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Posts posted by QUANTUM LEAP

  1. Somalis claim descent from Arabian families who settled on the Somali coast 1,000 years ago. Although there undoubtedly is an infusion of Arab blood among Somalis, historians and linguists trace the origins of the Somali people to a much earlier time in the region.


    While scholars still debate the origins of the Somalis and the time of their entry into present-day Somalia, there is no doubt that they were in the region several hundred years before the first recorded use of their names in the early 15th century. Among ancient Egyptians, Somalia was known as the Land of Punt and was renowned for its frankincense and myrrh, which it still exports. Descriptions of the northern inhabitants of the region are found in The Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, an CE 60 Greek guide to sailors, and in Ptolemy's Geography, compiled between the 2nd and 5th centuries; contact with Egyptian, Phoenician, Persian, Greek, and Roman traders dates to this time. In the 10th century, Chinese merchants returned home from Somalia with giraffes, leopards, and tortoises for the imperial menagerie. By this time, Arab and Persian merchants had established towns along the coasts of the northern plains and the Indian Ocean.


    By the 12th century, the ancestors of some clan families were established in their present territories. Southward movements of others, however, continued into the 19th century. When the borders of present-day Somalia were set by the colonial powers toward the end of the 19th century, large numbers of Somalis were left out, and today there are an estimated three million Somalis living in eastern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. The existence of Somalis outside the country's national borders continues to be a source of conflict in the region.


    So brother Juba despite being in the African continent, there is an element of Arab blood amomgst Somalis.

  2. The Peculiar Nature of Somali Society Somalia is not a ‘country’ like any other. And in many ways, it is neither ‘African’ nor ‘Arab’, although it is located on the African continent and has often been considered ‘Arab’ in some ways. In 1974, Somalia joined the Arab League of which it is still formally a member. The Somali people, or the Somali nation, is an unquestionable reality. But the Somali state is a much more ambiguous notion which has for the

    time being receded into the gray zone of a legal abstraction, probably for a good many years to come. This situation is all the more puzzling since at the time of its independence in 1960 Somalia was described as one of the few mono-ethnic states in Africa, one with a common language, a common culture and a single religion,

    Islam. While this was probably an exaggeration, it was substantially true. In any case, the challenge to the existence of the Somali state did not come from the non-Somali people of the South, but from the very core of the mainstream Somalispeaking society, that is the very society which had hitherto been described as one of the most homogeneous on the continent. This phenomenon obviously begs for an explanation. And the explanation is not too complicated, since it lies in the very nature of Somali society itself.


    Somali society, like many nomadic societies of arid and semi-arid lands, is largely a product of its geographical and climatic environment. The land is very dry and it generally does not permit sedentary agriculture, except in the South, between the Juba and Wabi Shebelle rivers. Hence the social differences between ‘pure’ Somali and the Southern Peoples. As a result, people move, with their herds of camels, goats and sheep, forever in search of good pastures and water. Such a world is not conducive to any form of economic surplus or economic accumulation. Without economic accumulation, there are no possibilities of permanent settlements, of cities and of the distinct political structures we have called ‘the state’. In such societies, politics are diffused throughout the whole social body and not separated, specialised so to speak, in a ‘state’ form, since people are forever moving. And since their movements imply frequent frictions in the competition over the control of pastures and wells, several consequences arise:

    Firstly - blood ties are the only connections a man is sure of. One’s kin group makes the only tangible social reality which explains the enormous, overpowering importance of genealogy and the lineage system.

    Secondly - armed conflicts between roving groups, usually representing distinct kinship groups, are frequent.

    Thirdly - since the ‘state’ per se does not exist, some sort of mechanism has to be found so that the conflicts do not degenerate to the point where they would be threatening the very survival of the kin groups. The only basis for such a mechanism is the lineage system itself. In Somali, these group-conflict rules are called xeer, and their supporting genealogical network jiffo. Nomadic groups move and they fight. After a while the groups stop, meet and hold a shir (palaver), they agree on compensation and the payment of blood-price (mag). They may remain at peace for some time or ally with another kin-based related segment against other enemies. And life goes on. It is that ‘classical’ society we find so well described in the works of Professor Lewis.

  3. 2 It is reported that some of the presidential candidates paid as much as $3,000 per MP vote. The great

    irony is that some of the candidates’ salesmen took cash and the Quran to potential vote sellers. The seller,

    then, was sworn to cast his/her vote for the buyer. Impartial witnesses reported that money was “King.†A

    brutally honest MP stated, “if money had a father today, he would have wept due to the ease with which it

    was squandered.†This suggests that swearing on the Quran for these MPs had no sacred meaning. What

    possible value would the swearing of the new president have for concerned citizens?

    This throws everything worked hard for over the past few years in the dustbins....


    The word of ALLAAH doesnt mean much to these people. Would the responsibility that comes with running acountry and its people mean anything?

