Nuruddin Farah- Listed on UNHCR Prominent List

 

farah-nuruddinRated by The New York Times as the most important African novelist to emerge in the last 25 years, Nuruddin Farah says he was born in a time in Africa’s history when the power of speech lay in the oral tradition, in people’s tongues rather than in their pens.
Profession: Novelist
Country of Origin: Somalia
Country of Asylum: Nigeria
Country of Transit: Gambia; Sudan; Ethiopia; Uganda; USA; South Africa; United Kingdom
Date of birth:24 November 1945

Farah’s father, a merchant, helped establish a community school in the Ogaden town of Kallafo, then under Ethiopian control, where Farah learnt to read and write. He was later sent to a Christian missionary school. His mother, a poet, had a great influence on the boy, helping him gain access to hidden, creative energies within himself.

Farah started earning money as a translator, interpreter and scribe. At the age of 11 he delivered a speech he wrote for the visit to Somalia of Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie. While his teachers were overwhelmed by the emperor’s presence, the boy gained confidence.

He studied at the University of Panjab, India, from 1966 to 1970, taught at the Somali National University of Mogadishu and left for further studies at the University of London and the University of Essex from 1974 to 1976.

Farah’s flight into exile came in 1976, after Somalia came under the rule of the autocratic Marxist, Mohammed Said Barre. While visiting Italy, Farah was warned by telephone not to return to Somalia. His novel, “A Naked Needle”, was being described as treason in Mogadishu. His later work includes a trilogy titled “Variations on the Theme of an African Dictatorship”.

Farah said then that if he couldn’t return home, then he would make the rest of Africa his country. He served as associate professor at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and lectured at the Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. He also held the post of writer-in-residence at the Royal Court Theatre in London and was guest professor at universities in Africa, Europe and the United States.

Most of his novels are set in Somalia, and explore political themes. They reflect the ills of misrule in Somalia and vividly capture African politics elsewhere. In 1981, Farah gave a series of readings at a conference in Frankfurt devoted to Commonwealth writers, which caught the audience’s attention with his distinctive narrative technique.

Farah has won several literary awards, including the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature (sponsored by the University of Oklahoma). His work is now the subject of study in itself, for example in Derek Wright’s book, “The Novels of Nuruddin Farah”.

Among his recent writing is “Yesterday, Tomorrow”, a compilation of interviews conducted with refugees, for which he travelled widely across Africa and Europe.

Source: UNHCR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profession:

Novelist
Country of Origin:
Somalia
Country of Asylum:
Nigeria
Country of Transit:
Gambia; Sudan; Ethiopia; Uganda; USA; South Africa; United Kingdom
Date of birth:
24 November 1945

Farah’s father, a merchant, helped establish a community school in the Ogaden town of Kallafo, then under Ethiopian control, where Farah learnt to read and write. He was later sent to a Christian missionary school. His mother, a poet, had a great influence on the boy, helping him gain access to hidden, creative energies within himself.

Farah started earning money as a translator, interpreter and scribe. At the age of 11 he delivered a speech he wrote for the visit to Somalia of Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie. While his teachers were overwhelmed by the emperor’s presence, the boy gained confidence.

He studied at the University of Panjab, India, from 1966 to 1970, taught at the Somali National University of Mogadishu and left for further studies at the University of London and the University of Essex from 1974 to 1976.

Farah’s flight into exile came in 1976, after Somalia came under the rule of the autocratic Marxist, Mohammed Said Barre. While visiting Italy, Farah was warned by telephone not to return to Somalia. His novel, “A Naked Needle”, was being described as treason in Mogadishu. His later work includes a trilogy titled “Variations on the Theme of an African Dictatorship”.

Farah said then that if he couldn’t return home, then he would make the rest of Africa his country. He served as associate professor at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and lectured at the Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. He also held the post of writer-in-residence at the Royal Court Theatre in London and was guest professor at universities in Africa, Europe and the United States.

Most of his novels are set in Somalia, and explore political themes. They reflect the ills of misrule in Somalia and vividly capture African politics elsewhere. In 1981, Farah gave a series of readings at a conference in Frankfurt devoted to Commonwealth writers, which caught the audience’s attention with his distinctive narrative technique.

Farah has won several literary awards, including the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature (sponsored by the University of Oklahoma). His work is now the subject of study in itself, for example in Derek Wright’s book, “The Novels of Nuruddin Farah”.

Among his recent writing is “Yesterday, Tomorrow”, a compilation of interviews conducted with refugees, for which he travelled widely across Africa and Europe.

Source: UNHCR