By Reno Rollins
Gambling is illegal in Somaliland. The primary reason for this is the country’s devotion to Islam, which specifically prohibits practices such as gambling and alcohol.
Located in the Horn of Africa, Somaliland is bordered by Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Major cities and towns in Somaliland include: Hargeisa, Burco, Berbera, Boorama, Ceerigaabo, Laascaanood, Gabiley, Zeila and Odweyne.
The following regions are under full or partial control of the Republic of Somaliland:
From July 1st, 1960, Somaliland was a legal part of the Somali Republic (which included Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland protectorate). In 1991, when the Somalian central government collapsed, the territory claimed its independence and took the title of the Republic of Somaliland. The first free elections were held in 2003. Somaliland continues to lay claim to the area once possessed by British Somaliland, and they currently control the western half of that territory.
The official currency is the Somaliland shilling. It is regulated by the Bank of Somaliland, but is not a recognized global currency and has no exchange rate.
The primary export of Somaliland is livestock, but skins, hides, frankincense and myrrh are also important. Agriculture and mining play an important role within the borders of Somaliland, and a number of tourists visit each year to view the famous Laas Gaal cave painting.
Somaliland has two official languages: the Arabic language and the Somali language. Arabic is required to be taught in all schools and mosques, but English is also taught in many schools.
Islam is the state religion, and almost all citizens are Sunni Muslim. Men only shake hands with men, while Somalis avoid gambling, alcohol and pork. On Fridays, most Somalis will gather for a groups sermon and prayer.
A small element of the Roman Catholic Church is also present in the country.
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