  4. Hey Miskiin M. Longtime bro....wonder where you did disappear to man. Wlc back.


    Their reign swayed a vast land--ruling from central capital of Qalaafe in Soomaali Galbeed, their umatched domain extended beyond what is now Muqdisho, Hobyo, as far north as Boosaaso, as far south as close to Jubbada, including the in-between provinces now known as Hiiraan, Shabeelooyinka, Baay, Gedo, NFD {which Kenya occupies now}, Galgaduud, Mudug, Bakool {and did I mention Soomaali Galbeed yet?}--oh, dear, they ruled and achieved what we have yet to achieve--a complete Soomaali unity ruled by a Soomaali dynasty

    Damn looks like we had adynasty at some stage of the Somali history. Man this new and I for one didnt know Somalis had The Ewins dynasty. Should have been recorded or written and put in archives. Perhaps today many lessons would have been learned as a result.


    So all this history is basically non existent? What alose.

  5. A fundamental aspect of traditional Somali political organization is the diya-paying group. Diya is compensation paid by a person who has injured or killed another person. A diya-paying group is made up of a few hundred to a few thousand men linked by lineage and a contractual agreement to support one another, especially in regard to compensation for injuries and death against fellow members.

    Insurance at its best :D who needs the western type of insurance when you can bring adoor down with athousand men dressed in macawiis asking for either blood or compensation!

  6. Femme F I believe sis that not many know who they are fighting and violent against. You see most people are scared of what they do not know and the same apply to most of our people. They do not know each other well to care what happens to one or other. Violence also has been part and parcel of the somali culture. Ever since I can remember, my grand mother used to tell us stories about how her brothers used to be Geesi and how they used to fight the lions and yank their hearts out. Something that brought respect to whoever did that and even how they used to fight against certain tribes (colka) and the brave certainly prevailing and getting all the goody goodies. ie best girl in the neighbourhood .. smile.gif


    Bashi I do think collecting this information and putting in aplace where one can get the different versions put together and maybe someday one writing about the findings. There are vast amounts of information written about somalis and we do not really have the time to read or even analyse and consume it.


    "Knowing yourself can only make you abetter human being and we as somalis dont know that much...." now this is ma quote n copyrighten too. :D

  7. Many Somali values are similar to American ones. Somalis believe strongly in independence, democracy, egalitarianism, and individualism. Like Americans, Somalis value generosity. Unlike Americans, however, Somalis generally do not express their appreciation verbally.


    Somalis respect strength and often challenge others to test their limits. Somali justice is based on the notion of "an eye for an eye." Somalis are a proud people—excessively so, some would say—and their boasting can stretch the truth more than a little. Saving face is very important to them, so indirectness and humor are often used in conversation. Somalis are also able to see the humor in a situation and to laugh at themselves. While Somalis can be opinionated, they are generally willing to reconsider their views if they are presented with adequate evidence. Somalis have a long history of going abroad to work or to study and are known for their ability to adjust to new situations.


    Somalis deeply value the family. The strength of family ties provides a safety net in times of need, and the protection of family honor is important. Loyalty is an important value and can extend beyond family and clan. Somalis value their friendships; once a Somali becomes a friend, he is usually one for life.

    Thanks Femme Wiilo and Muad for the links. I read alittle bit of the links provided by Femme and Muad. I found some of the information provided not ringing true like like "Somali values are similar to American ones. Somalis believe strongly in independence, democracy, egalitarianism, and individualism. ."


    Now I do not agree with some of the above statement. We are not independent as most Americans are and we certainly spend alot of time sharing, wheeler dealing and trying to escape those who dont want to work or do anything for themselves. When you visit a somali restaurant, you wont fail to see people who dont have much interms of money hence when you order, its common courtesy for one to ask anyone sitting around to join them for dinner or lunch whichever it is. Meanwhile Americans on the other hand tend not buy lunch for everyone except where drinks are concerned and even then maybe taking on the next round. As for the rest of what has written below, there are close to what Somali values are thought lately you think Somalis are becoming more selfish than they used to be. In case of the eye for eye rule used to work well for somalis but lately, there is alot of injustice happening and no form of justice system in place to help the victims hence the hatred that prevails amongst Somalis.

  8. Hmmm Culture now what do we know about our culture and customs? What do we base it on....


    Below is a compilation of what is said to be our customs and Courtesies.


    Customs and Courtesies



    Somali warmly greet each other with handshakes, but shaking hands with the opposite sex is avoided.


    Common verbal greetings include:


    • Assalam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

    • Nabad miyaa (is their peace).

    • Subah wanaagsan (Good morning)

    • Galab wanaagsan (Good afternoon)

    • Habeeb wanaagsan (Good night)



    Somali use sweeping hand and arm gestures to dramatize speech. Many ideas are expressed through specific hand gestures:

    • A swift twist of the open hand means “nothing†or “noâ€.

    • Snapping fingers may mean “long ago†or and “so onâ€

    • A thumb under the chin indicates “fullnessâ€.

    • It is impolite to point the sole of one’s foot or shoe at another person.

    • It is impolite to use the index finger to call somebody; that gesture is used for calling dogs.

    • The American “thumbs up†is considered obscene.






