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HQ. Mogadishu, Somalia

POP-­‐UP! TALK  MOGADISHU   A semi-spontaneous dialogue forum between community stakeholders and experts, debating current and emerging affairs in Somalia . . .  

EVENT LOCATION:

Jazeera Palace Hotel

IMPLEMENTING ORGANIZATION:

Elman Peace & Human Rights Centre (EPHRC)

SUPPORTING AGENCY:

United States of America Embassy in Nairobi

Organizational address

Mogadishu, Somalia

Email:

info@elmanpeace.org

Twitter:

@ElmanPeaceCentr

Facebook:

Elman Peace And Human Rights Centre

Website:

www.elmanpeace.org

           

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HQ. Mogadishu, Somalia

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:     Unfortunately, in Somalia dialogue has not been seen as high a policy priority as military victory, yet it remains a paramount constituent to peacemaking. It is EPHRC’s belief that military solutions alone are not enough for ending conflict and inclusive approaches such as reconciliation, the promotion of active citizenship, strengthening of the existing social protection structures and community leadership will pave way for a peaceful end to conflict. Peace is more than just the absence of war and conflict; it means freedom and the liberty to have a full and equal participation in all elements of life; understanding what those elements mean to different factions of the community can only be realized through dialogue. To this extent, the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre, in conjunction with the US embassy in Nairobi organized “POPUP! Talk Mogadishu”; a semi-spontaneous dialogue forum which introduces an innovative and inclusive approach to understanding and better addressing the current and emerging socio-political issues in Somalia. EPHRC invited a panel of experts who could provide insight on the pre-selected themes of discussion; Public Works, Youth Engagement, Security, Health, Education, Human Rights as well as Women & Politics. With a small audience of academia, community leaders, members of government, civil society and private sector representatives in attendance; the host posed 7 questions to the panel of experts and encouraged a debate between the panelists and took questions and comments from the live audience and those who joined the discussion via social media using the hash tag #PopTalkMog. The objective of the forum was announced at the onset and it was clarified to the participating panelists and the audience that dialogue is not the only goal of the convening, but a means of reaching the goal. And with that understanding, the participants shared experiences as well as short and long term recommendation to alleviating the concerns raised in the forum.

OUTCOME &  IMPACT   The forum fostered an innovative approach to human interaction in Somalia; centered on the principle of recognizing differences as well as areas of common good, the panelists and audience members demonstrated capacity and interest for change. The visible shift away from marginalization to consultation to participation, as well as the new approach of promoting partnerships between state and non-state actors was documented as a positive development. The forum achieved collaborative problem-solving through genuine dialogue and created a neutral space whereby the panelists and audience members contributed freely without fear of retribution for their remarks and opinions stated.  The event was received as timely and most necessary as the conversations began emerging into many sensitive national and sub-national issues that invited views from key and opposing stakeholders. The forum drew from a live audience with various professional backgrounds and influences which deepened the circle of participants and conversation; to further broaden this space, there was an  

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HQ. Mogadishu, Somalia

opportunity for people who could not attend to participate in the discussion by submitting questions through Twitter or by Facebook. Social media is a great tool to foster awareness and is heavily used by the Somali Diaspora community for instant access to news, discussions and general interaction. The discussions from social media provided insight into the views of those interested in Somalia as well as the online-active stakeholders on development priorities. Also connected, the initiative engaged with traditional (satellite, print, online) media institutions as well as opinion leaders in an effort to bring the event to a wider audience. The forum increased collaborative dialogue among various actors from key and opposing sectors to exchange practical solutions designed to work for the greater benefit of all Somali people and the social good. The forum advanced alternative means of community engagement whereby the input and suggestions can be integrated into the global developmental discussion and ultimately with key figures from international organizations and entities such as the donor community who are actively involved in the humanitarian assistance of Somalia. --------------------

