THE INTERNET AND SOMALI DIASPORA: THE WEB AS A NEW MEANS OF EXPRESSION

 

Introduction

The disappearance from the international scene of the Somali state in 1991 is seen as a unique phenomenon in this nation-state era. This experience was expected to leave Somalia out of the “loop of new global technologies, market, politics and cultures”. Contrary to this expectation, Somalis have not been so excluded. This was caused by the impact of globalisation. In fact, during the close of the 1990s, the World Wide Web presented an opportunity for the Somali Diaspora to communicate, group, share views, help their groups at home and organise activities (e.g. development projects).

Since the late 1990s the Somali civil war has entered a new stage: the stage of media war. The appearance of Somali community/political web group is a new phenomenon on the web. Though the name is open to debate, there is no doubt, however, that it is a kind of new genre which needs to be considered. The web page became a means to promote group political identity or group self-presentation. Similar to the personal web pages, these web sites are constructed for group-self presentation. When a society begins to disintegrate during periods of social or economic turmoil, it experiences an identity crisis. In such a situation, people endeavour to reconstitute their identities and social meaning by articulating and identifying with alternative discourses. The effect of the rollback of the state ‘virus’, has been that every community has been attempting to rediscover itself. The web page offers such a group a means to create group self-representation.

This paper will look at how the anarchic reflect event at in the current Somalia.

عن Abdisalam Issa-Salwe

Professor of Information Systems, Vice-Chancellior for Academic Affairs at East Africa University

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