Dhalinyaro (youth, jeunesse) – review

Dhalinyaro - Youth, jeunesse

For the first post of 2021, I recently watched Dhalinyaro a Djiboutan movie about friendship between three girls. In my last review, you can read all about Maîtresse d’un homme marié, which started its second season already! Due to being stuck in quarantine, I have a lot more time to watch movies, read books and write blogposts! Therefore, I want to talk about the movie Dhalinyaro. The movie is about three girlfriends: Deka, Asma and Hibo, who have their own struggles. Let’s get into this movie.


Dhalinyaro - Youth, jeunesse

Dhalinyaro basically means youth and the title is very fitting as we follow Deka, Asma and Hibo at the fork in the road of their lives. They are about to take their baccalauréate, which is an equivalent of the GCSE or A-levels and have to decide what they want next. Furthermore, each one has their own problems to deal with. For example, Hibo actually struggles to find her true self in a world where so much is expected from her. Also, Asma is an example for her younger siblings and sometimes even a mom. Deka, has so much pressure because her mom saved up so that Deka can study abroad. However, is that what Deka really wants?


Dhalinyaro - Youth, jeunesse

In Dhalinyaro, Deka is the glue the keeps the friends together. She is a bright young woman that kind of knows what she wants. Her parents are divorced and she lives with her mom. Deka’s biggest struggle is deciding whether or not she wants to study abroad, like her mom intended for her to do. However, will Deka be able to make her choice between studying abroad and staying in Djibouti?


Dhalinyaro - Youth, jeunesse

Like Deka, Asma is also a smart girl, rational even. She is mostly busy with keeping her younger siblings out of trouble and helping them with homework. Asma comes from a poorer family, and therefore her life is totally different from that of Hibo or Deka. Unfortunately, she does not have the chance to study abroad. However, she is not at all interested in studying abroad and wants to go to the University of Djibouti. She is at least expected to study, which is good to see. Though, will Asma be able to balance her time at home with hanging around with her friends?


Dhalinyaro - Youth, jeunesse

Last but not least, Hibo is from a totally different background than Deka and Asma. She is rich, has her own chauffeur and practically lives in a mansion. Although, that does not mean that Hibo has less problems or struggles than the other girls. Like her best friends Deka and Asma, she is going through her own personal things. Her dream is to follow her sister to Paris and live there on her own. However, will Hibo be prepared enough for the hardships of Paris?

friendship, boys and future

I think that Dhalinyaro is a great movie because it captured the essence of being a young girl in Djibouti. However, even though the experiences were in Djibouti, I think that throughout the whole continent, or even globally it is very relatable. Also, the friendship between Hibo, Deka and Asma was well-captured. It showed what it looks like when real friends fight, and how it may or may not be solved. Also, how they struggled with boys and dating was also very unique and interesting to see. Lastly, I think that the subject of deciding for your future is the most relatable. No matter where you are, after High School, it’s time for you to decide the rest of your life by choosing a University etc. This movie teaches us that the choice is hard on ALL of us.


I definitely recommend watching Dhalinyaro. The movie is fun, touching and mostly; different. Also, Dhalinyaro is the first Djiboutan feature film made by a woman: Lula Ali Ismaïl. How cool is that?! Therefore, Dhalinyaro represents a totally different African and Djiboutan narrative of being a young woman. If that’s what you’re into, then Dhalinyaro is the movie for you to watch!

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2 Replies to “Dhalinyaro (youth, jeunesse) – review”

  1. Yasmien Nasser says: Reply

    This movie was so amazing! I am partly Djiboutian myself and I was so happy to see a Djiboutian movie!
    Merci for this nice review 😀

    1. Yes it was indeed! Yay, you have a really beautiful country <3

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