Somalia’s noted contemporary poet Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac, known as “Gaarriye”

Somalia’s noted contemporary poet Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac, known as “Gaarriye”

When the British explorer Richard Francis Burton traveled through Somalia in the 1850s, he noted, “The country teems with poets.”Today, poetry remains at the heart of Somali expressive culture. Poets are among the most powerful individuals in Somali society and poetry is important for negotiating political and social differences. Gaarriye (1949–2012) is one such poet, whose work has had significant influence on Somali political and cultural life.