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Somalis frequently use wordplay and humor in everyday communication.
Arabic, the language of the Qur'an, is spoken and read for religious purposes.
It is bordered on the north by the Gulf of Aden, on the east by the Indian Ocean, on the southwest by Kenya, and on the west and northwest by Ethiopia and Djibouti.
At approximately 246,200 square miles (637,658 square kilometers), Somalia is about the size of Texas.
About three-quarters of the people live in rural areas and one-quarter in the cities.
Mogadishu was largely destroyed in the fighting between clans during the civil war of the 1990s.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.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.