    Almost all Somalis are Muslim, or followers of the religion Islam. That shapes many of the customs, values and personal conduct in Somali culture.

    While some observe the religion more strictly than others, Somalis believe in the five pillars of Islam:

    • Belief in Allah, one God.


    • Regular prayer (five times a day).


    • Fasting from food and water from dawn to dusk every day during the holy month of Ramadan.


    • Giving to charity.


    • Spiritual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, at least once in a lifetime.



    Family structure


    • The family is the prime source of personal identity. “Genealogy is to Somalis what an address is to Americans,†one historian observed. “When Somalis meet each other they don’t ask, ‘Where are you from?’ Rather, they ask, ‘Whom are you from?’ “


    • Family and social structure in Somalia is by clan and sub clan. Since Somalis

    Are largely nomadic, it is common for several subclass to live intermixed in

    One area. Membership in a clan is determined by paternal lineage or marriage

    into the clan. Childbearing begins shortly after marriage. A woman’s status is enhanced the more children she has. It is common for a Somali family to have seven or

    eight children. Family planning has little cultural relevance.



    • Families are large and interdependent. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents and children often live under one roof.


    • Polygamy is not uncommon. Muslim men may marry up to four wives under certain conditions. In urban areas, men may provide separate homes for each family. In rural areas it is more common for all to live in a single household and care for the farm or

    livestock together. Young adults and unmarried people live with the extended family.


    • Men are the heads of the families. Women run the home.

    Gender relations

    • Islam requires men and women to dress modestly. For many Somali girls, that means covering every part of their bodies except their faces, hands and feet. Pants are considered too revealing.


    • After puberty, contact between unrelated men and women is limited. Physical touch—even a handshake—may be considered inappropriate.


    • Women typically don’t go out to restaurants or coffee shops, because it is considered immodest. The public arena is the man’s domain.


    • Dating in the Western sense is prohibited, although it’s common for young men and women to participate in traditional dances at social events. Marriages traditionally were arranged by families, but that is changing.


    • Due to prohibitions against interactions between adult men and women, Somali women have a strong preference to work with female interpreters and health care providers



    Religion and social customs


    Almost all Somalis are Sunni Moslems. Attitudes, social customs and gender

    roles in Somalia are based primarily on Islamic tradition. During the month long

    religious holiday of Ramadan, people pray, fast and refrain from drinking

    during the day, and will eat only at night. Pregnant women, people who

    are very ill and children are exempted from the fast. Many religious holidays

    involve the ritual killing of a lamb or goat. Moslem tradition forbids eating

    pork or drinking alcohol.


    Many social norms in Somalia are derived from Islamic tradition. For

    example, a handshake is the common and polite greeting, but men shake

    hands only with men, and women with women. The right hand is considered

    the clean and polite hand to use for eating, writing and shaking hands.


    If a child shows a left-handed preference, the parents will train him or her to use

    the right hand. The dress of married Somali women covers their bodies; they

    veil their faces. Elders are treated with respect and addressed as “aunt†or

    “uncle†even if they are strangers.



    Traditional healing


    Somali “traditional doctors†are usually older men in the community who

    learned their skills from older family members. They treat infectious

    diseases, hunch-back, facial droop and broken bones. Techniques include

    fire-burning (applying to the skin a heated stick from a certain tree), herbs

    and prayer. Traditional doctors also help cure illnesses causes by spirits.

    Somalis believe spirits reside within each individual. When the spirits

    become angry, illnesses such as fever, headache, dizziness and weakness

    can result. The cure involves a healing ceremony including reading from

    the Koran, eating special foods and burning incense.

    Somali beliefs also include the “evil eye.†A person can give someone else

    the evil eye on purpose or inadvertently by praising that person, which

    brings harm or illness to the person praised. Somali mothers cringe when

    doctors tell them their babies are big and healthy, out of fear the evil eye

    will cause something bad to happen to the child.


    Maternal and child health


    Childbirth most often takes place at home, attended by a midwife. The new

    mother and baby stay at home for 40 days after birth, with female relatives

    and friends helping to care for them. Newborn care includes warm water

    baths, sesame oil massages and passive stretching of the baby’s limbs.

    Breast-feeding is common up to two years of age, usually supplemented

    with animal milk (camel, goat or cow). The animal milk is offered with a

    cup rather than a bottle. Diapering is not common in Somalia. When the

    baby is awake, the mother holds a small basin in her lap and at regular

    intervals holds the baby in a sitting position over the basin. At night, a piece

    of plastic is placed between the mattress and the bedding. The bedding and

    plastic are cleaned daily. Somali mothers say infants are toilet-trained in a

    short period of time.




    Both males and females in Somalia are circumcised before age five.

    Circumcision is viewed as a rite of passage and necessary for marriage.

    Uncircumcised people are seen as unclean. Male circumcision may be

    performed by a traditional doctor or by a medical doctor or nurse in a

    hospital. Female circumcision is usually performed by female family members

    but is also available in some hospitals. The most common procedure

    in Somalia for female circumcision, known as “infibulation,†involves

    removal and suturing of most genital tissue, leaving a posterior opening.




