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Anab Ali Jama


School days in Burao, Somalia, 1960s

Colour photograph of the head and shoulders of Anab Ali Jama.
Anab Ali Jama in Burngreave © Nikky Wilson


Anab Ali Jama came From Somalia to England in 1987. She first settled in London but them moved to Sheffield after visiting a friend here and deciding that it was a good place to bring up children. She was interviewed about her school days in Somalia by Nikky Wilson in January 2007.

I was born in Burao in Somaliland in 1952. My family lived in the town and I attended the girls boarding school there. I really loved my school! Because of Somaliland's history as a British protectorate until 1960, there were strong links to Britain. Although Somali was our mother tongue, it wasn't written down as a language until 1970. So all the teaching was done in English and the exams we sat were from the East African branch of the Cambridge Examination Board. Our teachers were from all over the world - America, Egypt and England and the principal of the school was an English woman married to a Somali man. We even had a photograph of Queen Elizabeth on the wall at the school, along with the Mayor of our town and the engineer who built the school.