Sada Mire

In 2016, Sada Mire, lecturer at Leiden University, delivered the 14th Europe Lecture. The theme of this lecture was Cultural Heritage at Risk i. Irina Bokova i and Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi i also shared their view on this topic. They were introduced by Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović i, Secretary-General of Europa Nostra.



Sada Mire

Sada Mire

Dr. Sada Mire (1977) is a lecturer at Leiden University. She specialises in archaeological and anthropological theory and practice and cultural heritage studies, with a focus on pre-Christian and pre-Islamic cultures in the Horn of Africa. Dr. Mire has led several archaeological expeditions in Somaliland. She and her team discovered prehistoric rock at nearly hundred sites.

On various occassions, Dr. Mire has expressed the hope her discoveries will promote a sense of pride in Somali cultural heritage and, in a broader sense, highlight the importance of attaining and maintaining knowledge of the past for individuals and regions alike.



I was 14 when my family fled from the Somali civil war and ended up in Sweden.

I witnessed the destruction of the ancient quarters of my hometown Mogadishu.

I was a refugee in Sweden when I became fascinated by European pre-history and enrolled for Lund University.

I felt at home in Sweden through its heritage and human stories.

However, I learned also about archaeology and political groups when in 2002 riots took place in India because radical Hindu nationalists destroyed a 500 years old mosque in the ancient

town of Ayodhya.

I published my first academic paper on the Ayodhya conflict.

I mention this example because historically, intentional destruction, as we know, is not something new or limited to a region of the world, it has taken place throughout history.

In fact, after reading up on this very church we are in this evening I learned that it used to have a catholic iconography destroyed during the iconoclasm of the reformation in the 16th (beeldenstorm).


Previous speakers






Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga i

Jonathan Holslag i

Tom de Bruijn i

Peace and Security i


F.W. de Klerk i

Karel van Wolferen i

Bernard Bot i

Europe in the World i


Herman van Rompuy i

Frans Timmermans i

Europa 2030


Jan Peter Balkenende i

Jacek Saryusz-Wolksi i

Europa: een unieke geschiedenis, een unieke toekomst i


Javier Solana i

Dick Benschop i

Enlargement of European Union: Opportunity of Threat? i


Gerhard Aigner i

Margo Vliegenthart i

EURO 2000 and the Social Significance of Sport i


Hans Tietmeyer i

Nout Wellink i

The Euro: The New Common Currency i


Jan Hoet i

Rudi Fuchs i

Beeldende kunst in Europa i


Mary Robinson i

Wim Kok i

Europe, the Need for Self-Reflection i


Richard Goldstone i

Maarten van Traa i

Human Rights, Peace and Justice in Europe i


Raymond Kendall i

Arthur Doctors van Leeuwen i

Law Enforcement in Europe i


Lord Peter Carrington i

Berend-Jan van Voorst tot Voorst i

Peace and Security in Europe i


Jacques Attali i

Wim Duisenberg i

The Costs of European Reconstruction i