n Journal of Somali Studies : Research on Somalia and the Greater Horn of African Countries - The Arab factor in Somali culture : the rise of the novel in Somalia and Djibouti

Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2056-5674
  • E-ISSN: 2056-5682


This article discusses the interface between the Arab factor in Somali culture and the emergence of the novel genre in Somalia and Djibouti. It argues the Somali claim to Arab ancestry has its roots in a broadly defined 'urubah or Arabicity whose ontological and axiological base is neither racial nor ethnic, and whose affiliative contours and presumed conjunctions with Arabs are communicated in Somali. The novels discussed in this article demonstrate the need to politicize conscientiously contested grounds of memory, identity, space, and time; and reveal how the absence of such politicization leads to protracted internecine wars.

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