    It is considered uncaring to tell a terminally ill person or the family that the

    person is dying. It is acceptable to describe the extreme seriousness of an

    illness, however. When death is impending, a special portion of the Koran is

    read at the patient’s bedside.




    The most common illnesses taken to Western hospitals

    are diarrhea, fever (usually malaria) and vomiting. Patients almost always

    receive an antibiotic at the hospital. TB is also prevalent in some sections and many suffer and have no clue.





    Circumcision is an important and sensitive issue for Somali women seeking

    health care. Female circumcision has been debated in the Western world as a

    potentially harmful cultural practice. However, most Somali women view

    circumcision as normal, expected and desirable.There is along debate taking place amongst Somalis and different health authorities about FGM.

  9. Hey guys lets not get into mundane and silly arguments now. I’m personally fed up with the little jibes that most of you have got used to lately. Whatever the maps are, they were not invented by anyone other than the authors who happen to be the guys who wrote the CIA fact books about the different countries. Most of these people obviously accumulated this information from Somalis who themselves didn’t know where they belonged or even done the necessary research. It’s hard enough for Somalis themselves to know about their country and come to a consensus least of all foreigners.


    Thanks to Allah we are all in privileged positions to know better and to at least entice the brothers and sisters to try and understand what many have already written about us and ofcouse try to decipher it albeit never being to Somalia.


    The aim here is to either correct a wrong or put it right if we can and if not try to argument it and analyze logically.


    So whoever throws in their two cents should be appreciated rather than be criticized. We should learn to appreciate more than always be critics who have no profound knowledge of prevailing arguments (subject matter) or just sit back and try to stir up some dust.


    It really doesn’t matter what the politic of the country is like at the moment. We are merely trying to mill around the who the people are, where they exist or existed; the movements that have taken place due to displacements and ofcouse the different cultures that prevail there. We should also try to refrain from meaningless insinuations and innuendoes that haven’t been called for but stick to the facts we know and maybe learn the ones we have no clue about.


    It’s refreshing when all these lovely people pull their resources together and engage in a rewarding informative discussion.


    Thank you all....

  10. Lool Ngonge....didnt know that but hmmm its kinda unique to be honest. First time I here Taljaal. What one learns when exploring. smile.gif


    Oh Bashi thanks bro ...Im sure its pretty outdated but then again this is the kind of information that stimulates a discussion like this. Surely the populations density has changed alot and is likey to be so different from what it used to be. Many have perished with the war and it may suprise many that we r actually fewer than we used to be. Oh by the way bro any chance you could redraw the map and insert the info you think is right?


    FF thanks for the infor....very recent n very much appreciated too.


    By the way is there anyway we can bring together the number of Somalis in diaspora since we all live in different parts of Europe and the US?

  11. Somalia-regions-states.png



    The regions of Somalia are (capitals in parentheses):


    1.Awdal (*) (Baki)

    2.Bakool (Oddur)

    3.Banaadir (Mogadishu-Muqdisho)

    4.Bari (Bender Cassim)

    5.Bay (Baidoa)

    6.Galguduud (Dusa Mareb)

    7.Gedo (Garbahaarey)

    8.Hiraan (Beledweyne)

    9.Jubbada Dhexe (Bu'aale)

    10.Jubbada Hoose (Kismaayo)

    12.Mudug (Galcaio)

    13.Nugaal (Garoowe)

    14.Saaxil (*)(Berbera)

    15.Sanaag (*) (Erigavo)

    16.Shabeellaha Dhexe (Giohar)

    17.Shabeellaha Hoose (Merca)

    18.Sool (*) (Laascaanood)

    19.Togdheer (*) (Burao)

    20.Woqooyi Galbeed (*) (Hargeysa)

  12. Thanks Ngonge...though somehow there are Bantu groups that have been missed out on the 6 ethnicity of the somalis. I also didnt see Habar yonis and didnt get what Habar Taljaal is either. Is that another classification of malis?


    Btw how come the Bantu and the other minorities arent in the 6 groupings?

  13. The myth of Somali homogeneity played a major role in the rise of nomadic clans to political predominance, and the appropriation of resources from the less warlike and intensely religious agro-pastoral groups in and around the inter-riverine region. A major factor in the Somali conflict is the struggle among clans for control of limited and increasingly scare resources, especially land and water. More specifically, it is a violent competition between the (Q Name) and (Q Name) clan families for political and economic dominance of the inter-riverine region.

    That’s as close to the truth as can get today. Thanks Willo very helpful as now we now that even during the time of the YSL there was no consensus as to what sort of political system suited the country. The system obviously was anon starter and needed a lot more to it. The Somali political landscape as it is; is still undergoing a lot of upheavals and changes. Perhaps the only mould would be more dictatorship than democratic as talking seems not to be going anywhere.


