Home The Country Geography Journal of Somaliland Studies. v.1, no.1. Spring 2010
Journal of Somaliland Studies. v.1, no.1. Spring 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Editors   
Monday, 15 March 2010 00:08

Why Somaliland Studies?



Welcome to the first issue of the Journal of Somaliland Studies. The aim of this journal is to publish, both in print and electronically, academic articles, research and creative writing on all aspects of Somaliland. The reason we established this journal is because we saw a need to resuscitate Somaliland studies as a discipline, and that the best way to do that is to have a journal that embodies the existence of such a discipline.


Some might say that Somaliland Studies does not need to justify its existence. Well, that may be so, but in order to make the reader understand what this project is about, a few words are in order.


Although the seeds of Somaliland Studies were planted centuries ago, Somaliland Studies as a discipline began to take shape during the era when Somaliland was a British protectorate, for it was then that various projects of documentation and scientific investigations into different aspects of the protectorate took place. Unfortunately, that budding field of knowledge had the rug pulled from under it in July 1, 1960, the day of the union between Somaliland the former Italian Administered Trust Territory (Somalia). On that day, not only did Somaliland lose its political independence, it also lost its official status as an autonomous field of inquiry. The word "official" is important for two reasons. One, although Somaliland lost its political independence after the union, knowledge about Somaliland continued to accumulate except now the word Somaliland was replaced by Northern Regions. Second, as it became clear that the union meant the domination of Somaliland by the south, the idea of Somaliland became an attractive alternative albeit unofficial site of resistance to southern domination. It was in this atmosphere that the field of Somali Studies was born. Somali Studies had the potential to reflect the concerns of all Somalis, but it did not do so. Instead, Somaliland's rich heritage in the Somali language, the well kept colonial archives in England, as well as the substantial scholarship on Somaliland in the English language were all pillaged and distorted by the unionists to construct a false and ahistorical narrative of Somalia.

With the defeat of Mohamed Siyad Barre's military dictatorship and the restoration of Somaliland's independence, it would have been logical to expect that one of the first projects undertaken by Somaliland's intellectuals would be the restoration of Somaliland Studies as an official and independent discipline, but that did not happen, and it took almost two more decades before Somaliland Studies is re-launched as a discipline in its own right. So here it is. Welcome to Somaliland Studies.




Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 23:21