Infobox Settlement
official_name = Harar
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imagesize = 340px
image_caption = Harar enclosed within the city wall, "Jugol"

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pushpin_label_position = right
pushpin_map_caption = Location within Ethiopia
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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Ethiopia
subdivision_type1 = Region
subdivision_name1 = Harari
subdivision_type2 = Zone
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population_as_of = 2005
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population_total = 122,000
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timezone = EAT
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latd=9 |latm=19 |latNS=N
longd=42 |longm=7 |longEW=E
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elevation_m = 1885
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Harar (var. Harrar, Hārer, Harer; _so. Adari ) is an eastern city in Ethiopia, and the capital of the modern Harari ethno-political division (or "kilil") of Ethiopia. The city is located on a hilltop, in the eastern extension of the Ethiopian highlands about five hundred kilometers from Addis Ababa with an elevation of 1885 meters.

Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, Harar has an estimated total population of 122,000, of whom 60,000 were males and 62,000 were females. [ [http://www.csa.gov.et/text_files/2005_national_statistics.htm CSA 2005 National Statistics] , Table B.4] According to the census of 1994, on which this estimate is based, the city has a population of 76,378.

For centuries, Harar has been a major commercial centre, linked by the trade routes with the rest of Ethiopia, the entire Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and, through its ports, the outside world.

Harar Jugol has been included in the World Heritage List in 2006 by UNESCO in recognition of its cultural heritage. [ [http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=19189&Cr=world&Cr1=heritage Panda sanctuary, tequila area join UN World Heritage sites] ] It is considered "the fourth holiest city of Islam" with 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and 102 shrines. [cite web
title=Five new heritage sites in Africa
accessdate = 2006-12-18
date =July 13 2006
work =
publisher = BBC
quote = Harar Jugol, seen as the fourth holiest city of Islam, includes 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th Century, and 102 shrines.

Harar is also famous for its distinctive, natural processed coffees which bear the same name.


Called "Gey" ("the City") by its inhabitants, Harar was founded between the 7th and the 11th century (according to different sources)Fact|date=April 2008 and emerged as the center of Islamic culture and religion in the Horn of Africa. It was part of the Adal Sultanate (at times a vassal of Ethiopia) of which it became the capital in 1520 under Abu Bakr. From Harar, Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi, also known as "Gragn the Left-handed," launched a war of conquest in the sixteenth century that extended its territory and even threatened the existence of the Christian Ethiopian empire. His successor, Emir Nur ibn Mujahid, encircled the city with a wall, 4 meters high and with five gates. This wall, called "Jugol", is still intact, and is a symbol of the town to the inhabitants. Infobox World Heritage Site
WHS = Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town

State Party = ETH
Type = Cultural
Criteria = ii, iii, iv, v
ID = 1189
Region = Africa
Year = 2006
Session = 30th
Link = http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1189

The sixteenth century was the Golden Age of Harar. The local culture flourished, and many poets lived and wrote there. It also became known for coffee, weaving, basketry and bookbinding. The rulers of Harar also struck its own currency, the earliest possible issues bearing a date that may be read as AH 615 (= AD 1218/19); but definitely by AD 1789 the first coins were issued, and more were issued into the nineteenth century. [Richard Pankhurst, "An Introduction to the Economic History of Ethiopia" (London: Lalibela House, 1961), p. 267.]

The city managed to maintain its independence until 1875, when it was conquered by Egypt. During this period, Arthur Rimbaud lived in the city - his former house now a museum. Ten years later, it regained its independence, but this lasted only two years until 6 January 1887 when the Battle of Chelenqo led to Harar's incorporation into the "Negus" Menelik II of Ethiopia's growing Empire based in Shewa.

Harar lost some of its commercial importance with the creation of the Addis Ababa - Djibouti Railway, initially intended to run via the city but diverted north of the mountains between Harar and the Awash River to save money. As a result of this, Dire Dawa was founded in 1902 as "New Harar".

In 1995 the city and its environs became an Ethiopian region (or "kilil") in its own right. A pipeline to carry water to the city from Dire Dawa is currently under construction.


The inhabitants of Harar represent several ethnic groups, both Muslim and Christian, including Oromo, Somali,Amhara, Gurage, Tigray, and others. Nevertheless, within the walled city, the indigenous Harari are predominant. The Harari, who refer to themselves as "Gey 'Usu" ("People of the City") are a Semitic speaking people, once thought to be descended from an Aksumite military outpost. Today, they are most commonly classed as a social and cultural, rather than as a distinct ethnic group, since most families have intermingled with the neighboring groups, and were welcoming of foreigners into their community. Their language, Harari, constitutes a Semitic pocket in a predominantly Cushitic region. Originally written in the Arabic script, it has recently converted to the Ge'ez alphabet.


The old town is home to 110 mosques and many more shrines, centered on Feres Magala square. Notable buildings include Medhane Alem Cathedral, the house of Ras Mekonnen, the house of Arthur Rimbaud, and the sixteenth century Jami Mosque. Harrar Bira Stadium is the home stadium for the Harrar Beer Botling FC, used for football (soccer) matches. One can also visit the market.A long standing tradition of feeding meat to hyenas has also developed (during the 1960s) into an impressive night show for tourists.

Other places of interest include the highest amba overlooking the city, the Kondudo or "W" mountain, which hosts an ancient population of feral horses. A 2008 scientific mission has unleashed efforts for their conservation, as they are one of the most endangered wild horse packs in the world. [http://www.ena.gov.et/EnglishNews/2008/Jan/09Jan08/47466.htm]


Further reading

* Fritz Stuber, "Harar in Äthiopien - Hoffnungslosigkeit und Chancen der Stadterhaltung" (Harar in Ethiopia - The Hopelessness and Challenge of Urban Preservation), in: "Die alte Stadt. Vierteljahreszeitschrift für Stadtgeschichte, Stadtsoziologie, Denkmalpflege und Stadtentwicklung" (W. Kohlhammer Stuttgart Berlin Köln), Vol. 28, No. 4, 2001, ISSN 0170–9364, pp. 324-343, 14 ill.

ee also

*List of emirs of Harar (after 1660)
*Harar Brewery
*Harar coffee
*Islam in Ethiopia

External links

* [http://www.harraris.com/ Harari portal - Gateway to Harar and Harraris on the web]
* [http://www.harariach.com/ Harari People -Harraris finder community]
* [http://www.13suns.com/harar.htm Harar and the Hayena man Performance]
* [http://www.camillagibb.ca/albammain.html Writer Camilla Gibb's photos of Harar]
* [http://www.ethiopiantreasures.toucansurf.com/pages/harar.htm Ethiopian Treasures - Harar City Wall]
* [http://digilander.libero.it/capurromrc/!03harar.html Map of Harar (1936)]
* [http://www.4dw.net/royalark/Ethiopia/harrar.htm List of Emirs of Adal and Harar (complete)]
* [http://www.hcaaustralia.com/ Harari Australia portal - Gateway to Harar and Harraris on the web]
* [http://www.pascalmeunier.com/reportages_photos_en.php?piId=952 Photos Pascal Meunier]
* [http://www.jongoering.com Jon Goering, Photojournalist - Harar gallery]

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