Portal:Djibouti

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The Djibouti Portal

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Djibouti (Arabic: جيبوتي Jībūtī, [Jabuuti] error: {{lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help)), officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The history of Djibouti is recorded in poetry, songs, and folklore of its nomadic people and goes back thousands of years to a time when Djiboutians traded hides and skins for the perfumes and spices of ancient Egypt, India, and China. Through close contacts with the Arabian peninsula for more than 1,000 years, the Somali and Afar ethnic groups in this region became among the first on the African continent to adopt Islam.

French interest developed in the nineteenth century when the area was ruled by the sultan of Raheita, Tadjoura and Gobaad. The French bought the anchorage of Obock in 1862 and expanded it eventually to a colony called French Somaliland with essentially the current boundaries. In 1967, the area became the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas.

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Arabic albayancalligraphy.svg

Arabic (العربية al-ʿarabīyah, (About this soundArabic pronunciation ) or عربي ʿarabi) is a Central Semitic language, thus related to and classified alongside other Semitic languages such as Hebrew and the Neo-Aramaic languages. Arabic has more speakers than any other language in the Semitic language family. It is spoken by more than 280 million people as a first language, most of whom live in the Middle East and North Africa, and by 250 million more as a second language. Arabic has many different, geographically-distributed spoken varieties, some of which are mutually unintelligible. Modern Standard Arabic is widely taught in schools, universities, and used in workplaces, government and the media.

Modern Standard Arabic derives from Classical Arabic, the only surviving member of the Old North Arabian dialect group, attested in Pre-Islamic Arabic inscriptions dating back to the 4th century. Classical Arabic has also been a literary language and the liturgical language of Islam since its inception in the 7th century.

Arabic has lent many words to other languages of the Islamic world. During the Middle Ages, Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe, especially in science, mathematics and philosophy. As a result, many European languages have also borrowed many words from it. (Read more...)

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Credit: Carlotta Holley

Members of the Djibouti Army stand at attention at the closing ceremonies of the multi-national, Eastern Africa Standby Force Field Training Exercise in Grand Bara, Djibouti, 4 December 2009.

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Selected biography

Ali Mohamed Daoud, also known as Jean-Marie (born 28 August 1950), is a Djiboutian politician and the President of the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD). He is currently a member of the National Assembly of Djibouti.

Daoud is a member of the Afar ethnic group. FRUD, fighting on behalf of Afar interests, began a rebellion against the Issa-dominated government in 1991. Daoud led the moderate faction of FRUD in signing a peace agreement with the government in December 1994. As a result of the agreement, he joined the government (together with one other FRUD member, Secretary-General Ougouré Kiflé Ahmed) as Minister of Public Health and Social Affairs on 8 June 1995. Daoud's faction of FRUD also allied with the governing People's Rally for Progress (RPP). On 15–16 April 1997, FRUD held its First Congress; Daoud, who was already FRUD President, remained in that position at the congress. Daoud was elected to the National Assembly in the December 1997 parliamentary election as the first candidate on the joint candidate list of the RPP and FRUD for Tadjourah Region.

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