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History of Hargeisa

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  • The lists of the prominent figures, poets, singers, playwrights, and business people of Hargeisa enumerated here are neither accurate nor complete. My research is work in progress, and this is what I have found at this juncture, there will, of course, be some change, and additions to the several lists comprised of prominent natives and others.


    Hargeisa is a city brimming with both a rich history spanning hundreds of years, natural beauty, great cuisine comprised of an amalgamation of Somalilander, Arab, European, and Middle Eastern. It has fascinating weather, amazing diverse vegetation, wild animals, beautiful mountains and plateaus. Regarding Somali-speaking world, Hargeisa is called the mother of art, culture, and poetry. Some of the ancient mountains around Hargeisa are volcanic, but not as seismically active as those Mountains around the city of Borama.  Hargeisa is an ancient city that was in existence since time immoral. For of years, the place was a small village, with a thriving trade and water hole for livestock. This water was on the banks of Hargeisa’s legendary seasonal water way/river that traditionally brought about both prosperity and disaster to Hargeisa and its metropolis. Hargeisa is a strategically located city. It lies to the south of the red sea, east of Borama, Zeila, Djibouti, and west of Burao, Eiregavo and las Anod, north east of Diredawa. Modern Hargeisa is around hundred years old, It came alive, and significantly expanded beginning from the establishment of British Somaliland protectorate in 1884.  Shiekh Madar Bin Ahmed a famous sheikh and scholar whose tomb is the middle of Hargeisa, is said to be one of the founders of modern Hargeisa. Sheikh Madar was one of the legendary religious scholars who came from the ancient city of Harrar (Adari), and settled in Hargisea in late 1900s.

    Physical features

    Hargeisa is located in a valley crisscrossed by a large seasonal river that bisectes the city in to two parts, the northern and southern sectors. The northern part of old Hargeisa is comprised of the police barracks, Indian Line, the shaab or the European sector that is made up of large well-manicured bungalows some of them look-like mansions scattered around the thick jungle of Hargeisa, the Darooraha, laba Nuh, Daami, Shedka, Gurya Samo, New Hargeisa, Jigjiga Yar, Koodbour, Goljano, Buurta Ayahlah, Hira awr, and Idaada (Radio Hargeisa). The southern sector  of Hargeisa is made of Dunbulk, Qoradeer, libah Yada, Airport (Shanta Mailka), Miltiary barracks, and headquarters, police headquarters, and southern part of the Shaab. Hargeisa has also large suburbs such as Malka Durduro, Buquljire, Haraf, Halayo, and others.

    Education Schools

    Elementary: Fisher-Sheikh Bashier, Sir Walter Reece (New Hargeisa), Biya Gaay, European school-Shaabka, Dunbuluq, and Qadha Deer.

    Middle schools: Biya day, Sykes Thompson- Gurey, Shaabka, Dunbulg, Biyaday.

    High Schools: Farah Omar, First July, 26 June, Trades school, and CTC (Clerical Training Center)


     University of Hargeisa, Gollis University with Campuses in Burao, Berbera & Hargeisa, Admas University College Hargeisa, International Horn University Hargeisa, Addis Ababa Medical College Hargeisa, Tima’ade University Gabile, Hope University Hargeisa, Abaarso Tech University Hargeisa, Alpha University College Hargeisa, New Generation University College Hargeisa, Edna University Hospital Hargeisa, and Bader College.


     As soon the Balwo left Borama in the early fifties, when the legendary Abdicinimo was saying (Balwadii Bahsatuu Baray Qabatee, Baabuur maku Baadi Doona, it immediately came to Hargeisa, over there laying in  wait the legendary vocalist, musician, composer, playwright, and vocal nationalist fighter Abdillahi Qarshe with Mohamed Said (Guroon Jire, Mohamed Nahaara, osman (Ina Beenaleh), Hussein Aw Farah formed Walaaha Hargeisa (Hargeisa brothers). After that Hargeisa became the capital of music, culture, and nationalism in the Somali-speaking world, just like Cairo which is the center of Arab music, cinema, culture, and nationalism. In the late fifties to sixties, Hargeisa and Somaliland music for that matter has taken off, and the peak days started in the 1960s when Walaala Hargeisa songs and music hit through the roof, and forced some to call the time, the era of golden music.

