Farah Awl

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Farah Awl
Native name
فارح عول
BornFaarax Maxamed Jaamac Cawl
1937 (1937)
Las Khorey, Somalia
Died1991 (aged 53–54)
Beledweyne, Somalia

Farah Mohamed Jama Awl (Somali: Faarax Maxamed Jaamac Cawl, Arabic: فارح محمد جامع عول‎; 1937–1991), usually credited as Farah Awl,[1] was a Somali writer. His surname Cawl (Somali pronunciation: [ʕaul]) means "gazelle", which was the nickname of his great-grandfather who was the Sultan of the Warsangali clan. The Awl family also includes the Warsangali Sultan Mohamoud Ali Shire.[2]


Awl was born in 1937 in the town of Las Khorey in northern Somalia. In his youth, he obtained a scholarship to study aeronautical and automobile engineering in London in the United Kingdom (1959–62). Upon graduation, he returned to Somalia and worked with the police force and the National Transport Agency in Mogadishu.

Awl's literary corpus is especially notable for its vivid description of Somalia's flora and fauna as well as its incorporation of traditional Somali poetry. He also has the distinction of being the first Somali novelist to write in the nascent Latin script for the Somali language after its formalization in 1972.

Awl was a member of the royal family of the Warsangali clan. Reportedly because of his membership in the Darod clan family, Awl, along with three of his children, was killed in 1991, at the height of the civil unrest that gripped the town of Beledweyne in the Hiiraan region.

He is survived by his wife and one son, Dahir Farah.[3]


  • Aqoondarro waa U nacab jacayl ("Ignorance is the enemy of love"), 1982
  • Garbaduubkii gumeysiga ("The Shackles of Colonialism"), 1978
  • Dhibbanaha aan dhalan ("The Unborn Victim"), 1989
  • Aqoondarro waa u nacab jacayl, 1974

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mohamed, Jama. "'The evils of locust bait': Popular nationalism during the 1945 anti-locust control rebellion in colonial somaliland." Past & present 174 (2002): 184-216.
  2. ^ Horn of Africa, Volume 15, Horn of Africa Journal., 1997, p. 72
  3. ^ Faarax MJ Cawl, Ignorance is the enemy of love., Translated from the Somali with introduction and notes, London, Zed Books, 'New Fiction' Series. (Revised reissue of the 1982 edition), 1984