Prominent Somali scholar dies in the US
A Somali professor known his rich oral poetry writing and nationalism has died in New Jersy on Tuesday, aged 72, relatives told HOL on Wednesday.
Prof. Said Samatar who co-authored Nation In search Of a State with David D has died after hours in coma after falling off his home’s stairs.
Born in Somali Region of Ethiopia in 1943, Prof. Samatar spent his early years in nomadic environment having completed his early education with a stint at a middle school in Nazareth, Ethiopia before moving to Mogadishu in 1970 to start working at the National Teaching College.
His death is a big loss for Somalia’s poetry society which besides him lost many other legends.
Coming to the United States on a scholarship, Samatar commenced studies at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana. He attended early morning and night classes, while working during the day as a welder to support his wife, who at the time was pregnant with their two children. Samatar graduated from Goshen College in 1973 with a degree in history and literature. He followed that with a Master's degree in Northeast African history, and received a graduate certificate in African studies. In 1979, he obtained a doctorate in African history from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Soon after, a job offer arrived from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky, where Samatar taught from 1979-1981. In July 1981, he accepted a post at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, where he has since remained. His daughter is award-winning author Sofia Samatar
Prof. Samatar has seen of the most important literature faces for Somalia, a nation often described as Bards.
Profile: Said SamatarProfessor and Editor of the Horn of Africa Journal
Department of African American and African Studies, Department of History Research Interests: Modern African history, esp. eastern and southern Africa; African resistance movements to European imperialism; Middle East; history of Islam.