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Identity, Somalinimo, and belonging within the Somali Diaspora

Open-Minded Debate is a monthly community-focused platform that allows for a candid discussion on many important and timely issues that are relevant to the community and wider society. It is about encouraging critical thinking through the exchange of objective dialogue in an open forum, with a panel of experts and an audience. 
This months topic is Identity, Somalinimo and belonging within the Somali diaspora. 
The outbreak of the Somali civil war in Somalia in the early 1990s has led to a growing global Somali diaspora.  As emphasised by Cindy Horst Somali refugees have become “Transnational Nomads”. We have become a globalised nation, settling across the world, from the Gulf States, Europe and America. However, remaining intimately connected with the homeland.
While the Somali diaspora continues to contribute significantly to their host communities, as well as sending remittances back home, the feeling of displacement and belonging have shaped our complex identity. Labels such as “refugees”, “migrant” and “asylum seeker” have become synonymous with the Somali diaspora community and it has influenced feelings of nostalgia and exclusion. 
As a result of the globalisation of the Somali community, our understanding of Somalinimo, and identity is constantly being redefined, often clashing with our new identities and social norms. Somalinimo, for the most part, constitutes feelings of patriarchy, commonality as being a nation of one language, culture and religion. However, to others, Somalinimo have entailed exclusion, discrimination and marginalisation.
The discussion will be about exploring identity within the Somali Diaspora.  It will shed light on the complexity of having multiple identities, as well as exploring the concept of belonging, exclusion and marginalization.
In this segment of the Open-Minded Debate, we will be discussing the following themes/questions: 
  • What does it mean to be a Somali outside of Somalia?
  • What is the role of Somali diaspora in the peace-building process
  • Is identity crisis prevalent within the Somali community?
  • What is the link between Somalinimo, clan and tribes?
  • How are marginalised Somalis excluded from the concept of Somalinimo?
Entry to this event is restricted to confirmation holders only. Places are limited, therefore, please RSVP by replying back to this email by Monday 20th November 2017. Kindly invite anybody that you think will benefit from this discussion and I would be grateful if you could confirm their details with me beforehand. 


Sagal Bafo