Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia (Somali: Jamhuuriyadda Federaalka Soomaaliya,is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Kenya to the southwest. Somalia has the longest coastline on the continent,and its terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands.Hot conditions prevail year-round, along with periodic monsoon winds and irregular rainfall.
Somalia has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic period. Cave paintings said to date back to 9000 BC have been found in the northern part of the country. The most famous of these is the Laas Gaal cultural complex, which contains some of the earliest known rock art on the African continent. Undeciphered inscriptions have also been discovered beneath each of the cave paintings. During the Stone Age, the Doian and the Hargeisan cultures flourished here.
Somalia is bordered by Djibouti to the northwest, Kenya to the southwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Ethiopia to the west. It lies between latitudes 2°S and 12°N, and longitudes 41° and 52°E. Strategically located at the mouth of the Bab el Mandeb gateway to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, the country occupies the tip of a region that, due to its resemblance on the map to a rhinoceros' horn, is commonly referred to as the Horn of Africa.
According to the CIA and the Central Bank of Somalia, despite experiencing civil unrest, Somalia has maintained a healthy informal economy, based mainly on livestock, remittance/money transfer companies and telecommunications. Due to a dearth of formal government statistics and the recent civil war, it is difficult to gauge the size or growth of the economy. For 1994, the CIA estimated the GDP at $3.3 billion. In 2001, it was estimated to be $4.1 billion. By 2009, the CIA estimated that the GDP had grown to $5.731 billion, with a projected real growth rate of 2.6%. According to a 2007 British Chambers of Commerce report, the private sector also grew, particularly in the service sector. Unlike the pre-civil war period when most services and the industrial sector were government-run, there has been substantial, albeit unmeasured, private investment in commercial activities; this has been largely financed by the Somali diaspora, and includes trade and marketing, money transfer services, transportation, communications, fishery equipment, airlines, telecommunications, education, health, construction and hotels. Libertarian economist Peter T. Leeson attributes this increased economic activity to the Somali customary law (referred to as Xeer), which he suggests provides a stable environment to conduct business in.
Most Somalis are Muslims, the majority belonging to the Sunni branch of Islam and the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence, although some are adherents of the Shia Muslim denomination. Sufism, the mystical dimension of Islam, is also well-established, with many local jama'a (zawiya) or congregations of the various tariiqa or Sufi orders. The constitution of Somalia likewise defines Islam as the state religion of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and Islamic sharia as the basic source for national legislation. It also stipulates that no law that is inconsistent with the basic tenets of Shari'a can be enacted.
Islam entered the region very early on, as a group of persecuted Muslims had, at Prophet Muhammad's 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 took root in its place of origin.
Somalia Tourist Attractions