Tonight, there was party in celebration of a young Somali woman’s first in anthropology.
Ms Sahro Mohamed Ahmed, in The Netherlands since eight years, recently got her MA degree in cultural anthropology.
She is the first woman from her ethnic subdivision of the Somali nation to get this degree.
To celebrate this, she invited her friends to a party.
People originating from various countries, including Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and The Netherlands, had come.
The party was in a hall close to the castle hill.
In 1203, Countess Ada of Holland, fifteen years old, had in vain tried to hold that castle against the attacking troops of her uncle Willem, who wanted to depose her and become count himself.
Uncle Willem succeeded, imprisoned his niece on Texel island, and later sent her into exile to his ally King John Lackland of England.
So, a defeat for women eight hundred yeards ago.
Today, so close to that castle, another woman, Sahro, wins a victory.
And so good about that victory is that it is a victory without blood having been shed.
Throughout tonight’s party, there was Somali music by Jaylani, and dancing, including the Somali buraanbur.
The music was keyboards and vocals, with both Somali traditional and reggae influences.
Most of the people on the dance floor were women, as happens often also in non-Somali contexts.
About half the Somali women present wore headscarfs, half did not.
Some of the women danced with the plastic dishes for dinner, using them in tambourine like way.
A little boy got first dancing lessons from his mother.
A young Somali woman wearing a cap took me by the hand to the center of the dance floor: I had the honour of a dance with Sahro, as I would later comment on her thesis.
Ms Shamsa Said acted as MC.
First, she gave the floor to Sahro’s nephew Koshin for a speech on his aunt.
Then, yours truly spoke on Sahro’s thesis, about Ayaana traditional healing among nomads in North Eastern Kenya.
I also read a poem; on Sahro (also a poetess).
Then, the music and dancing started again.
I think everyone agreed this was a good night.
Sahro will soon start working in a project against violence against East African women.