Jigjiga(Mogadishu24)-Ethiopia’s Somali State Administration on Saturday held the sixth poetry competition for poets in Jigjiga, the administrative capital of the region, with the theme of ‘effects of conflicts and how to get rid of them.’

This annual competition organised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Somali State Administration, is aimed at creating awareness against conflicts and its security threats and educate the public on the importance of peaceful coexistence between the communities.

The State Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ms. Warsan Awil reiterated the ministry’s commitment towards promoting artists to positively prevent any conflict using poetry to convey peace messages.

“We are opening the sixth poetry competition, which is aimed at creating awareness and revitalizing the Somali poetry. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is committed to revamping the Somali Arts, including poetry, musics and literature,” stated Ms Warsan, the State’s Minister for Culture and Tourism.

She added: “Our aim for this year’s competition is to prevent any conflicts and disputes between the communities. We urge the poets to use their poetry to create awareness against conflicts, droughts, diseases, and any issues that could affect human living.”

The Chairman of the region’s Poets Association, Mr. Ahmed Sheikh Abdirahman emphasized the importance of poetry in peace building efforts.

“The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has organized for us the annual competition of the poets in the region. We thank the ministry for the efforts and dedication towards strengthening our poems and literature sectors. Poems are used to educate people about the consequences of conflicts and ways to prevent it and other humanitarian crises,” Mr. Ahmed, the chairman of Poets Association, said.

The Ministry’s efforts to reform and rebuild the Somali poetry and literature play an essential role in preventing conflicts by fostering cultural understanding, empathy, and a sense of shared identity among communities living in the region.

The Somali poetry and literature will be an avenue for peaceful dialogue, addressing social issues, and heal wounds that might otherwise escalate into conflicts.

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