Where is Ogaden Region in World Literature? Part II

“The loss of the Ogaden was greater, of course.
It was as if my whole blood had been drained
out of me – that was how weak I felt. To me,
that was how tremendous the loss had been.”
From Nuruddin Farah’s novel, “Maps”.

When I first arrived in Malaysia in early nineties, I still recall having a tough argument with two of my university friends in which the question was raised whether or not the Ogaden Region has any place in Nuruddin Farah’s writings? My friends’ views were that the Somali novelist gave an unwavering focus only on Somalia in all his novels. To them, no mention was given to that region in his writings. “The man’s pen is not generous enough” was their concluding remarks!

Maps by Nurrudin Farah

Without giving their argument any serious thought, and knowing that my friends haven’t read his novels, I reminded them that if there is anyone who comprehensively introduced the Ogaden region to the outside world through his writings, it is none other than the renowned Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah. And if nothing can be compared with the satisfaction of having read a book and discovering for yourself the wealth of information it gives about that  region, it is also none other than his famous novel  “Maps”, a strikingly lyrical story and the first novel in Nuruddin Farah’s “Blood in the Sun” trilogy.

Moreover, the book was available in our university library and some of his works were also selected by the university. These works are taught to students majoring in English literature with a view to providing insights into the social, political, and religious experien




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