About This Project

On November 2014 we hosted the ‘Credible Voices’ Conference in Istanbul on “The contributors of violence in Somali: Tribalism vs. Extremism” with leading clerics from Somalia and East Africa, credible community leaders and youth activists. We examined the pull that extremist rhetoric has on young Somali people and what can be done to draw them back to a positive engagement with their homeland via conservations on faith, politics, art, culture and trauma. One of the speakers is Abdi Shire Jama, a British-Somali lawyer turned poet, who felt compelled to write after one particularly horrifying attack in Mogadishu in which a suicide bomb killed dozens of medical students at their graduation. His challenging work has led to death threats but he refuses to be silenced and continues to publish poetry and speak out against extremism. here is the documentary we made about lawyer Abdi Shire: watch video.  The ultimate question the conference sought to answer is ‘Are Al-Shabaab winning the hearts and minds of young people?’ and leading on from that ‘What can be done to change this?’ By the conclusion of the conference, we have agreed and issued a joint communiqué against Al-Shabaab and tribalism with the endorsement of Al-Azhar scholars and the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs.   The participants of credible Voices conference are back to their respective countries, regions and cities to undertake campaigns and actions to counter tribalism, violence and extremism. More information