Death misses "Somali Shakespeare"

Hadhrawi, 79, is considered one of Somalia's most famous poets and is highly respected in his country.


The death of the Somali poet Mohamed Ibrahim Warsami, known as Hadhrawi and nicknamed "Somali Shakespeare", who died Thursday in the breakaway region of Somaliland, where he was living, was absent.

Hadhrawi, 79, considered one of Somalia's most famous poets and highly respected in Somali society, had been suffering from health problems for seven years.

Hadhraoui, who composed dozens of songs and poetic epics, spent five years in prison between 1973 and 1978 under Siad Barre's military dictatorship, for criticizing the regime through his writings.

After his release, he sought refuge in Ethiopia, and moved from there to Britain, before finally settling in Somaliland from which he hails.

Somaliland President Musa Bihi Abdi said at a press conference in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, that the poet's death was "a great shock and loss.

We must pray for him now.”

"I offer my deepest condolences to the people of Somaliland and to all Somali-speaking people everywhere," he added.

In a statement, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud also praised "one of the Somali intellectuals who worked to contribute to the awareness and literature of the Somali people."

Hadhraoui had no children, and his wife died in March 2022 in Burao, where they lived.

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