Discover Somali

Somali, known as "Af-Soomaali" in Somali, is a Cushitic language from the Afro-Asiatic language family. It is spoken by the Somali people who live in the Horn of Africa.

Main Communities

Mogadishu (Somalia) Jijiga (Ethiopia), Garissa (Kenya),

Common Somali Names:

  • Idil
  • Cawil
  • Ilhan
  • Ladan
  • Hodan
  • Sharmaarke
  • Gargaar

Staple Food

Bariis - also known as Somali rice is a rice dish typically made with basmati rice, meat, vegetables, and a blend of spices. Bariis is considered a staple dish in Somali culture and represents the pride of Somali culinary traditions.

Culture and Traditions

Gabay: Oral poetry is a key aspect of Somali culture and tradition. A Gabay uses this unique form of poetry to pass down Somali culture, history, and social issues in a rhythmic manner. You might find a Gabay performing at social gatherings, weddings, and religious ceremonies.

Istunka is a traditional Somali wrestling style that has been practiced for centuries as a form of physical exercise, cultural expression, and competitive sport. It is also known as "Guska" or "Gale" in different regions of Somalia. Istunka involves grappling and throwing techniques, with the objective of pinning the opponent's shoulders to the ground

Notable figures:

Ismail Ahmed – Entrepreneur. He founded WorldRemit, a leading global payments company that provides international money transfer and remittance services in more than 130 countries and over 70 currencies.

Mo Farah – Athlete. He is a multiple Olympic gold medalist best known for distance running, particularly in the 5000 meters and 10,000 meters events. Farah also won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 2017.

Ilwad Elman – Social Activist. Through the Mogadishu-based Elman Peace and Human Rights Center, she has worked extensively on issues of conflict resolution, youth empowerment, and gender equality. Elman earned multiple internationally-recognized awards from institutions including OXFAM, BET, and the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership