Words Exchanged | Italophone Somalia, Then and Now

Iman Mohamed

“Italian language teaching is back in Somalia!” the Italian embassy in Somalia tweeted in late September 2021, announcing a new program at the Somali National University that would reintroduce the language of the country’s former colonizer. “Learning a new language,” the tweet continued in shaky English, “means opening your mind and seize unexpected opportunities.” For days, it was ridiculed and meme-d across social media by young Somalis. Why, some wondered,...

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