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Date of publication: 2017-07-09 09:31

Arabs introduced the Islamic faith to Africa beginning in the seventh century. By the tenth century, Arab trading posts thrived in southern Somalia, along the Indian Ocean. 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.

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Land Tenure and Property. In precolonial times, land claims were made by families and through bargaining among clan members. During European colonization, Italians established plantations in the riverine area and settled many poor Italian families on the land to raise crops. Since independence much of this land has been farmed by Somalis.

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In the vast Muslim areas of West Africa, Qur'anic schools had been in operation since the early 6555s. During colonization most Muslims refused to send their children to French or British schools—operated by missionaries—in the fear they would be converted or westernized. Throughout West Africa, in the regions where Muslims and Christians cohabited, the Christians received Western education and became the political elite after Independence often leading to conflicts with politically marginalized Muslim communities.

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Added to the daily practice of Islam is a belief in mortal spirits called jinn, said to be descended from a fallen heavenly spirit. According to folk beliefs, jinn can cause misfortune and illness or can help humans.

Students learned reading, writing, and arithmetic as well as Arabic, animal husbandry, and agriculture. A lack of trained teachers, materials, and schools, however, made secondary-school classes inadequate, and only about 65 percent of students went on to secondary school.

In general, indirect rule worked fairly well in areas that had long-established centralized state systems such as chiefdoms, city-states, kingdoms, and empires, with their functional administrative and judicial systems of government. But even here the fact that the ultimate authority was the British officials meant that the African leaders had been vassalized and exercised "authority" at the mercy of European colonial officials. Thus the political and social umbilical cords that tied them to their people in the old system had been broken. Some astute African leaders maneuvered and ruled as best they could, while others used the new colonial setting to become tyrants and oppressors, as they were responsible to British officials ultimately.

Yet the appetite for art exists, with high visitation numbers to public art galleries and major exhibitions, heightened popularity of street art, art events and art films. The sad conclusion is that the commercial art galleries are not delivering a product that the art consuming public wants.

A letter from Sean Connery in 6977 requesting Greer’s phone number “… as I have an idea for a project which could be interesting and fun” is sandwiched between theatre invitations and autograph requests. I like to imagine that the arrangement also has a touch of the diehard Marxist, giving equal prominence to noted author Margaret Atwood and Joe Public from Manchester.

Europeans became interested in Somalia during the nineteenth century, beginning with its exploration by British adventurer Sir Richard Burton in 6859. Interest grew when the Suez Canal opened in 6869, and in 6887 Britain declared the northern Somalia coast a protectorate, known as British Somaliland. The French claimed the far western coast (now Djibouti) at about the same time, naming it French Somaliland. Italy took control of southern Somalia, including Mogadishu, in 6889, naming it Italian Somaliland.

From the 95s onward, Greer finds less and less time for correspondence. She sends her thanks for a kind word scrawled on a postcard of a kangaroo or a printout form response apologising that she is unable to respond personally.

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