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Hargeisa said "soo dhawoow" and welcomed Czech writers with open arms

Traditionally, at the end of July, the Somaliland metropolis of Hargeisa has been revived by literary activity for fourteen years now. One of the most important cultural events in the region, which has crossed the boundaries of literature a long time ago, takes place here. Thousands of people from all over the world will sell out the capacity of local hotels and head to the cultural center to meet, reflect and discuss not only literature but all the problems facing this part of Africa for five days. The energy of the fair is then guaranteed to charge everyone present to such an extent that they can work hard on their pieces, and next year they will meet again with new books, revolutionary opinions and pioneering ideas.

This year, for the first time ever, the Czech Republic took part in this festival of literature to present the best of Czech pieces, including books on current issues. The stand with Czech literature aroused great interest among festival visitors, local officials and the media, who especially appreciated the Czech Republic's efforts to contribute to the development of culture in the Horn of Africa region. The varied offer of titles, from which everyone really chose, was very positively received, and so authors such as Franz Kafka, Jan Neruda, Bohumil Hrabal or Milan Kundera enriched the libraries of many local households. Several copies were also donated to the cultural center that organized the festival and in which Czech books will be at disposal to the public.

In addition to seminars, discussions or lectures, the program of this important fair also included numerous presentations of new book titles. The Czech Republic also participated in this part of the festival; the invitation was accepted by the leading Czech Egyptologist and writer Miroslav Bárta. He took the opportunity to introduce his title Civilizations: Collapse and Regeneration. The significant representation of the Czech Republic at the international book fair in Hargeisa was possible mainly thanks to the kind support of the publishing houses Kant, Pavel Mervart, Dar ibn Rushd, Vitalis, Galerie Zdeněk Sklenář, Karolinum, Kopp, Nová vlna, Petrkov, Twisted Spoon, the Václav Klaus Institute and most importantly the Czech Literary Centre. In total, over one hundred and fifty titles have found a new owner, which will put the down roots of Czech culture in the region, from which other projects of mutual cultural cooperation may grow in the future.