Several million Somali live scattered across eight countries in the northeastern portion of Africa, commonly called the "Horn of Africa," and in the Middle East. They are one of the most homogenous people groups in Africa, speaking a common language, adhering to a single faith, and sharing a cultural heritage. Somalis first came to Africa around 1200 A.D. and were converted to Islam about 1550 by Arabian traders. Today, a relatively small number live in the United Arab Emirates. They have worked in various occupations including shepherding, farming, trading, and unskilled labor. The UAE is a federation of seven independent Arab states within the Arabian Peninsula, which is located on the southern end of the Persian Gulf. Although Somalis were originally nomadic shepherds, many now dwell in urban areas, serving as middlemen between the Arab world and their nomadic brothers of the interior.
Somali society is based on the nuclear family, which consists of a husband, wife and children. The man is the head of his household. A typical family owns a herd of sheep or goats and a few burden camels. Some may also own a herd of breeding and milking camels. The more camels a man has, the greater his prestige. Although the official language of the UAE is Arabic, the Somali speak the Somali language. They have often been called "a nation of poets in search of an alphabet," because the Somali language had no written script until 1972. The UAE has a hot climate with little rainfall. The humidity is often high along the coast, but the inland desert regions are dry. Temperatures range from 120 degrees F. in the summer months to 60 degrees F. in the winter. The economy, centered primarily on oil and oil-based industries, provides the UAE with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. To diversify the economy, the government has begun introducing new industries. The country has used its vast oil wealth to transform the economy through the expansion of roads, ports and airports. The government provides free hospitalization and medical care. Most of the population has access to health care and safe water. Education is free for all ages and is required for children up to 12 years old. Although the UAE has undergone extensive modernization, many Somalis have continued their lifestyles as nomadic shepherds. They live in portable huts made of wooden branches covered with grass mats. They are easily collapsible so that they can be loaded on pack animals and moved along with the herds. Their diet consists of milk, meats and wild fruits. Others, however, are more settled, living as farmers in permanent, round huts. Their diet includes corn, beans, rice, eggs, poultry, bananas, dates, mangoes, and coffee. Having an abundant supply of food is a status symbol among Somalis. Each family periodically holds banquets for their relatives and friends. A family's prestige is determined by the frequency of its feasts, the number of people invited, and the quality and quantity of food served.
Although Somalis are nearly all Sunni Muslims, numerous beliefs and traditions have been intermingled with their Islamic practices. The standard Islamic prayers are usually observed; however, Somali women have never worn the required veils. Villagers and urban settlers frequently turn to the wadaad (a religious expert) for blessings, charms and advice in worldly matters. These people depend upon good works to pay the penalty for their sins. They depend upon the spirit world for their daily needs because they regard Allah as too distant. They believe that Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well they live in their daily lives. Consequently, they must appease the spirits.
The greatest need of this people group is to hear and understand the infinite love of Almighty God who has paid the penalty of all their sins. They need to be set free from fear and the domination of evil spirits that ruin their lives. Who will take gospel resources to Issa Somali people in the UAE?
Pray for effectiveness of the JESUS Film and Christian radio and TV among them. Ask the Lord to raise up long term missionaries to live among Issa Somali people in UAE and share Christ's love with them. Ask the Lord to raise up a strong Disciple Making Movement among Issa Somali people in UAE.
Scripture Prayers for the Somali, Issa in United Arab Emirates.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|Link Up Africa|
|Praying for Somali|
|People Name General||Somali|
|People Name in Country||Somali, Issa|
|Natural Name||Issa Somali|
|Population this Country||40,000|
|Population all Countries||25,526,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||Yes|
|GSEC||1 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|Alternate Names||Issa; Ogaden; Sab; Shabelle; सोमाली|
Primary Language: Somali
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1972-1976)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching|
|Audio Recordings||DAVAR Partners recording, Old Testament|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament|
|Audio Recordings||Recorded oral Bible|
|Audio Recordings||Story of Jesus audio|
|Film / Video||God's Story video|
|Film / Video||I Against My Brother|
|Film / Video||Indigitube.tv Video / Animation|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Somali|
|Film / Video||Magdalena video|
|Film / Video||Story of Jesus for Children|
|Film / Video||The Prophets' Story|
|Film / Video||Walk with Jesus video|
|General||Biblical answers to your questions|
|General||Four Spiritual Laws|
|General||Gospel resources links|
|General||Walk with the Prophets and meet the Messiah|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 0.00 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|