Somalia is principally desert. Major climatic factors are a year-round hot climate, seasonal monsoon winds, and irregular rainfall with recurring droughts. Mean daily maximum temperatures range from 30 Â°C to 40 Â°C 85â105 Â°F, except at higher elevations and along the east coast. Mean daily minimums usually vary from about 15 Â°C to 30 Â°C 60â85 Â°F. The southwest monsoon, a sea breeze, makes the period from about May to October the mildest season at Mogadishu. The December-February period of the northeast monsoon is also relatively mild, although prevailing climatic conditions in Mogadishu are rarely pleasant. The "tangambili" periods that intervene between the two monsoons OctoberâNovember and MarchâMay are hot and humid.
After the independence, Somalia has been intertwined in much violence since 1991. In 1969, General Siad Barre siezed power over a coup d'etat, and the country was under a military government when the previous president was assassinated. The military government established large-scale public works programs and successfully implemented an urban and rural literacy campaign, which helped dramatically increase the literacy rate. In addition to a nationalization program of industry and land, the new regime's foreign policy placed an emphasis on Somalia's traditional and religious links with the Arab world, eventually joining the Arab League in 1974. All in all, Somalia's initial friendship with the Soviet Union and later partnership with the United States enabled it to build the largest army in Africa. This however ended in an utter collapse in the 1980's when the Somali people were disillusioned with the government and because the government was weakened further in the 1980s as the Cold War drew to a close and Somalia's strategic importance was diminished.
As a result, General Barre was unfortunately ousted out of power by various rebels hungry for power and the civil war started in 1991 since the apparent independence of Somaliland. Since then, Life has grown tough for many Somalians, and have began to leave the country in large numbers to settle in safer parts of the world.
The prospects of change seem remote as of now, though a new government under the President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has since making efforts in fighting instability and to end the war. From 1991 till now, Somalia has not seen anything but anarchy and corruption even under the TFG transitional federal government whom successfully worked towards an elected president in September 2012.
The history of the Somali people dates back many centuries. The first time the word Somali was mentioned in a history book was 3500 years ago, when the queen of Egypt Hatshepsut sent a fleet of 5 large ships and a crew of 250 men to Somalia which the Egyptians called The Land of Punt. Punt means âthe land of spicesâ from the aromatic plants that grow there. The Egyptians wanted to trade and they brought jewels and glass beads that they exchanged for gold, elephant tusks, myrrh, ostrich feathers, spices and different beads. Some of these items, especially the aromatic ones, were used by the Egyptians in their religious festivals and celebrations.
Between the 7th and 9th Cent. immigrant Muslim Arabs and Persians established trading posts along the Somali coast. In the 14th century Ibn Battuta, the great Berber traveller, visited Mogadishu and wrote about the people, their food and clothing and how they ruled themselves. In his book he mentioned that the people in the city were very fat and everybody ate as much as they could. The Mogadishans wore very nice white clothes and turbans and their sultan was very powerful.
Somalia was an unknown country for European explorers until the Portuguese explorers reached the coastal cities of Somalia on their way to India. They called it Terra Incognita, which means the unknown land. These new discoveries encouraged many other European navigators to sail on the Somali coasts.