, Ahmed and Bisharo who are new authors wanted to increase the books available for Muslim kids, that dream came true January, 2017. Ahmed and Bisharo wrote together their first children’s book, titled, “I Love My Prophet Muhammad”.

When president Donald Trump eager to sign several executive orders restricting immigration and ordering temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States in his first week of office. Also, controversies have erupted around the country in response to school books and lesson plans that don’t cast Islam and Muslims in a similarly negative light, “I Love My Prophet Muhammad” book is timely and highly needed.



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