Safia Aidid

jamma.co/safia04
historian

My Communities:

Somali Black Muslim East African

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FinishedFinished answering on Apr 20 at 19:45 BST

Ask me about:

  • women and gender in Somali history
  • anticolonial movements
  • Somali nationalism
  • pre-war Somalia (politics and culture)
Answers

Sure! I had all of my research and outlining completed before my pregnancy, so fortunately it was strictly writing (and reading as needed) during my pregnancy and my son's first year. I had a difficult pregnancy so I wrote as much as I could when I felt well enough to, but my productivity completel…

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What do you say about “Kali Narrative”?

Safia Aidid - 1 month, 3 weeks ago

In my fieldwork, I interviewed a number of people who had different views on the Kaali meeting and disagreed on whether or not it actually happened. I lean towards it being true for a few reasons. First, we know that Haile Selassie actively courted the Ogaden and other clans in the disputed territo…

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The concept of "Soomaalinimo" is a modern nationalist construction used to initially to politically mobilize Somalis to look beyond their difference and oppose the colonial state(s), then after independence it became the dominant national identity and ethos of Somali citizenship. We can date it to …

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Reading list

Safia Aidid - 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Thanks Fadumo! I recently wrote an overview on women and gender in Somali history for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History, which is a good place to start and includes a number of footnotes and recommended further readings. Both Lidwien Kapteijns and Francesca Declich have had a larg…

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Araweelo mexey aheyd

Safia Aidid - 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Taariikhda Caraweelo waxa ay ku salaysan tahay hadal taariikheed (oral history), sidaa darteed waxaa la sheegayaa in ay ahayd boqorad ka talin jirtey geyiga Soomaalida gaar ahaan dhulka Sanaag loo yaqaano maanta. Boqortooyadeedu waxay caan ku ahayd in haweenka ay u dhiibi jirtey xilal sare marka lo…

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Thanks Umaimah! If you are planning on pursuing a PhD, it's important to know that North American doctoral programs are generally fully funded. In the US, it's typical that a funding package includes a tuition waiver, a stipend for 5 years (often tied to working as a teaching assistant, but not alw…

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When was the best time for Somali women and their rights?

Safia Aidid - 1 month, 3 weeks ago

That's a difficult question to answer! We tend to look at the period under Siad Barre's military dictatorship (1969-1991) as the most progressive on the women's question because of a number of radical reforms on women's rights under his government. I prefer to think about rights more broadly to loo…

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During the colonial era, only the border between British Somaliland and Ethiopia was demarcated. There were attempts to demarcate the Italian Somaliland-Ethiopia boundary, but they failed early in the 20th century over conflicting interpretations by Ethiopian and Italian officials over the 1897 Ita…

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Somali society has experienced a number of transformations through the precolonial, colonial and postcolonial periods which has had major consequences for gender relations, roles, and women's positions. It is also difficult to generalize, as there really is no singular Somali society though we tend…

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The Ajuuraan are not extinct! They are a living Somali clan that inhabit parts of eastern Ethiopia, northeastern Kenya, and southern Somalia. It is impossible to say whether the Ajuuraan Sultanate was the most prosperous period without further research on the precolonial political economy and econo…

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It is quite rare to encounter pre-colonial Somalia - or Somalia at all - while studying African history in a Western institution, which is testament to how limited historical study of the Somali territories is when compared to say, the endless fixation on Somalia in political science and developmen…

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It's important to consider that qabyaalad or clanism is a historical product. Even prior to independence, colonial regimes in Somalia reinscribed and politicized clan identities through the racist assumption that Somalis are a singularly "tribal" people and governing them accordingly. Many of these…

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Nationalism - Somalia's greatest myth?

Safia Aidid - 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't consider this to be a uniquely Somali problem - nationalism is essentially a process of demarcating an national community and othering outsiders, and history shows how the concept of the "external threat" or outside invasion is often a unifying force for nations, which is something that can…

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Marian

Safia Aidid - 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Salaam Marian! For women and gender in Somali history, I've recently published an overview article that includes a literature review and a number of references entitled "Women in Somalia," which has been published by the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History. I would also consult the work…

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I've often wondered about this myself, not only about Somalis but other parts of the Islamic world, given how central women were to the early history of Islam. The answer lies not in a lack of female knowledge or expertise but a cultural understanding of formal religion as a male domain. Somali wom…

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How was colonization in each of the occupied territories?

Safia Aidid - 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The experience of colonial rule for Somalis varied widely by colony. British Somaliland (like the Somali regions of northeastern Kenya also administered by the British) had very little in the way of an actual administration, as the British preferred to spend as little as possible on their colonies …

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Sayyidka

Safia Aidid - 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Great question, Rahma! Ali Jimale Ahmed has written about the "Dervishization" of Somali history - the ways that the Dervish movement was monumentalized by successive Somali states at the expense of other histories - and I consider this to be an apt analysis. While Sayyid Mohamed's revolt was an im…

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When trying to think about this question, it's important to begin by first asking who is a "Somali." I consider the statement that "Somalis were never slaves" to be a form of erasure because many people who identify as Somali today - like the Somali Bantu - were enslaved historically and continue t…

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Good question. On the surface, it would appear so - after all, the Somali state's descent into civil war began with Somalia's defeat in what was supposed to be a moment of Pan-Somali solidarity and liberation, the Ogaden War of 1977-1978 against Ethiopia. Though it was popular at the time, followin…

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