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Somaliland, the peaceful neighbour

Hayat fled from the war in Somalia when she was only 2 years old. Two decades later, she is going on a journey which will bring her back to her roots in Somaliland. This country, located north of Somalia (one of the most dangerous places on earth), is not recognised by the international community.

Hayat Traspas Ismail

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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 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.

How will your funding be spent?

The documentary is being produced by the main character of the story, Hayat Traspas, and two freelance journalists, Jon Cuesta and Borja Beriain. There is no media group or company backing this project. All expenses that have been defrayed so far have come from their own savings. Their objective is to try to cover at least some of the expenses needed to carry out such an ambitious project before completing the final product and releasing it.

The €6,000 will be set aside for the following expenses:

-Somalilanders, the website created for this project (€100)

-Return flight for 3 people: Madrid-Nairobi-Somaliland (€2,100)

-Visas for 3 people: Kenya & Somaliland (€300)

-Lodging, transport, and food for 10 days while shooting the documentary (€1,700)

-Editing & post-production (€800)

-Donations for the sponsors (€400)

-Expenses needed to distribute the documentary (€600)

About the donations

The donations will be taken once the work has been completed (see schedule).

The private screening will take place in Madrid at a location, yet to be determined, which will then be informed to all those involved.

The schedule

Should the amount requested be received, the last sequences will be shot in Spain. The plan is to take three months to preview documentary, complete the script, as well as finish the editing and colour grading. Afterwards, the donations will be used to release the documentary so it can be viewed at several national and international film festivals.

Should the amount requested be exceeded, and if the surplus permits it, the project will be completed by interviewing Somalilanders spread out throughout Europe. The interviews will show that these people are instrumental in maintaining the country’s economy and businesses afloat. To do this, four months will be needed to complete the project from the moment the fundraising campaign is over.

In the media

Radio interview on 'La Ventana' of Cadena Ser about the documentary.
Radio interview on Radio Euskadi about the documentary.
Radio interview on Radio 5 about the documentary.
Radio interview on Onda Vasca about the documentary.
Television report with Hayat on Telemadrid.

Report on education in Somaliland for Padres y Colegios.
• Blog with travel stories on www.ebanomedia.net:

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+ Information

More information can be obtained about this project on the following sites:

Ébano Media


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