“The government is detached from the community, it does not know what our concerns are and thus, it is not reflected in public policy. I found this platform most successful and timely, because it gave us [the community] a chance to share ideas on the issues we face and a unique opportunity to be heard by those who are in a position to take it forward for change.”- Hassan Ali, University Professor “The discussion this forum brought forth was very important, we need to have such a convening regularly; it is in everyone’s interest to do so.”- Nadifa Osman, Minister of Public Works “I learned a lot and shared a lot, and I felt heard. The conversations were honest and unfiltered, this momentum needs to reach all parts of Somalia.” –Omaar Osman, Youth Activist

PANEL OF  EXPERTS:   Expert  Panelist  on  Public  Works   Nadifa  Osman  is  the  Minister  of  Public  works.  She  worked  in  the  Ontario   Minister  of  Energy  &  environment  in  Toronto  Canada  as  an  engineer.    She   graduated  from  the  University  of  Minnesota  and  has  been  an  consultant   with  various  institutions.          

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HQ. Mogadishu, Somalia   Expert  Panelist  on  Women  &  Politics  

Fawzia Yusuf  Adam  was  the  first  woman  appointed  to  the  position  of   Deputy  Prime  Minister  and  Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs  in  Somalia.   Founder  of  Hargaisa  University,  she  is  currently  a  Member  of  Parliament.           Expert  Panelist  on  Youth  Engagement   Koshin  Hashi  is  a  practicing  lawyer  who  graduated  from  University  of   Hargeisa  with  LLB  degree  in  Law.  He  is  currently  the  Assistant   Operations  Manager  of  a  rehabilitation  project  that  deals  with   disengaging  combatant  youth  from  Al-­‐Shabab           Expert  Panelist  on  Human  Rights      Fartuun  Abdisalaan  Adan  is  the  Executive  Director  of  Elman  Peace   and  Human  Rights  Center;  a  national  scope  organization  incepted  in   1990.  She  established  the  first  rape  crisis  center  and  women's  safe   house  in  Somalia  to  assist  women  who  are  victims  of  Gender  Based   Violence.  She  provides  rehabilitation  &  reintegration  support  for   children  involved  in  armed  conflict  as  well  as  economic  empowerment   for  youth.          

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HQ. Mogadishu, Somalia   Expert  Panelist  on  Security  

Abdirashid  Mohamed  Hidig  is  a  current  Member  of  Parliament  in  the   Somali  Federal  Government.    He  was  also  an  active  politician  in  the   Transitional  Federal  Government,  serving  before  as  the  deputy-­‐minister   of  interior,  deputy-­‐minister  of  defense,  deputy  minister  of  national   security.  In  addition  to  being  a  member  of  parliament,  he  is  also  a   member  of  the  commission  of  security  in  the  Parliament  of  the  Federal   Government  of  Somalia.           Expert  Panelist  on  Education    

Fouzia  Warsame  is  a  PhD.  candidate  at  the  Ontario  Institute  for  

Studies in  Education  (OISE),  University  of  Toronto,  Canada.  Her  PhD   focuses  on  sociology  and  equity  studies  in  education  with  a   particular  concentration  on  teacher  education  and  nation  building  in   post-­‐conflict  Somalia.  Currently,  Fouzia  is  the  Dean  of  the  faculty  of   Education  at  the  Somali  National  University  (SNU),  and  Senior   Advisor  to  the  Ministry  of  Culture  and  Higher  Education.  Fouzia  has   an  extensive  knowledge  and  work  experience  in  educational   research,  teacher  education  and  education  policy.            

Expert  Panelist  on  Health  

Dr.  Mahad  Mohamed  Hassan  is  the  Director  of  Non-­‐

Communicable Diseases  Unit  Directorate  of  public  Health  for  the   Ministry  of  Health.  Dr.  Hassan  obtained  his  MBBS  degree  from   Benadir  University  Somalia  and  currently  is  pursuing  his  MPH.  He  is   also  a  lecturer  in  Nutrition  and  Dietetics  at  Benadir  University   Faculty  of  Medicine.  He  has  been  a  member  of  the  Health  Sector   Strategic  Plan  committee  working  on  developing  Somalia.  From   2009-­‐2011  he  was  a  Physician  based  at  Aden  Abdulle  Osman   Hospital  in  Mogadishu,  Somalia.    

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