Image: By TSGT PERRY HEIMER [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Located on the outer edge of Somalia Peninsula, better known as the Horn of Africa, the benighted land of Somalia has one of the most horrendous histories in the world. Home to infamous pirates, warlords and militia, the lawless land of Somalia initially served as the commercial hub to ancient world sailors and merchants. Spread across 246,200 square miles, the semi-arid land of Somalia has sparse vegetation and is ill-famed for its extreme hot weather. It is believed that the Kingdom of Punt was situated in Somalia and till date, is referred to by the Egyptians as the land of the Punts. Although the British and French colonized some parts of Somalia, they could never formally seize the nation. The origin of the Somali people is not known. Nevertheless, historians opine that the Somali tribe originated in the south European highlands but gradually migrated to populate Horn of Africa at around B.C. 100. This war torn nation, with a very weak
political backbone, is apparently one of the poorest economies in the world.
Interesting And Fun Facts About Somalia
- Somalia is situated on the Horn of Africa, East of Ethipoia, along the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.
- Mogadishu is the capital of Somalia.
- Shimbiris is the highest point in Somalia.
- Somali Shilling is the currency of Somalia.
- Somalia comprises of 27 regions.
- The Egyptians referred to Somalia as the Land of Punt that was rendered famous for frankincense and myrrh.
- Somalia and Arabic are the official languages of the country. Apart from these languages, Swahili, English and Italian are also widely spoken in the region.
- Although the population of Somalia basically includes ethnic Somalis, it also contains some non-Somali ethnic minority groups like Benadiri, Bravanese, Bantus, Bajuni, Ethiopians, Indians, Persians, Italians and Britons.
- Somalia was colonized by both Britain and France before it gained independence in July 1, 1960.
- The Portuguese were the first European explorers to visit Somalia.
- Somalia was one of those nations worst hit by the disastrous Indian Ocean Tsunami and Earthquake of 2004. Almost 289 people were reported dead or missing in the aftermath while hundreds of people were rendered homeless.
- Somalia is one of those few African nations with the lowest HIV infection rates. However, almost 35% of children under the age of five in Somalia die every year due to epidemics and dehydration.
- Somalia is the first African nation that was used for flying warplanes by the British.
- Somalia is the only country in the world that does not possess a central form of government.
- The customary law of Somalia is known as Xeer, a polycentric legal system with no institution or legal agents to determine or interpret the laws.
- Somalia has one of the most advanced telecommunications system in Africa.
- Somalia is one of the founding members of the Organization of the African Union.
- Somalia is the only Islamic country in the world that boasts of a 100% concentration of Sunni Muslims.
- Somalia has the largest refugee camp in the world.
- Somalia is the only African nation that can boast of the cheapest cellular tariff rates with some companies charging less than a cent per minute.
- Somalia has a rich musical tradition that has evolved out of Somalian folklore.
- Modern day Somalian architecture interfuses Somalo-Islamic architecture with Occidental designs.
- The cuisine of Somalia, albeit meat-centric and diverse, excludes Haram meat (prohibited meat), pork and alcohol in accordance with Islamic Law.