    Abwan..I usually don’t like skeptics and people who live in the past. However, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and perhaps say why make you own mind and analyze the situation since you don’t want to depend on online data. I wouldn’t mind if you came up with some sort of Oral history that could be useful and interesting to discuss. Thanks for the last bit of your post about the census and how Somalis manipulated it. Perhaps ignorance more than anything played a major role or we just very imaginative in nature.....**reminds me of many translations I go to where someone moans their parent’s b4 they even die***


    Ngonge how about your input rather than the "Lets wait and see"..


    Jacayl - I do understand that today’s maps aren’t very realistic on the ground but that’s what we have for now. I still think that the country has still got the same borders except for the successions that taken place within.

  14. Jose Mourinho has been voted the best coach in the world in 2004 by the International Football Federation of History and Statistics (IFFHS).


    The Chelsea manager beat Arsenal's Arsene Wenger with a 186-point advantage, while Monaco's Didier Deschamps finished in third position.


    Mourinho, who last season guided Porto to the European Cup, has guided Chelsea to a 10-point lead at the top of the Barclays Premiership.


    Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard, whose team are dominating the Primera Liga, came fourth while ex-Valencia coach and now Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez finished in fifth position.


    The top non-European was Argentinian Carlos Bianchi, coach of Boca Juniors, in sixth followed by Once Caldas boss Luis Fernando Montoya.


    Carlo Ancelotti, who led Milan to the Serie A title last season, was eighth while Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson and new Real Madrid coach Wanderley Luxemburgo completed the top 10.

  15. The beauty of discussions is that you find a lot of things that may otherwise be taken for granted and if one doesn’t do their research well, one ends up with the wrong information. Now too many here, the information provided through this discussion are new and quite frankly educational. I for one didn’t know a lot about my country other than the negative part of it which has so blighted any good intentions and ofcouse exchange of facts. Now this should be a stepping stone for us to find more and more about ourselves and to make sure we try to teach both Somalis and others about what Somalis are, their origins, beliefs, culture (which is pretty much complicated) and ofcouse see the differences in ways of life lived in different corners of Somalia.


    At the moment there is a lot of information that is provided and we as Somalis need to do follow ups and try to learn and correct what is not correct.


    I would also like to know how the different clans came into prominence within the confinements of the country.


    Lander thanks for the correction and keep up the good work too.

  16. Somalia (Geopgraphy)


    Size: Land area 637,540 square kilometers; coastline 3,025 kilometers; sovereignty claimed over territorial waters up to 200 nautical miles.


    Topography: Flat plateau surfaces and plains predominate; principal exception rugged east-west ranges in far north that include Shimbir Berris, highest point at 2,407 meters.


    Climate and Hydrology: Continuously hot except at higher elevations in north; two wet seasons bring erratic rainfall, largely April to June and October and November, averaging under 500 millimeters in much of the country; droughts frequent; only Jubba River in somewhat wetter southwest has permanent water flow. Shabeelle River, also in southwest, flows about seven months of year.

  17. Im hoping perhaps as we collect all these facts, We may just come up with our own conclusions about our existence, culture, behaviour and origins. Below is a semblance of history about somalis and their immigrations.






    Shaykh Abdulaziz Mosque, ninth century, Mogadishu

    Courtesy R.W.S. Hudson


    A paucity of written historical evidence forces the student of early Somalia to depend on the findings of archeology, anthropology, historical linguistics, and related disciplines. Such evidence has provided insights that in some cases have refuted conventional explanations of the origins and evolution of the Somali people. For example, where historians once believed that the Somalis originated on the Red Sea's western coast, or perhaps in southern Arabia, it now seems clear that the ancestral homeland of the Somalis, together with affiliated Cushite peoples, was in the highlands of southern Ethiopia, specifically in the lake regions. Similarly, the once-common notion that the migration and settlement of early Mus,lims followers of the Prophet Muhammad on the Somali coast in the early centuries of Islam had a significant impact on the Somalis no longer enjoys much academic support. Scholars now recognize that the Arab factor--except for the Somalis' conversion to Islam--is marginal to understanding the Somali past. Furthermore, conventional wisdom once held that Somali migrations followed a north-to-south route; the reverse of this now appears to be nearer the truth.


    Increasingly, evidence places the Somalis within a wide family of peoples called Eastern Cushites by modern linguists and described earlier in some instances as Hamites. From a broader cultural-linguistic perspective, the Cushite family belongs to a vast stock of languages and peoples considered Afro-Asiatic. Afro-Asiatic languages in turn include Cushitic (principally Somali, Oromo, and Afar), the Hausa language of Nigeria, and the Semitic languages of Arabic, Hebrew, and Amharic. Medieval Arabs referred to the Eastern Cushites as the Berberi.


    In addition to the Somalis, the Cushites include the largely nomadic Afar (Danakil), who straddle the Great Rift Valley between Ethiopia and Djibouti; the Oromo, who have played such a large role in Ethiopian history and in the 1990s constituted roughly one-half of the Ethiopian population and were also numerous in northern Kenya; the Reendille (Rendilli) of Kenya; and the Aweera (Boni) along the Lamu coast in Kenya. The Somalis belong to a subbranch of the Cushites, the Omo-Tana group, whose languages are almost mutually intelligible. The original home of the Omo-Tana group appears to have been on the Omo and Tana rivers, in an area extending from Lake Turkana in present-day northern Kenya to the Indian Ocean coast.


