By: Suleiman Amin
Somalilandsun – This article on the beautiful city of Borame is the first of a series in which I will feature about the history, character and uniqueness of cities, towns and villages in the Republic of Somaliland.
Introduction: Physical Features and Geology
Borame,” is similar to what a preeminent Black author once said about “Atlanta, Georgia, he called it a city north of the south and south of the north, what that means was Atlanta, Georgia was never a typical Southern City where racial segregation and discrimination is rampant, and the supreme law of the land, those unique characteristics make it a tolerant city during the height of segregation, and discrimination in the deep South of the United states. In the same token Borame is always a happy city, a place of tolerance, beacon of hospitality and peace, even when there was local dynamics and tension between brotherly people. It is a city which no amount or type of negativity will make a dent on its indomitable hospitality, beautiful weather, smiling face, charitable hand, and above all tolerance.
The city is hemmed from at least three sides by a chain of towering mountains, and around this mountains are undulating lush green valleys, replete with diversity flora and fauna. Most of the rocks around the city are of igneous and metamorphic rocks. There also some sedimentary rocks prominent at seasonal river beds and as well as the year round streams. Some of the mountains that ring the city of Borame are volcanic and according to some geological reports used to be active volcanoes thousands of years ago. They were not active in the recent history but could be active at any time. The place is a seismically active area because it is located where two giant active tectonic plates converge. The two important tectonic plates are the Arabian and the African plates. They are the ones that have created the famous “East Africa Rift Valley” that begins from Kenya, and goes through Ethiopia and extends into the Republic of Somaliland and beyond.
Some local legends and characters:
The legendary funny Awale, “the kabacad of Nicosia section of the city”, the “Ah Yaaqraame, Dabshid Aw Hussein (local legend), a preeminent business man, story teller, composer and singer the preeminent, Dr. Suleiman Aw Yamis, Suuleh Madar, Haji Manate a local spiritual leader, the heroine Sirad Ale, Hassan Abdullahi Mohamud (Digool), Haji Shimrale, Haji Jama Muhumed, Haji Dahir Aw Elmi, Haji Musa Godad, Haji Misaan, Sh. Abdulrahman Shiekh Noor, Rabelh Good, honorable Aden IsaaK Ahmed, Sheikh Ali Jowhar, Shiekh Aw Gaab, Sheikh Idris Ali, Sheikh Awboobe, Rableh Good, and so many others.
City of warriors
Some of the Borama numerous warriors are: Gulleh Jidgo, Diriye Malaysteh, Robleg Afteeb, Waraabe Ade, Geedi Malableh, and so many others.
The Seeraha Botanical park, and lush green scenic treasure, the beautiful Amoud valley farms, the magical Scenery of Qorgaab river valley-all season streams and its thick semi-jungle banks, Borama’s towering volcanic mountains such as the seismically active Saw Qaylo, Aloog, Sharlaganaadi and Buur Mawaw or the black mountain. “Sawqayle” is a mountain so sacred locally and as the name signifies makes humming sounds from the time to time.
Home of many firsts
Borama is a home of education, the birth place of the modern version of the “Balwo”, the birth place of volunteerism (Iska Wah Uqadbaso, the birth place of the first university in the post-civil war Somali speaking world.
Borama is a unique city whose character is both pure plus a little blend of other traits as well
The city of Borama has its distinctive character. It is a kind of jigsaw puzzle. Besides it indomitable identity, history and traits, It also has t has many other little chips and pieces. Borama is a bit Zeila, Hargeisa, Djibouti, Jigjiga, Harrar, Diredawa, a little British, and a little bit Arabic as well.
Borama is a city that enjoys mild weather
Borama is blessed with an extremely mild weather on the cooler side. In some winters water freeze around the valleys the surround Borama and especially in the Amoud river valley area. That means the temperature reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit or less, meaning reaches a little bit below zero. That is one of the reasons the city populations swells so much during summer times when Djiboutians flee their forbidding heat and to the comfort of Borama’ mild weather, the flocking of a huge number of people into the city sometimes causes some of the consumer goods, and rental housing prices to take a temporary uptick.
