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Book Launch: The Mourning Tree – the autobiography of Mohamed Barud Ali

Written by jen, 16th February 2010

Saturday, 20 Feb. 2010 at 4pm
Oxford House, Derby Shire Street, E2 6GH

The Mourning Tree: an autobiography and a memoir of prison, by Mohamed Barud Ali

Kayd Somali Arts and Culture in collaboration with is proudly inviting you to the presentation of new book: Weerane (The Mourning Tree), autobiography by Mohamed Barud Ali. Join them to discuss this new autobiography with the author and also mark and commemorate with us, the students protest (20 Feb 1982, erupted 28 years ago in Hargeysa) demanding justice and the release of UFFO members.

This prison memoir will not only give first-hand information of the experience of the brutalities of Siyad Barre’s Somalia but also of the life of a nomad child who is brought to the city to live with his aunt because there was no work for him due to the fact that his father did not own any camels to be looked after. In the city while growing up, hunger was never far away. That motivated Mahamed to perform well at school which gave him the opportunity to go to the United Kingdom.  After he earned his university degree, he went back to his home town Hargeysa where he met young professionals’ like him. They decided to volunteer for their community, what became to be known by the international community as Hargeysa Self-help group and locally as UFFO. For their noble acts, Mahamed and his colleagues were imprisoned and what followed were eight long lonely years, where the studying of insects was the main entertainment of the day.  The reasons why they were freed, while at the same time the rest of their community had been destroyed, were as strange and surprising as the reasons why they were jailed in the first place were bizarre. There was no time in Mohamed’s life to get depressed or discouraged when he and his group were freed as the reconstruction of the country had to start immediately.

The other speakers are Jama Musse Jama; director of Red Sea online (publisher of The Mourning Tree), Rashiid Sheikh Abdullahi; Author  and expert on Somali culture,  Martin Hill; the former director of Amnesty International Somalia desk and researcher who was involved in this case, Judith Gardner; author Somalia--the Untold Story: The War through the Eyes of Somali Women, Adan Warsame Said; the author’s friend and fellow prisoner, Fawzia Yousuf H Adam; The Director of Raad, I.M Lewis; Emeritus  professor at The London School of Economics and Political Science (TBC) and others...

The Mourning Tree: an autobiography and a memoir of prison, by Mohamed Barud Ali is the first of "Rag & Dumar" series, which is a selected list of biography books, published and distributed by Ponte Invisibile Ed.

Mahamed Barud Ali is civil right activist, Hero to some, the prisoner of conscience under the brutal regime of Somalia; he lives in Hargeysa, with his wife and children and works on issues relating to human rights and civil liberties.

Join us to discuss this new autobiography with the author and also mark and commemorate with us on Saturday, 20 Feb. 2010, 4pm at Oxford House, Derby Shire Street, E2 6GH. For more information call 07903712949; or email:; website:

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