Berbera

BarberaBarbaraBerbera docksideDubarMalao
Berbera (Barbara, بربرة) is a coastal city and capital of the Sahil region in the self-declared but internationally unrecognised Republic of Somaliland.wikipedia
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Hargeisa

HargeysaHargaysa
It later served as the capital of the British Somaliland protectorate from 1884 to 1941, when it was replaced by Hargeisa.
The city later succeeded Berbera as the capital of the British Somaliland protectorate in 1941.

Sahil, Somaliland

SahilSaaxilSaahil
Berbera (Barbara, بربرة) is a coastal city and capital of the Sahil region in the self-declared but internationally unrecognised Republic of Somaliland.
Sahil (Saaxil) is an administrative region in northern Somaliland with the port city of Berbera as its capital.

Horn of Africa

HornSomali peninsulanortheastern Africa
During the early modern period, Berbera was the most important place of trade in the entire Horn of Africa.
With the migration of Muslim families from the Islamic world to the Horn in the early centuries of Islam, and the peaceful conversion of the local population by Muslim scholars in the following centuries, the ancient city-states eventually transformed into Islamic Mogadishu, Berbera, Zeila, Barawa and Merka, which were part of the Barbara civilization.

Maritime history of Somalia

Somali city-statesSomali maritime enterpriseSomali maritime history
Berbera was part of the classical Somali city-states that engaged in a lucrative trade network connecting Somali merchants with Phoenicia, Ptolemic Egypt, Ancient Greece, Parthian Persia, Saba, Nabataea and the Roman Empire.
This tradition of seaborne trade was maintained in the early modern period, with Berbera being the pre-eminent Somali port during the 18th–19th centuries.

Zeila

AvalitesSaylacZaila
It is thought to be the city Malao described as 800 stadia beyond the city of the Avalites, described in the eighth chapter of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, which was written by a Greek merchant in the first century AD.
Berbera lies 170 mi southeast of Zeila, while the city of Harar in Ethiopia is 200 mi to the west.

Malao

Malao/Berbera
It is thought to be the city Malao described as 800 stadia beyond the city of the Avalites, described in the eighth chapter of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, which was written by a Greek merchant in the first century AD.
The town was situated on the site of what later became the city of Berbera.

Isaaq

Habar JecloArapSheikh Isaaq Bin Ahmed Al Hashimi
The major Somali clan of Isaaq in Somaliland, caravans from Harar and the interior, and Banyan merchants from Porbandar, Mangalore and Mumbai gathered to trade.
The populations of five major cities in Somaliland – Hargeisa, Burao, Berbera, Erigavo and Gabiley – are predominantly Isaaq.

Somalis

SomaliSomali peopleSomali clan
Berbera was part of the classical Somali city-states that engaged in a lucrative trade network connecting Somali merchants with Phoenicia, Ptolemic Egypt, Ancient Greece, Parthian Persia, Saba, Nabataea and the Roman Empire. Berbera was a powerful and well built city that served as a major harbor port for various of powerful Somali Kingdoms in the Middle Ages like the early Adal Kingdom, Ifat Sultanate and Adal Sultanate.
The peaceful conversion of the Somali population by Somali Muslim scholars in the following centuries, the ancient city-states eventually transformed into Islamic Mogadishu, Berbera, Zeila, Barawa, Hafun and Merca, which were part of the Berberi civilization.

Gulf of Aden

AdenGhoubet
Berbera preserves the ancient name of the coast along the southern shore of the Gulf of Aden.
The British initially recognized the sea as the Gulf of Berbera (Gacanka Berbera), after the principal port of its southern coast.

Coffee

coffee beansblack coffeegourmet coffee
Berbera was the main marketplace in the entire Somali seaboard for various goods procured from the interior, such as livestock, coffee, frankincense, myrrh, acacia gum, saffron, feathers, ghee, hide (skin), gold and ivory.
The Yemenis obtained their coffee via Somali traders from Berbera (who in turn procured the beans from the Ethiopian Highlands) and began to cultivate the seed.

Habr Awal

Habar AwalIssa MusseSa’ad Musse
Historically, the port of Berbera was controlled indigenously between the mercantile Reer Ahmed Nur and Reer Yunis Nuh sub-clans of the Habar Awal. On the other hand, the southerly trade route was shared between Garhajis and Habar Awal merchants, where they obtained livestock, acacia gum, myrrh, grain and ghee.
The major cities and towns of Hargeisa, Berbera, Gabiley, Sheikh, Wajaale, Arabsiyo, Bulhar, Kalabaydh, Daarbuduq and Hart Sheik are all predominantly inhabited by the Habar Awal sub-clan of the Isaaq.

Tang dynasty

TangTang ChinaTang Empire
Duan Chengshi, a Chinese Tang dynasty scholar, described in his written work of AD 863 the slave trade, ivory trade, and ambergris trade of Bobali, which is thought to be Berbera.
863) provided a detailed description of the slave trade, ivory trade, and ambergris trade in a country called Bobali, which historians suggest was Berbera in Somalia.

