MOGADISHU, Somalia—National Theatre of Somalia located in Mogadishu held a landmark event Wednesday night, screening movies for the first time in three decades.
The theatre was recently renovated and reopened after being destroyed twice- ounce in Somalia’s civil and then again in a 2012 suicide bombing.
More than 1500 people attended the screenings.
The two fils, Hoos, meaning ‘shadow’ in Somali, and the other, Date of Hell, were screened in the Chinese’s-built theatre constructed in 1967.
Starring Egypt-based actor Kaifa Jama, the short films depict some of the challenges faced by young Somalis brought up outside the country and who are not familiar with Somali and Islamic culture.
Jama said the films were produced in Cairo with no resources and largely on volunteers among peers, with no payment for actors and actresses. She said the producers convinced hotels and hospitals to let the film on their grounds in exchange for advertisements in order to avoid extra costs.
The theatre also used volunteers for its reconstruction, which was overseen by the government. The building was completely destroyed during Somalia’s civil war in the early 1990s.
It was rebuilt in 2012, only to be ruined again at its reopening after being targeted by an Al Shabaab bomber. Then-Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali survived the explosion, but dozens of others died.
For this renovation, workers installed some 1,500 new seats. The theatre officially reopened last year and has hosted graduation ceremonies for local schools.