Somalia was known to the ancient Egyptians as the Land of Punt.
A semiarid plain called the Guban runs parallel to the northern coast of Somalia.
The remainder are Indians, Pakistanis, other Asians, Arabs, Europeans, and groups of mixed ancestry. Somali did not become a written language until January 1973.
Common Somali is the most widely spoken dialect, but Coastal Somali and Central Somali also are spoken.
These included Mogadishu, established as the first Arab settlement in East Africa.
The city was at the height of its influence and wealth during the thirteenth century, when it controlled the gold trade on the East African coast. They joined with the Arabs in fighting the Islamic holy wars against Ethiopian Christians in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.