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Name  Dhoodaan Dhoodaan

Died  April 2013, Harar, Ethiopia

Maanso: Abwaan Cabdulaahi Macallin Axmed (Dhoodaan)

Cabdullahi Macallin Axmed, Dhoodaan (1941 in Dollo – April 2013) was Somali Ethiopian poet.


A well-known Somali poet Abdullahi Moalin Ahmed “Dhoodaan” died at age of 72 in the city of Harar. He was one of the pioneers of Somali poetry and arguably one of the greatest poet of the last century. He was born within a family of shepherds from the Ogaden, he could not have a formal education.

Gabay Qoraal & Maqal (UUS DUUGAD) Cabdullaahi Macallin Axmed (Dhoodaan) EHUN

Early life

Born to a nomadic pastoralist family, he had what could have been speech and language delay disorder at an early age. Young Dhoodaan during those years was a very shy, quiet, and observant child, many thought he will never speak again. Not surprising for a nomadic society that had little knowledge of disorders or its diagnosis techniques. Little did they know what was boiling under his prolonged silence and like a volcano he erupted. What followed was a miracle, not only was he able to speak but was able to do so flawlessly through poetry. He spoke elegantly and with ease, unusual for a child, yet what people didn’t understand was where he acquired such a skill.

Poetry did not run in his blood line, in fact none of his family history was known for poetry. But because he didn’t have the ability to speak at an early age, he compensated it through observation. He made sense of his surroundings by silently constructing words in his mind. This would later become poetry, and through this poetry he would later speak about the issues facing his community; whether it was famine, war or love. He did not shy away from challenging the status quo, and the leaders of his community. From that point, it was clear that he was not an ordinary young boy, but a legend in the making.

Cultural Impact

Dhoodaan was from the Ethiopian occupied Ogaden region and just like many others he fled the conflict in Ethiopian, he moved to Somalia. It was no surprise that he immediately challenged and spoke critically against the authoritarian regime of Dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in his newly adopted country. After the failure of the 1977 Ogaden War, he openly criticized and condemned the Barre regime for turning the war into a border issue and a disputed territory between Somalia and Ethiopia. He was famously known for his support of the movements for the liberation of occupied Ogaden, as was depicted in many of his poems.


Dhoodaan Wikipedia

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