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Lets Map Somalia....

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Originally posted by QUANTUM LEAP:

Oh by the way bro any chance you could redraw the map and insert the info you think is right?

Will do that some other time sxb. I'm sure someone will google his/her way to the correct map before I do the hard work of redrawing the map :D Seriously though, it is very hard to get it right at this stage (as there is dispute between SL and PL over who controls where) without starting off claims and counter claims. On the population issue, unless there is a formal tally, I for one wouldn't put too much credence to any estimate done by anyone.

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Originally posted by NGONGE:

Apologies if the map annoyed you, wind talker. How does IS 22% and DA 21% strike you? (A whole 1% is not something you could scoff at you know).

No reason to apologize, homie. You weren't the one who made the map. It doesn't strike me as anything but a mockery on the part of the ever-resourceful CIA. Remember, all I said was its a 'funny map.'


Its a funny thing with Somalis and population censuses. Each region, district and township wants to double its actual size. Plus, its almost impossible to find realistic data with a 5% or so margin of error - esp. since the last census was taken in 1975. The UN, the CIA and other int'l org simply go by estimated pop. growth to measure today's Somali population. That's why the figure is anywhere between 7 and 14 million (a huge margin).

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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....

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QL I totally agree with we need to look at this as a learning process instead of talking about the current political situation and messing up the original purpose of the topic.

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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.

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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.

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