Early history traces the development of the Somali state to an Arab sultanate. Founded in the seventh century A.D. by Koreishite immigrants from Yemen. 15th and 16th centuries the Portuguese traders landed in present Somali territory and ruled several coastal towns Zanzibar subsequently took control of these towns and their surrounding territory.
Modern history began in the late 19th century, when various European powers began to trade and establish themselves in the area. 1840- British East India Company’s desire for unrestricted harbor facilities led to the conclusion of treaties with the sultan of Tajura . 1886-The British gained control over northern Somalia through treaties with various Somali chiefs who were guaranteed British protection. British objectives centered on safeguarding trade links to the east and securing local sources of food and provisions for its coaling station in Aden.
1897- The boundary between Ethiopia and British Somaliland was established through treaty negotiations between British negotiators and King Menelik. During the first two decades of the 1900s, British rule was challenged through persistent attacks by a dervish rebellion led by Mohamed Abdullah. 1920- A long series of intermittent engagements and truces ended when British warplanes bombed Abdullah’s stronghold at Taleex. Abdullah was defeated by rival Somali factions and by British forces, he was lauded as a popular hero and still stands as a major figure of national identity to many Somalis.
Somalia is located on the east coast of Africa and north of the Equator and, with Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Kenya. Often referred to as the Horn of Africa. Comprises Italy’s former Trust Territory of Somalia and the former British Protectorate of Somaliland. The coastline extends 2,720 kilometers (1,700 mi.).
Northern part of the country is hilly and many places the altitude ranges between 900 and 2,100 meters (3,000-7,000 ft.)above sea level. The central and southern areas are flat with an average altitude of less than 180 meters (600 ft.). The Juba and the Shabelle Rivers rise in Ethiopia and flow south across the country toward the Indian Ocean. The Shabelle does not reach the sea but instead ends in a series of marshes in southern Somalia.
Major climatic factors are a year-round hot climate, seasonal monsoon winds, and irregular rainfall with recurring droughts. Average daily maximum temperatures range from 30oC to 40oC (85o F-105oF), except at higher elevations and along the east coast and average daily minimums usually vary from about 15oC to 30oC (60oF-85oF). The southwest monsoon, a sea breeze, makes the period from about May to October the mildest season in Somalia. The December-February period of the northeast monsoon also is relatively mild, although prevailing climatic conditions in Somalia are rarely pleasant. The “tangambili” periods that intervene between the two rainy seasons (October-November and March-May) are hot and humid.
Uranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, likely oil reserves. bauxite uranium copper gypsum Iiron ore
Somali meals are meat driven and vegetarianism is relatively rare. Goat, beef, lamb and sometimes chicken is fried in ghee, or grilled or broiled. Food is spiced with turmeric, coriander, cumin and curry and eaten with basmati rice for lunch, dinner and sometimes breakfast.
Vegetables appear to largely be side dishes, and often are woven into a meat dish, such as combining potatoes, carrots and peas with meat and making a stew. Green peppers, spinach and garlic were also noted as the types of vegetables most commonly eaten. Bananas, dates, apples, oranges, pears and grapes are among some of the more popular fruits. Somalis had a much larger selection of fruits - like mango and guava
Other common foods include a type of homemade bread called anjara, black tea sweetened with milk and sugar, and sambusas, which are deep-fried triangular-shaped dumplings usually filled with meat or vegetables. Somalis fast from eating or drinking from dawn to dusk during the ninth month of the Muslim calendar known as Ramadan. Anyone in good health over the age of 15 is required to fast.
With few exceptions, Somalis are entirely Muslims, the majority belonging to the Sunni branch of Islam and the Shafi`I school of Islamic jurisprudence, although some are also adherents of the Shia Muslim denomination. Sufism, the mystical dimension of Islam, is also well-established, with many local jamaa (zawiya) or congregations of the various tariiqa or Sufi orders. The constitution of Somalia likewise defines Islam as the religion of the Somali Republic, and Islamic sharia as the basic source for national legislation.
Islam entered the region very early on, as a group of persecuted Muslims had, at Prophet Muhummads urging, sought refuge across the Red Sea in the Horn of Africa. Islam may thus have been introduced into Somalia well before the faith even Mosque of Borama, took root in its place of origin. Somaiia Although Somalian women were initially excluded from the many male-dominated religious orders, the all-female institution Abay Siti was formed in the late 19th century, incorporating Somali tradition and Islam
The clan groupings of the Somali people are important social units, and clan membership plays a central part in Somali culture and politics. Clans are patrilineal and are divided into sub-clans and sub-sub-clans, resulting in extended families.
Somali society is traditionally ethnically endogamous. To extend ties of alliance, marriage is often to another ethnic Somali from a different clan. Major Clans in Somalia Darod Dir Hawiye Isaaq Rahanweyn(Digil and Mirifle)
When they are not dressed in Westernized clothing such as jeans and t-shirts Somalians wear traditional clothing. Attire is different for men and women. Somali men typically wear the macawis (maawiis), which is a sarong-like garment worn around the waist. On their heads, they often wrap a colorful turban or wear the koofiyad, an embroidered taqiyah. Due to Somalias proximity to and close ties with the Arabian Peninsula, many Somali men also wear the jellabiya (jellabiyad in Somali), a long white garment common in the Arab world.
