portrait of Faysal Cumar Mushteeg

Faysal Cumar Mushteeg

The leading Somali poet, Faysal Omer Mushteeg Faysal 1945-2012), tragically passed away on 20th September in Dacarburuq on his way to Addis Ababa to apply for a UK visa to attend Somali Week Festival 2012, where he was eagerly expected. Unfortunately, he became very unwell and he had to be taken back to Hargeysa. Sadly he died on the way to the village of Dacarburuq.

Faysal was born in 1945 in Hargeysa. He studied in Hargeysa and Borame, before moving to Mogadishu to train as a teacher. He became not only a well-respected teacher, but also an exceptional musician, vocalist and composer.

Faysal Umar Mushteeg’s distinctive voice and gift for incorporating poetry into his songs earned him the respect of his peers and the love of public audiences. He composed mainly Qaraami music, a style that has recently become endangered, but which is deeply ingrained in Somali art. Faysal is appreciated for his heartfelt and honest lyrics. He made a major contribution to the evolution of Somali music over several decades.

In July 2012, at the Hargeysa International Book Fair, Faysal collaborated with the award-winning New Orleans jazz musician, Evan Christopher, and with the 'King of the Oud', Hudeydi, to perform his Qaraami music. He was expected to perform again with both Evan and Hudeydi at the 2012 Somali Week Festival in London and everyone is devastated by his loss.

Poems by Faysal Cumar Mushteeg