    The Somalis form a subgroup of the Omo-Tana called Sam. Having split from the main stream of Cushite peoples about the first half of the first millennium B.C., the proto-Sam appear to have spread to the grazing plains of northern Kenya, where protoSam communities seem to have followed the Tana River and to have reached the Indian Ocean coast well before the first century A.D. On the coast, the proto-Sam splintered further; one group (the Boni) remained on the Lamu Archipelago, and the other moved northward to populate southern Somalia. There the group's members eventually developed a mixed economy based on farming and animal husbandry, a mode of life still common in southern Somalia. Members of the proto-Sam who came to occupy the Somali Peninsula were known as the so-called Samaale, or Somaal, a clear reference to the mythical father figure of the main Somali clan-families, whose name gave rise to the term Somali.


    The Samaale again moved farther north in search of water and pasturelands. They swept into the vast ****** (******** ) plains, reaching the southern shore of the Red Sea by the first century A.D. German scholar Bernd Heine, who wrote in the 1970s on early Somali history, observed that the Samaale had occupied the entire Horn of Africa by approximately 100 A.D.



    100 BC: Land of Punt (Myrreh/Incense)


    600s - Arab tribes establish the sultanate of Adel on the Gulf of Aden coast.


    800s - Somali people begin to migrate from Yemen.


    1500s - Sultanate of Adel disintegrates into small states.


    1875 - Egypt occupies towns on Somali coast and parts of the interior.



    Foreign rule


    1860s - France acquires foothold on the Somali coast, later to become Djibouti.


    1887 - Britain proclaims protectorate over Somaliland.


    1888 - Anglo-French agreement defines boundary between Somali possessions of the two countries.


    1889 - Italy sets up a protectorate in central Somalia, later consolidated with territory in the south ceded by the sultan of Zanzibar.


    1925 - Territory east of the Jubba River detached from Kenya to become the westernmost part of the Italian protectorate.


    1936 - Italian Somaliland combined with Somali-speaking parts of Ethiopia to form a province of Italian East Africa.


    1940 - Italians occupy British Somaliland.


    1941 - British occupy Italian Somalia.




    1950 - Italian Somaliland becomes a UN trust territory under Italian control.


    1956 - Italian Somaliland renamed Somalia and granted internal autonomy.


    1 July 1960: The former Italian colony becomes independent. The former British (northwest) and Italian (south) colonies unite. Aden Abdullah Osman Daar elected president.


    1963 - Border dispute with Kenya; diplomatic relations with Britain broken until 1968.


    1964 - Border dispute with Ethiopia erupts into hostilities.


    1967 - Abdi Rashid Ali Shermarke beats Aden Abdullah Osman Daar in elections for president.



    Drought and war


    1969 - Muhammad Siad Barre assumes power in coup after Shermarke is assassinated.


    1970 - Barre declares Somalia a socialist state and nationalises most of the economy.


    21 October 1972: A written script for the Somali language is established. A modified Roman alphabet is adopted as the official orthography for the Somali language


    1974 - Somalia joins the Arab League.


    1974-75 - Severe drought causes widespread starvation.


    13 November 1977: Somalia expels about 6,000 of Russian, Cuban and other Soviet allies, after the Soviet Union switched sides and allied itself with the Ethiopia


    1977 - Somalia invades the Somali-inhabited ****** region of Ethiopia.


    1978 - Somali forces pushed out of ****** with the help of Soviet advisers and Cuban troops.


    8 April 1978: After the defeat of the Somali army, a group of army officers try to topple the Siyad Barreh regime. The attempted coup is crushed and Siyad Barreh tightens his grip further. He begins a process of putting power into the hands of his relatives, and sub-clan, the ***** *******. He also empowers the related Dulbahante and ******i sub-clans.


    1981 - Opposition to Barre's regime begins to emerge after he excludes members of the Mijertyn and **** clans from government positions, which are filled with people from his own ******* clan.


    1988 - Peace accord with Ethiopia.


    May 1988: The Somali National Movement (SNM) mounts an offensive in the north of the country, as a result of the regime's brutal post-Ethiopian war policies. Siyad Barreh responds by bombing the area. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are displaced, and many killed. It is the first real challenge to Siyad Barreh's rule, and the beginning of the proliferation of armed opposition to the regime




    May 1990: A manifesto is published in Mogadishu calling for an all inclusive national reconciliation convention to avert protracted civil war. It is signed by 144 people, including politicians, religious leaders, professionals and business people, representing all Somali clans


    December 1990: Armed uprising erupts in Mogadishu


    1991 - Opposition clans oust Barre who is forced to flee the country. Forces loyal to the ****** -based United Somali Congress (USC) capture the city


    1991 - Former British protectorate of Somaliland declares unilateral independence.


    28 January 1991: The Manifesto Group of USC appoints an hotelier, Ali Mahdi Muhammad, as president. The military wing of USC, led by General Muhammad Farah Aydid, rejects the appointment.


