Mogadishu locally known as Xamar or Hamar, is the capital and most populous city of Somalia. Located in the coastal Banadir region on the Somali Sea, the city has served as an important port for millennia. The original inhabitants are known as Reer Xamar (English: Hamar people). As of 2017, it had a population of 2,425,000 residents. Mogadishu is the nearest foreign mainland city to Seychelles, at a distance of 835 mi (1,344 km) over the Somali Sea.
Tradition and old records assert that southern Somalia, including the Mogadishu area, was historically inhabited by hunter-gatherers. These were later joined by Cushitic-speaking agro-pastoralists, who would go on to establish local aristocracies. During its medieval Golden Age, Mogadishu was ruled by the Muzaffar dynasty, and later by the Ajuran Sultanate. This is found mainly in the Banaadiri oral traditions who are the native population. It subsequently fell under the control of an assortment of local Sultanates and polities, most notably the Sultanate of the Geledi. The sultanate of the Geledi were in an alliance with the Zanbiar Dynasty. The city later became the capital of Italian Somaliland (1889–1936) in the colonial period. When the Italians arrived in Mogadishu the city had two towns only. These towns were Xamar Weyne and Shingaani. The people who lived in these towns were known as "reer xamar" who were the original population and the people that lived outside these towns, what is modern day Hodan, Boondhere and all the districts were known as Xamar Daye. These tribes mainly included Reer Mataan sub tribes. The Xamar Daye, being nomadic people used their lands as grazing lands and used them for things such as camel herding. They sold their cattle in bulk to the reer xamar merchants, who were urban dwellers and seafarers; they in turn traded these items throughout the Indian Ocean and brought back luxury goods such as ivory. After the Somali Republic became independent in 1960
Mogadishu became known and promoted as the White Pearl of the Indian Ocean. After the ousting of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 and the ensuing Somali Civil War, various militias fought for control of the city, later to be replaced by the Islamic Courts Union in the mid-2000s. The ICU thereafter splintered into more radical groups, notably al-Shabaab, which fought the Transitional Federal Government (2004–2012) and its African Union Mission to Somalia allies. With a change in administration in late 2010, government troops and their military partners had succeeded in forcing out Al-Shabaab by August 2011. Mogadishu has subsequently experienced a period of intense reconstruction.
As Somalia's capital city, many important national institutions are based in Mogadishu. It is the seat of theFederal Government of Somaliaestablished in August 2012, with theSomalia Federal Parliamentserving as the government'slegislativebranch. Abdirahman Omar Osman has been theMayor of Mogadishusince January 2018.Villa Somaliais theofficial residentialpalaceand principal workplace of thePresident of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. In May 2012, theFirst Somali Bankwas established in the capital, which organized Mogadishu's first everTechnology, Entertainment, Design(TEDx) conference. The establishment of a local construction yard has also galvanized the city's real-estate sector.Arba'a Rukun Mosqueis one of the oldest Islamic places of worship in the capital, built circaAH 667 (1268–69 CE). TheMosque of Islamic Solidarityin Mogadishu is the largest masjid in theHornregion.Mogadishu Cathedralwas built in 1928 by the colonial authorities in Italian Somalia in aNormanGothicstyle, and served as the traditional seat of theRoman Catholic Diocese of Mogadiscio. TheNational Museum of Somaliais based in Mogadishu and holds many culturally important artefacts. TheNational Library of Somaliais undergoing aUS$1.5 million Somali federal government funded renovation, including a new library complex.
Mogadishu is home to a number of scholastic and media institutions. As part of the municipality's urban renewal program, 100 schools across the capital are scheduled to be refurbished and reopened. TheSomali National University(SNU) was established in the 1950s, and professors from the university later founded the non-governmentalMogadishu University(MU).Benadir University(BU) was established in 2002 with the intention of training doctors. Various national sporting bodies have their headquarters in Mogadishu, including theSomali Football Federationand theSomali Olympic Committee.Mogadishu Stadiumwas constructed in 1978 during theSiad Barreadministration, with the assistance of Chinese engineers. It hostsfootballmatches with teams from theSomali First Divisionand theSomalia Cup. Additionally, thePort of Mogadishuserves as a major national seaport and is the largest harbour in Somalia.Mogadishu International Airportis the capital's main airport.