Women’s Attire During regular, day-to-day activities, women usually wear the guntiino, a long stretch of cloth tied over the shoulder and draped around the waist. Formal settings such as weddings or religious celebrations like Eid, women wear the dirac, which is a long, light, diaphanous voile dress made of cotton or polyester that is worn over a full-length half-slip and a brassiere. Married women tend to sport head-scarves referred to as shash, and also often cover their upper body with a shawl known as garbasaar. Unmarried or young women, however, do not always cover their heads. Traditional Arabian garb such as the jilbab is also commonly worn.
Football is the most popular sport in Somalia. The Somalia national football team is currently ranked 187th in the world. Football Team There are hundreds of football clubs that compete at the local level. Basketball is growing in popularity. Somalia also has a national basketball team. Basketball Team
In early 2002, Kenya organized a reconciliation effort under IGAD auspices known as the Somalia National Reconciliation Conference, which concluded in October 2004. A transitional government, the components of which are known as the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs), was formed in accordance with the Transitional Federal Charter. The TFIs include a transitional parliament, known as the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP), as well as a Transitional Federal Government (TFG) that includes a transitional president, prime minister, and a cabinet known as the “Council of Ministers.” For administrative purposes, Somalia is divided into 18 regions; the nature, authority, and structure of regional governments vary, where they exist.
The TFG was established with a 5-year mandate leading to the establishment of a permanent government following national elections in 2009. In January 2009, the TFP extended this mandate an additional 2 years to 2011 and expanded to include 200 members of Parliament (MPs) from the opposition Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia and 75 MPs from civil society and other groups, doubling the size of the TFP to 550 MPs.
Somalia lacks natural resources and faces major development challenges. Recent economic reverses have left its people increasingly dependent on remittances from abroad. Economy is pastoral and agricultural, with livestock-- principally camels, cattle, sheep, and goats-- representing the main form of wealth. Livestock exports in recent years have been severely reduced by periodic bans, ostensibly for concerns of animal health, by Arabian Peninsula states. Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on Somali livestock in 2009.
Drought has also impaired agricultural and livestock production because rainfall is scanty and irregular. Farming generally is limited to certain coastal districts, areas near Hargeisa, and the Juba and Shabelle River valleys. The agricultural sector of the economy consists mainly of banana plantations located in the south, which use modern irrigation systems and up-to-date farm machinery.
A small fishing industry exists in the north where tuna, shark, and other warm-water fish are caught, yet fishing production is seriously affected by poaching. Aromatic woods--frankincense and myrrh--from a small and diminishing forest also contribute to the country’s exports. Minerals, including uranium and likely deposits of petroleum and natural gas, are found throughout the country, but have not been exploited commercially. Petroleum exploration efforts have ceased due to insecurity and instability. Illegal production in the south of charcoal for export has led to widespread deforestation. Foreign aid has helped small industries such as textiles, handicrafts, meat processing, and printing to be established. The absence of central government authority, as well as profiteering from counterfeiting, has rapidly debased Somalia’s currency. self-declared “Republic of Somaliland” issues its own currency, the Somaliland shilling, which is not accepted outside of the self-declared republic.
Somalis are famous for being a nation of poets and Oral poetry is central to Somali life. Somali poetry uses alliteration and metaphors. The Somalis use poetry for communication, for preserving history and commenting on current events. Clans use poetry to help ease tensions with other clans. Government hires poets to praise its achievements, while the opposition uses poems to criticize the government.
Traditionally, men and women have had separate poetic traditions, and only men gained prestige and political power through their skill in poetry. Women have recently begun to compete with men in these contests. Most famous literary figures in Somalia is Mohammed ’Abdille Hasan who was also a warrior and political figure.
Nurudin Farah, an acclaimed English-language novelist, writes about Somalia and connects the mythical with the local in his work. He was named the 1998 Neustadt Laureate. He was the first African to receive this award, a literary prize which is considered to be secondary in prestige to the Nobel Prize for literature. Poet and playwright Mohamed Warsame Ibrahim was jailed during the Barré regime for his politically critical writings. Maryam Mursal is one of Somalia’s most famous musicians. Her first CD, Waaberi, is a collection of traditional Somali songs sung with the oud (the Arabic lute) and percussion as backup.
Abdullahi Issa Mohamud: He was the prime minister of Somalia between 1956 and 1960. Prior of becoming the prime minister, Abdullahi attained the post of the first foreign minister in Somalia. He attained the post of Prime Minister during the Italian trusteeship administration. Abdirashid Ali Shermarke: The second President of Somalia, Ali Shermarke fought for Somalia’s welfare and independence. He became the first prime minister of the republic after Somalia’s independence. His assassination in 1969 by one of his bodyguards was deeply mourned by the country.
Maj. Gen. Jalle Mohamed Siad Barre: He is known for his bloodless coup which took over the government. He established the SRC and consequently became the president of the Democratic Republic of Somalia. Muhammad Abdallah bin Hasan Cant: He was the first daring Somali to call for unity against their colonizers. His declaration of the Holy War to oppose the Ethiopian, British and Italian rule created a huge following in 1899. He fought for his country’s freedom and resisted the British until the time of his death in 1920.
Aden Abdullah Osman Daar: The first President of Somalia, Aden changed the territory of Somalia from slavery to independence. All these famous men made a substantial mark and sacrificed their lives for the country to ensure that the coming generations will enjoy the fruit of independence