    17 November 1991: Full-scale fighting starts between the two factions of the USC


    3 March 1991: A ceasefire comes into effect between the warring factions in Mogadishu


    1991: Fighting erupts in the northeast region between the Al-Ittihad Islamic fundamentalists and militia loyal to the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), lead by Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad


    18 May 1991: The former British Protectorate of Somaliland declares independence from the rest of Somalia, in the town of Burao


    July 1991: A conference was held in Djibouti, in which Ali Mahdi in which was chosen as interim president


    April 1992: The United Nations Operation in Somalia, UNOSOM I, begins work in Somalia


    1992 - US Marines land near Mogadishu ahead of a UN peacekeeping force sent to restore order and safeguard relief supplies.


    December 1992: UNITAF forces under American leadership land in Mogadishu February 1993: A three month conference in Borama seeks a new leader for the self-declared state of Somaliland. Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, a former prime minister, is elected in May


    March 1993: The next serious attempt at peace talks. An Ethiopian initative evolves into a joint UN-Ethiopian sponsored reconciliation conference held in Addis Ababa


    4 May 1993: UNITAF hands over to UNOSOM II


    5 June 1993: 23 Pakistani peacekeepers are killed by Aydid loyalists


    12 July 1993: American helicopter gunships kill over 50 unarmed Somalis holding a meeting in a private house in Mogadishu, increasing local hostility to the international intervention forces


    3 October 1993: American-led forces looking for Aydid's senior aides are involved in a shoot-out, which leaves 18 Americans and hundreds of Somalis dead. The body of a dead American is dragged through the Mogadishu streets, and, caught on camera, sparks an international outcry


    1995 - UN peacekeepers leave, having failed to achieve their mission.


    1996 - Warlord Muhammad Aidid dies of his wounds and is succeeded by his son, Hussein.

    November 1996: Ethiopian government-sponsored reconciliation conference brings most of the factions together. But it is boycotted by Aydid's son


    1997 - Clan leaders meeting in Cairo agree to convene a conference of rival clan members to elect a new national government.


    2 May, 2000: On the initiative of the Djibouti government, the Somali National Peace Conference brings together more than 2,000 participants in Arta, Djibouti. It is the first conference where the warlords do not have control of the conference agenda


    2 May, 2000: On the initiative of the Djibouti government, the Somali National Peace Conference brings together more than 2,000 participants in Arta, Djibouti. It is the first conference where the warlords do not have control of the conference agenda


    26 August, 2000: A 245-strong Transitional National Assembly, based on clan representation, elects Abdiqasim Salad Hasan as the new president of Somalia


    27 August, 2000: President Abdiqasim Salad Hassan is sworn in an inauguration ceremony attended by the heads of governments of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Yemen, and the host country Djibouti, along with representatives from the UN, EU, Arab league, OAU, France, Italy, Kuwait, and Libya.


    2000 October - Hassan and his newly-appointed prime minister, Ali Khalif Gelayadh, arrive in Mogadishu to heroes' welcomes.


    2000 October - Gelayadh announces his government, the first in the country since 1991.


    2001 January - Somali rebels seize the southern town of Garbaharey, reportedly with Ethiopian help.


    2001 February - The French oil group, TotalFinaElf, signs an agreement with the Somali transitional government to carry out oil exploration in the south of the country.


    For those of you who have more to add on please do so so we can round up whatever little we know about whats happening. This would be more like asmall diary of happenings in as far as Somalia is concerned.

  19. Abwan bro there is no escaping the qabiil factor as it’s in your face everywhere you go including ofcouse the politics section where people hide behind big words. I’m for dialogue and finding out what we are all about. So when talking about Somalis, qabiil is not far away and its embedded so deep that the only way forward is to address its vulnerabilities and ofcouse weaknesses. We have to make sure we get new ways of addressing Somalis at large and maybe provide an alternative to it like policies and developmental principles than what many hold so dear and yet so destructive.


    We should look at this as a learning process rather than what some like Abwan are thinking and milling around.

  20. I would like first of all to thank all those that have contributed to this thread. I’m sure as we go along; we learn something new and will definitely pick up more as we go along. I never new names like widwidh kalabydh, xidhxidh and dabataag existed other than in spoken Somali.


    Diamante provided us with another wonderful map which is shown below. It apparently classifies the different clans and illustrates it in color. However, with the amount movements that have taken place due to wars and famine, the map may not be very accurate.


    Map link


    Somalis are divided into a number of clans, and sub-clans, and the relationships between the clans are complex. Some of the clans are minority ethnic groups, and language boundaries can cross clan boundaries. There are larger groupings, "clan confederacies", about six in Somalia, of which the ****** is important for Mogadishu. Different clans can have different status within a confederacy, and presumably different sub clans can have different status within a clan. Clans follow a customary law, “Xeerâ€, which recognizes private property and compensation for victims of violence. It is adjudicated by clan elders, for both inter- and intra- clan disputes. Clans as we have come to realize are fundamentally important to a Somali society. Some ethnic minorities are outside the clan system, which has serious legal and security ramifications for these individuals. In the present atmosphere and political climate a lot of these minorities are likely to be sidelined and create a very unfair playing ground and maneuver for the minorities.