Legendary Borama Hockey team
The Borama legendary field hockey team used to win championships through the Horn of Africa and British-Arabia, the then Aden. The legendary Amoud secondary schools have won so many champions among Somaliland secondary schools. Their smooth and talent laden games and maneuvers used to be the talk of the towns, and cities throughout Somaliland and beyond.
Why Borama is attractive to many people coming from far off lands
Before we get into that check out why Boston, Massachusetts is attractive to many Americans and other people around the globe? “Boston is a Mecca comprised of some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the nation, Boston draws students to such area institutions as Harvard College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston College, and Boston University.”Like Boston the city of Borama has a number of Universities, colleges, academies of higher learning, good high, middle and elementary schools. It also has the Al-Hayad Health Science Center, the Borama Fistula hospital, a specialist hospital whose kind is very rare in the Horn of Africa. There are also other good medical facilities around Borama metropolitan area. Moreover, Borama has an excellent weather, attractive quality of living, relative cheaper housing, extensive peace dividend, lush green scenery, and super strategic location. Borama is a college town that attacks students from all over the place including all the Horn of Africa, Europe, the United States, and Australia.
The city has very rich culture and folklore.
The city of Borma has a rich culture. It is a hospitable city where people civic minded. There are so many traditional folklore that is so widely practiced here. The most prominent is the ancient “Zeili folklore” which includes multiple languages such as Somali, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Afar. You have the “Sadehlay,” the “Harmadey Hana Habaan Niman Halaa Ma Haboone,” the “Dhaanto” (Awdal Version), the “Botor”, the “Jiifto”, The “Hoogwayn,” and others.
The city of sheikhs
The city of Awleya (people so religiously and spiritually referred)
The other city of light
The center of education
The home of art, literature, and poetry
The city of international cuisine such as European, Middle Eastern, Ethiopian, Zeili, Harari a, Yemeni, and so on
The city whose streets walked legends such as Hassan Sheikh Mumin ( preeminent playwright, composer, author, man of letters, and a man of vision, Khadija Balwo, Abdilcinemo, Omar Subagleh, Ugas Robleg, Sirad Ele, Doodeg, and Ugas Noor.
City of warriors such Gulleh Jidgo, Diriye Malaysteh, Robleg Afteeb, Waraabe Ade, Geedi Malableh, and so many others.
City of pioneering educators and scholars such Sh. Abdulrahman Shiekh Noor, honorable Aden IsaaK Ahmed, Sheikh Ali Jowhar, Shiekh Aw Gaab, Sheikh Idris Ali, Sheikh Awboobe,
city of schools, colleges, institutes of higher learning, universities, and Islamic academies
The center of the old prestigious and legendary Amoud Secondary School, the old Vocational Trading Center (VTC).
The great Center of Learning and enlightenment in the Horn of Africa
The place where ” 1956″ where the Burao founded Samaroon Civil Services Association (SCCA) funds for education were sent to help poor students who were unable to pay for their school fees.
Borama is the center of enlightenment, renaissance, second chances, tolerance, and forward-looking attitude based on “live and let live.”
In conclusion Borama is the other city of brotherly love, the New Philadelphia near the beautiful Harowa valley. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is called the city of brotherly love).
The city of music and sport
Borama has a long history of music and the Balwo. The city was once the center of music where Sullen Madder and his fellow “kabacad,” (White-shoes) used to listen to radio “Omdurman” playing gut wrenching Sudanese music, that was even before the rise of the Sudanese legends very well-known to all the Somali-speaking world such as the legendary Nubian vocalist Mohamed Warde, Abulkarim Alkabuli, Ahmed Awdad, Sayid Khalifa, Salah Ibnal Badiya and countless others.