• Somaliland

The peaceful neighbours

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The story

Hayat was born in Mogadishu (Somalia) in 1989, but had to flee from the country before she was even two years old to avoid the beginning of an armed conflict that is still going on today. More than 20 years later, Hayat prepared herself to travel to a northern region of ancient Somalia, of which her mother had always told her family stories: Somaliland. Although it is not recognized throughout the international community as a sovereign country, Somaliland declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, at the beginning of the war. From then on, it has resurged from the ashes, to construct a state with its own political institutions, a democratically elected president (elections are monitored by international observers) and its own currency. Contrary to Somalia, which is still suffering from a dramatic armed struggle with tinges of Islamic extremism and anarchy, Somaliland enjoys stability and peace, something which is quite unusual in this region of the Horn of Africa.

The trailer

The project

The documentary tells the story of Hayat’s exciting and, at the same time, emotional journey. She will finally be able to fulfil her dream by returning to her roots while getting to know a country that is unknown to the world as it struggles to receive international recognition and assert its independence. From the moment she boards the plane and travels into the unknown, Hayat will be thinking about her life in Spain and how it would have been different had she grown up in Africa. This huge culture shock — the status of women, the veil that she does not know how to wear correctly, or the Somali language that is completely unknown to her despite the fact that, ethnically speaking, she belongs to this community — will make her journey one that is filled with learning experiences where she discovers many things. To do this, Hayat will mingle with the people of Somaliland, as well as meet some of the country’s Ministers and entrepreneurs who managed to prosper in a land that is historically linked to hunger, violence, and chaos. Hayat’s journey will help her better understand where she comes from: the country where she was born and her continent. It also goes without saying that she will also come to better understand who she is by seeing this new part of herself.

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