wardheernews "Daadah"



Reading Zainab Dahir’s book Daadah - Learn Somali, Book 1, with deliberation, I am sure, one cannot fail to appreciate the enormity of the task she has set herself to fulfill.  This book, which is the first one in a series of six is primarily meant to teach Somali children, particularly those in the United Kingdom, the skills of reading and writing the Somali language.  To this end, Ms Dahir masterfully employs all the elemental techniques deemed essential for the realization of her objective aim.  That is why we see the book’s overall artistic design, as well as her keen adherence to the methodology of step by step procedure, attractive illustrations, various exercises both oral and written, create such an admirable blend enough to arouse the young people’s interest and capture their active engagement. In these aspects the book eloquently bespeaks for itself.


In this short introduction, however, I simply want to touch upon a few other crucial points pertinent to the theme the book is mainly dealing with – the essence of teaching children the Somali language in UK.

Firstly, the book’s emergence into the public arena could not have been timelier.  It has just come out in the wake of the official acceptance and inclusion of the Somali language into the family of minority communities’ languages endorsed and taught in Britain within the National Curriculum.

The paucity of the teaching materials for Somali children, written in their mother tongue, has remained an outstanding issue pestering the Somali community for a long time.  No wonder, therefore, that the recent publication of Daadah series and others on this vital subject should be received with great jubilation for the optimism they inspire.

Secondly, over the past three decades, Somalis numbering by the tens of thousands have settled in the U.K fleeing the diabolical civil strife raging in Somalia.  Among the most intractable burning problems they have faced in this country and still do so is the problem of language barrier and lack of communication between parents and their children which in many cases have eventually led to the sorry state of family breakdown with its concomitant social malaise in the society at large.  To successfully tackle this thorny problem and maintain healthy family unity through cultural cohesion is understandably a matter of utmost priority.  Teaching young Somalis their language and with it their beautiful culture is sure to narrow the dangerously widening gap between parents and children.  Once again the Daadah series of books and other similar resources are important tools to be utilized towards this urgently desired effect.

Finally, it is for the qualified professional Somali tutors in the field of education to pass their last judgment on the appropriate uses and suitability of this series of Daadah books dedicated to the teaching of the Somali language to beginners of a wide ranging ages, but from my personal perspective as a concerned and interested Somali scholar living in the UK I have nothing but high praise for Ms Dahir’s excellent production and her commendable worthy accomplishment.

There is no doubt that Ms Dahir’s good command of both the English and the Somali language, coupled with her dauntless spirit has been a driving force behind her fruitful endeavors. We wish many others equally endowed with these splendid merits will soon take her lead.

Said Jama Hussein
Vice Chair of Somali PEN

Source Wardheernews