News

    Somalia National Theater Reopens After 20 Years of Silence

    Residents gather outside the reopened National Theater in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, March 19, 2012. In the roofless, bullet-ridden building that houses Mogadishu's National Theater, Somali musicians staged a concert for the first time in 20 years, a si
    Residents gather outside the reopened National Theater in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, March 19, 2012. In the roofless, bullet-ridden building that houses Mogadishu's National Theater, Somali musicians staged a concert for the first time in 20 years, a si

    Somali officials have reopened the country's national theater after more than 20 years, despite continuing attacks by the Islamist militant group al-Shabab.

    The venue formally opened Monday in the capital city Mogadishu, with hundreds gathering under an open roof destroyed during the country's civil war.

    Colorfully dressed artists performed during a televised concert, which was attended by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, government officials and regular Somali citizens.

    The president praised the bravery of the artists.

    "The artists have the power to reflect and convey the feelings of their people in words, in pictures and in performance, as we have witnessed today," he said.

    Ahmed also vowed to refurbish the worn building with the help of aid groups.

    The president credited recent security gains in Mogadishu for the theater's re-opening. Somali government forces and African Union troops pushed al-Shabab rebels out of the city last year.

    Just hours earlier, however, the insurgents fired mortars near the presidential palace.

    The al-Qaida-aligned insurgents have vowed to continue attacks in Mogadishu and still dominate much of central and southern Somalia.

    The Somali National Theater's director, artist Abdi Dhuh Yusuf, challenged political leaders to revive the country's arts and culture.

    “When are the vile acts going to get washed-off from the theater? When are you going to dress it properly and refurbish it? It is an open question," said Yusuf.

    Many young Somalis, like Murayo Ahmed Aden, have never seen a concert or have had access to a functioning theater.

    “I was too young to watch concerts at the national theater in the old days. Despite the destruction, I am glad to have performed today inside the national theater," said Aden.

    Somalia is currently run by a fragile transitional government backed by the United Nations. The Horn of Africa country has not had a stable government since 1991.

    “The artists have the power to reflect and convey the feelings of their people in words, in pictures and in performance as we have witnessed today,” said Ahmed.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora