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The video clips on this website are just a small sampling of the many hours of video recordings made during the week-long workshop in 2009. Working with Studio CT and community consultants, the project coordinators edited this raw footage down to 19 hours to create a 12-disc archive that may be used in workshops, courses, and/or individual study.

The DVD set Somali History, Language, and Culture: A Workshop is available for purchase through The Ohio State University Foreign Language Publications, a not-for-profit publisher, distributor, and retailer. Below is a list of the contents of each of the 12 discs. For more detailed information on the topics addressed in the DVD set, download the DVD chapter listing.

Disc Contents

DISC 1 Precolonial & Colonial Periods – Dr. Lidwien Kapteijns of Wellesley College discusses Somali social, economic, and political organization prior to and during colonization in the nineteenth century. Topics include gender, religion, governance, kinship, clan, conflict resolution, and anti-colonial resistance.

DISC 2 Colonial Period, Independence & Civil War – Dr. Kapteijns discusses the transition from colonial rule to independence to civil war. Topics include governance, economic development, nationalism, gender, clan, Islam, language and literacy, war with Ethiopia, involvement of Western governments.

DISC 3 Interview & Group Discussion – Interview: Dr. Kapteijns answers questions about religion, clan, gender, and how their meanings have changed for Somalis over time and across geographic space. She makes recommendations for further reading on Somalia and Islam. / Group Discussion: Participants in the workshop pose questions and discuss their own experiences with Somali colleagues, students, and families.

DISC 4 Somali Students as English Language Learners – Dr. Abdinur Mohamud of the Lau Resource Center of the Ohio Department of Education discusses how educators can help Somali students and their families make informed choices about English as a Second Language (ESL) and other school programs. Dr. Abdinur demonstrates how the use of visual aids helps Limited English Proficient students.

DISC 5 Somali Art / Somali Students’ Dual Life Experience – Somali Art: Mohamud “Diriyos” Diriye, Director of the Somali Cultural and Research Center, discusses the history and significance of a selection of Somali cultural artifacts. / Somali Students’ Dual Life Experience: Abdirazak Farah of the City of Columbus’ New Americans Initiative discusses the challenges Somali students face in negotiating their dual American and Somali identities.

DISC 6 The Structure of Somali Poetry – Dr. John Johnson, folklorist from Indiana University, provides a detailed analysis of the structure of Somali poetry. 

DISC 7 Sociology of Somali Poetry – Dr. Johnson discusses Somali oral traditions and illustrates the social functions and importance of Somali poetry in family life, the workplace, and politics. He presents vignettes about marriage, clan, and daily labor to illustrate how “Somali Poetry Lives!”

DISC 8 Somali Language Basics – Abdulkadir Abdi, Somali instructor for OSU’s Continuing Education Program, provides a brief history of Somali oral and written language. He instructs students on basic greetings and simple phrases, as well as on Somali spelling and pronunciation.

DISC 9 Somali Cinema – Filmmaker Abdisalam Aato gives a history of early Somali filmmakers and the cultural and political trends that have influenced Somali film-making development in Somalia. Aato describes his own film-making and the emergence of Somali-language cinema in the Diaspora, known as Somaliwood.

DISC 10 Somali Students with Limited or No Formal Schooling – Dr. Brenda Custodio of Columbus Global Academy describes the challenges faced by students who are recent immigrants with limited schooling. She describes the efforts of Columbus City Schools to meet their needs through newcomer programs and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.

DISC 11 Working with Bantu Students and Families  Abdi Issa of Southwestern City Schools discusses the history of the Somali Bantu and the challenges they face in resettlement in the U.S.

DISC 12 Recent Events in Somalia / Engaging Somali Parents / Supporting Bantu Students and Families After School – Recent Events in Somalia: Former Somali Ambassador to the U.S., Abdikarim Omar, delivers an overview of current events in Somalia, including Islamic extremism,  piracy, and prospects for peace. / Engaging Somali Parents: Hodan Khalif, School Resource Coordinator for Communities in Schools, talks about parent-teacher relations in Somalia and the U.S., with suggestions for how teachers can better engage Somali parents in their childrens’ education. / Supporting Bantu Students and Families After School: Abdalla Kassim, founder of the organization First Time Learners, discusses issues facing Somali Bantu youth and his organization’s efforts to help them.

About the DVD Creators – Leslie Moore is a linguistic anthropologist and Associate Professor in the School Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University. Laura Joseph is Assistant Director of OSU’s Center for African Studies.

This program is made possible in part by the Ohio Humanities Council, a State affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and by the United States Department of Education.

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