    A major reason why a united Somalia failed is because most Somalis never really saw themselves as a common people, but as a people broken into to separate clans. “For many Somalis, clan or lineage was as far as their identity needed to be stretched. Certainly for everyday purposes Somali was a relatively meaningless term. Identity was determined by genealogyâ€


    Infact as I was reading through and searching for the different languages spoken in Somalia online, I came to realize that some of these languages like Bonni are becoming extinct and that is a lose to the cultural richness and diversity amongst the Somalis.


    I would like to thank all participating in this thread and hopefully as we go along we will come to understand what drives us as Somalis and aims of the different political heavy weights and their intentions in comparison to what is on the ground. To me it looks like there is a total contradiction of the powers that be in comparison to the people they represent on the ground. Building a government based on clans rather than policy will only make matters worse and this wouldn’t help at all in regards a peaceful country and people. A clan based system can only work if its fair and the formula that has been suggested wont work fairly albeit many opting for it. It would be the majority rule and the smaller less powerful clans being unfairly treated.

  21. Well for the skeptics, the point of this is for enlightening those who have basically little or no knowledge of Somalia and also to make sure we keep up to date with what is happening out there. Many people have moved around and many more displaced and anyone who left the country ten years may not recognize the changes that have taken place as a result of the civil war.



    This is amap of the different regions and their main capital cities, towns and villagers.


    Cartographic map


    An estimated 370,000-400,000 people remain internally displaced, more than five per cent of the population. Despite a ceasefire agreed in October 2002, fighting continues intermittently. The security situation is so volatile that President Abdullahi Yusuf, elected in October 2004, cannot work from his own capital and has remained in exile in Kenya. The violence has forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes again and prevented cultivation in 2004, mainly in the regions of Mogadishu, Gedo, Juba, Shabelle and Galgadud. In addition, some regions are suffering from the worst and longest drought ever experienced since 1974, often with irreversible effects...


    Here is the whole report for those who are interested


    Full report

  22. Bro Bashi..Many thanks for your input here and ofcouse a pleasure to share knowledge with you. This thread was basically started for educational consumption and not attack or abuse any clans or tribe in anyway whatsoever. I thought perhaps I would try to understand how the different powers that be worked within the country and how it was shared. I basically have a slight inclination that things are not as rosie as they seem because of the nature of power sharing and ofcouse the present government's impotence and inability to make it back to country safely and take on its power base despite MPs from different regions giving them the seal of approval. I have a feeling that these MPs just as the government in exile don’t wield much power and that the real power lies within the confines of the Somalian borders rather than outside. I don’t understand why they can’t go back and take their base in the capital without really crying for more help (militarily) if its democratically elected.


    As a person born in diaspora, I wanted to learn more about the country as a whole in geographical terms and cultural too. I have tried reading a bit about it but I naturally thought we would either learn together or perhaps provide information. As you may have noticed I’m not an avid contributor to the politics section as I mostly see it as a war zone rather than an intellectual playing ground of exchanging ideas and knowledge. You are one of the few that I think are in the middle of the ground who really try hard to discuss issues rather than take them out of context and that is very much appreciated.


    As for the golden rule on Qabiil,-- I believe that not being able to write or talk about clans is wrong if it’s done right. However, the policy here is aimed at protecting and respecting the different clans hence a script being built in to safeguard the respect they should deserve. May I also add that this is not preferential treatment rather a yarning for knowlege and a topic started in the spirit of seeking further clarification on issues that concern us all as Somalis (knowing you country)rather than attack any group.


    We should be able to raise above petty issues and really do ourselves justice by trying to think beyond the realms of qabiil and perhaps see the larger picture. Our survival as awhole.

  23. Muad the above one is much more clearer and ofcouse does the topic justice. Well done bro. keep up the good work. Later on we will try to tackle more about the country but right now we are just trying to get information which would be analysed later.

  24. Brother Caaqil forgive me for saying this but what is this cancer you are talking about? This discussion needs to be discussed or would you rather wrap it and put under your bed. The above topic is meant to enlighten people like me and many others who havent been back home. We need to know what is what and where. The aim of this dicussion is in no way aimed at polarising what you call the cancer but to understand our people, where they live, languages and culture we have. This is a smart debate rather than the usual tit for tat kinda chit chats we tend to adhered to around here. Not discussing issues regarding our heritage would be alose to say the least. We need embrace information that hasnt been provided by somalis themselves but from foreign resources. I also believe what we are discussing here are realities rather than make belief.


    I can understand where you are aiming you thoughts but this thread has been merely opened for educational purposes. I can point out worser threads in which many participated but wont get into that brother. You should be happy to learn about what you may not know just as my virgin brain is embracing this information I had no clue about.


    On apolitical point of view, the reality is that there are hundreds of MPs that have been preselected and it wouldnt be so bad to know what they represent and who.


    Many thanks for your contribution.