International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Development and Social Change (IDSC)

Department

International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Anita Fabos

Second Reader

Marianne Sarkis

Abstract

As the Somalis territories are re-building there is heightened migration of people returning. They are heavily involved –formally or informally in development in the region. In the case of Somaliland, it is a semi-autonomous state championed by the diaspora. This assignment centers the experiences of young diaspora Somalis raised abroad in Somaliland. This demographic has grown up in the shadows of the civil war is the first generation to not grow up in the Somali territories. To capture their experiences, I carried out ethnographic fieldwork in Hargeisa, Somaliland over the summer of 2015. For this study I argue that young Somalis in the diaspora have fluid notions of identity and cannot acclimate to rigid notions that limit their agency in Hargeisa. I illustrate how culture is a tool constructed and re-negotiated to make claims to place.

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