Dr Sada Mire is a Swedish-Somali archaeologist, art historian and presenter. Dr Mire holds a PhD from UCL’s Institute of Archaeology, London.
Mire was born in Somalia but spent her early years in Sweden. She travelled to the UK to study for a BA in History of Art/Archaeology of Africa (2005) and subsequently for a Masters (2006) and doctorate (2009) from University College London. Mire founded and now runs the Horn Heritage Foundation, an archaeological and heritage research and practice NGO. She is a passionate advocate for the development of heritage management strategies on the African continent that align with indigenous conceptions of the past, notions of heritage and that help promote better cross-cultural understanding and peace and reconciliation in sub-Saharan countries that have been fractured by civil wars and other forms of conflict.
In 2006, Mire created the Somali heritage and Archaeology website (somaliheritage.org) with the purpose of developing Somali people’s pride in their shared heritage.
Mire is one of 30 global writers and thinkers selected by the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts in 2017. In 2017, the NewScientist Magazine selected Dr Mire as one of its most Inspiring Women in Science of all time. Mire’s popular work has appeared in The Guardian and Africa Forum. She has been part of UNESCO public debates and given numerous talks for TED and BBC. Her honours include a 2011 ‘Swedish Supertalent’ award, and the International Somali Awards’s Outstanding Educational Achievement award 2019. Her work on the ground in Somaliland aims to promote care and pride in cultural heritage locally, and includes the MOOC ‘Heritage under Threat’, launched in December 2016, to be continued through 2020 and aiming to promote the value of cultural heritage. Dr Mire also helped establish and direct Somaliland’s Department of Archaeology, which later became the Department of Tourism and Archaeology.
Mire is currently completing three book projects. Her numerous publications include a dozen peer-reviewed articles in leading journals on some of her notable archaeological and theoretical contributions. She is single-handedly pushing forward the recognition and protection of cultural heritage in Somalia and Somaliland, with active research in the region and an incredible campaign for public awareness at a global scale.
Mire is currently a visiting professor at the faculty of archaeology, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Mire is a true Trowelblazer and a model to us all.