Bulhar

IsisPort of Isis
The defeated Reer Yunis Nuh moved westwards and established the port of Bulhar, which later became a trading rival to Berbera
The port was rejuvenated in the 19th century and was a rival to nearby Berbera.

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea

Periplus Maris ErythraeiPeriplusPeriplus of the Erythrean Sea
It is thought to be the city Malao described as 800 stadia beyond the city of the Avalites, described in the eighth chapter of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, which was written by a Greek merchant in the first century AD.
The ancient port city of Malao, situated in present-day Berbera in northwestern Somalia, is also mentioned in the Periplus:

Harar

HarrarHarar JugolHarar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town
The major Somali clan of Isaaq in Somaliland, caravans from Harar and the interior, and Banyan merchants from Porbandar, Mangalore and Mumbai gathered to trade. According to Richard Francis Burton, who visited both Berbera and Harar during his travels, he repeated a famous Harari saying he heard in 1854:
Harar was very dependent on Berbera for trade since the Middle Ages.

Adal Sultanate

AdalSultanate of AdalAdal Kingdom
Berbera was a powerful and well built city that served as a major harbor port for various of powerful Somali Kingdoms in the Middle Ages like the early Adal Kingdom, Ifat Sultanate and Adal Sultanate.
Many of the historic cities in the Horn of Africa such as Abasa and Berbera flourished under its reign with courtyard houses, mosques, shrines, walled enclosures and cisterns.

Garhajis

Habar YoonisHabr YunisEidagale
On the other hand, the southerly trade route was shared between Garhajis and Habar Awal merchants, where they obtained livestock, acacia gum, myrrh, grain and ghee.
The Habar yoonis exercised real power over Zeila and its adjacent regions and had established themselves as a coastal power, with Sharmarke Ali Saleh (Musa Arreh) solidifying and consolidating his power in governing Zeila, Berbera and Tadjoura.

Duan Chengshi

Tuan Ch'eng-ShihDuan, Chengshi
Duan Chengshi, a Chinese Tang dynasty scholar, described in his written work of AD 863 the slave trade, ivory trade, and ambergris trade of Bobali, which is thought to be Berbera.
Duan is also known for describing in his written work of 863 AD the slave trade, ivory trade, and ambergris trade of Bobali, which believed to be what is now Berbera in Somalia, East Africa.

Battle of Tug Argan

Tug Argan
In August 1940, during the East African Campaign, British Somaliland was briefly occupied by Italy after a large invasion force defeated British colonial troops at the Battle of Tug Argan.
Italian invasion forces were advancing northwards on a north-south road toward the colonial capital of Berbera through the Tug Argan gap (named after the dry riverbed tug running across it) in the Assa hills, when they encountered British units lying in fortified positions on a number of widely distributed hills across its breadth.

Winston Churchill

Sir Winston ChurchillChurchillChurchill, Winston
In fact, Winston Churchill once visited Berbera in 1907 when he was Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, and he noted the protectorate be abandoned, since it was "unproductive, inhospitable, and the people are very hostile to occupation."
He travelled through France, Italy, Malta, and Cyprus, before moving through the Suez Canal to Aden and Berbera.

Port of Berbera

BerberaBerbera PortDP World Berbera
A number of products are exported through the Port of Berbera, including livestock, gum arabic, frankincense, and myrrh.
The Port of Berbera, also known as Berbera Port, is the official seaport of Berbera, the commercial capital of Somaliland.

Richard Francis Burton

Sir Richard BurtonRichard BurtonSir Richard Francis Burton
According to Richard Francis Burton, who visited both Berbera and Harar during his travels, he repeated a famous Harari saying he heard in 1854:
However, while the expedition was camped near Berbera, his party was attacked by a group of Somali waranle ("warriors") belonging to Isaaq clan.

Mocha, Yemen

MochaMokhaAl Mukha
Aden, Mocha and several other important ports in Southern Arabia were very dependent on Berbera for their goods.
Mocha was very dependent on imported coffee beans from present-day Ethiopia, which was exported by Somali merchants from Berbera across the Gulf of Aden.

Berbera Airport

BerberaBerbera International Airport
For air transportation, the city is served by the Berbera Airport.
Berbera International Airport is an airport in Berbera, a city in the northwestern Saahil province in Somaliland.

Italian conquest of British Somaliland

British Somalilandinvaded British Somalilandoccupied British Somaliland
In August 1940, during the East African Campaign, British Somaliland was briefly occupied by Italy after a large invasion force defeated British colonial troops at the Battle of Tug Argan.
Berbera, the biggest town and port, was ringed by desert and scrubland; in the cold season it had a population of about 30,000, falling to around 15,000 in the summer months.