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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.In spite of national boundaries, all Somalis consider themselves one people.

Somalia was known to the ancient Egyptians as the Land of Punt.

They valued its trees which produced the aromatic gum resins frankincense and myrrh.

In 2000 a Somali assembly voted to make Mogadishu the new president's base but to move other government functions to the city of Baidoa, northwest of Mogadishu, until the capital could be rebuilt. No census was taken in Somalia until 1975, and those figures were not reported.

The large number of nomads makes it difficult to get an accurate population count.

Somalis frequently use wordplay and humor in everyday communication.