HIBF is the main cultural event in Somaliland and one of the largest public celebrations of books in East Africa. Every July, HIBF brings writers, poets, artists and thinkers from Somaliland and from all over the world to share and discuss their art and literary productions with the audience.
The main aim of the festival is to promote a culture of reading and writing in the country, by producing and publishing high quality Somali literature and translating international classical literature, (including fiction, poetry and drama) into Somali. We aim to enable young people to access a range of cultural heritages; our intention is to stimulate the revival of all forms of art and human expression, including painting, poetry reciting, story-telling, drama composition and of course, writing.
The Book Fair is linked to its sister London’s Somali Week Festival which takes place in October.
HIBF targets not only to young audience, but to wider sectors of the society, and it aims to help foster cultural understanding, tolerance, democracy, and an appreciation of the diversity of Somali culture and literature. In the past few years, our festivals raised the profile of reading and writing and also the integration in Somaliland of youth from different regions around the country.
The main aim of the book fair in fact is to promote critically thinking culture and creative writing, to facilitate the habit of reading, to display books, from both local and writers abroad, to encourage members in the public to browse, read, engage with authors, be inspired to young people, and wider society.
Reporter; Mustafe Ahmed (Samakaab)