    Famous Hargeisa playwrights and composers:

    Mohamed Omer Huryo, Ahmed Suleiman Bidde, Ismail Sh. Ahmed, Sahardiid Mohamed (Jabiye), Hassan Ganay, Mohamed Adan (Daar), Hussein Aw Farah, Ali Sugleh, (Dun Carbeed), Abdullahi Abdi Shube, Basbas,.”Abdi Adan (Qays), Mohamed Ahmed Warsame (Hadrawi). Mohamed Ismail (Barkhad Cas), Abdillahi Qarshe (originally came from Moshe, Tanzania).


    Hargeisa is a city that produced the largest number and the best vocalists/singers with the largest number of songs, and they are as follows:

    Abdullahi Qarshe, Rashid Bulwo, Osman Mohamed (Ganlaw), Mohamed Suleiman, Mohamed Yusuf, Mohamed Ahmed (Kuluc), Fadumo Abdillahi Mandeeq, Shamis Abokar (Guduudo Arwo), Hafuun, Iftin, Sahra Ahmed, Marwo Mohamed, Abdirahman Hassan, Kinzi H. Adan, Haboon Abdillahi, Ahmed Ali Haroon (Daramleh), Ahmed Mogeh, Mohamed Mogeh, Ahmed Gayte), Abdi Aw Omer, Digfeer, Qalinle, Khadra Dahir Egeh, Zeinab H. Ali (Bahsan), Zainab Egeh, Halima Khalif (Magol), Safi Dualeh, and mohamed Abdullahi (Gujis).



     Abdullahi Sultan “Timaade, Abdi Idaan, Qasim, Abdi Adan (Qays), Mohamed Hashi Dama (Gaariye), Ali Sugule, Nimo Adan Hure, and Abdillahi Qarsh, Asha Lul Mohamed, Faisal Omer Mushteeg, Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame (Hadrawi), Sh. Ali Ibrahim, Omer dheere, Mohamud Mohamed yassin (Deeg).

    Hargeisa has numerous legends, but a summary of those legends is as follows: Mohamed H. Ibrahim Egal, Yususf Ismail Samater (Gandhi), Yusuf H. Adan, Shuriye, Haji Yusuf Iman, H. I brahim Nur, Ahmed H. Dualeh (Kayseh), Ismail Jimacalle (Editor of Horn of Africa Newpaper-(Qarnal Ifriqiya), Ahmed Yususf Dualeh (Editor Of Al-Liwaa-the Banner), Omer Dheere, Sheikh Ali Ibrahim, Omer Arteh, Abdisalam H. Adan, Adan Dakhtar, Abdo Sayid (Sufi), Duba Ali Yare, Ayban, Sh. Ahmed Naleeyeh, Sh. Yususf Sh. Madar, Ali Warabe, and many others.

    Business leaders

    Hassan Rakoob, Jirdeh Hussein, Haji Miyatayn, Hashiish, Abdillahi Omar and company, Abdi Arwo, Mohamed good, Samaters (Book Store owners), Ali Bootan and company, Abusite,  Haji Ibrahim Nur, Ali Warsame Brikow, Seef Said, Ahmed yay, Inda Deero, Yusuf Abdi Libah, H. Warsame Said, Bar Djibouti owners, Ubah hotel owners, Abdulla Mubarik,  Mohamed Abdi (owner of the grand oriental hotel), Haji Asker brothers and children.

    The religious scholars and leaders

    Sh. Madar bin Ahmed, Sh. Mohamed Sirad, Sh. Ibrahim Hujaleh, Sh. Omer whom many people consider as an Awliyoh), Sh. Abdirahman Kariye and others.

    Hargeisa was always a welcoming, happy, easy going city that treats all people and especially the travelers very well. It is the perfect venue for all those planning to rebuild their lives and looking for a second chance in their lives.  Hargeisa is one of the best places on earth to raise children, go to school, visit, or create a new business from scratch. Last but not the least, Hargeisa is the center of freedom, liberty, and Independence.


  • Suleiman Egeh is a freelance writer and a senior science instructor

    • suleiman amin