Somaliland, July 25, 2009 (SL Times) – Mooge Festival started this week
in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeysa. The Festival which includes a book
fair, music, dances and lectures caused much excitement and was the talk
of town in Hargeysa with overflowing audiences. It was attended by a
full court of the major figures of Somali culture, including Xudaydi,
Hadraawi, Hassan Ganey, Cali Banfas, Ahmed Saleebaan Bidde, Gaarriye,
Muse Cali Faruur, Baarleex, Mohamed Jama Kayd and Maxamed Ahmed Kuluc.
Speaking on behalf of the organizers, Ayaan Maxamuud Cashuur said, “in
the past we used to hold this festival in the diaspora, but today we
decided to hold it in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeysa, which we believe
is the home of Somali arts and culture (hoyga fanka iyo Suugaanta
The minister of Tourism, Cabdirisaaq Waabari Rooble spoke about the
reason for the festival, praised Somaliland’s traditions and advised the
young people to hold on to their traditions.
The poet Hadrawi gave a glimpse of Muhammad Moge’s character. He pointed
out that in addition to being a talented singer, Muhammad Moge was
fearless and independent minded. To make his point, Hadrawi cited two
examples. The first one was that while he was in Halane camp, Muhammad
Moge dared to recite to the Somali dictator, Muhammad Siyad Barre, a
poem that was critical of his regime when all the others present would
not dare to recite it to him. The second example was how Muhammad Moge
refused to be part of the government sponsored Waaberi band and thus was
a major contributor to the popularization of cassette-based songs (Qaaci)
that were not approved by the government and could not be played on the
government-controlled radio station.
The festival opened at Ambassador hotel but later moved to the “Workers
House (Guriga Shaqaalaha)”. It will go on for six days.