Somalia, or the Federal Republic of Somalia to be precise, is located on the Horn of Africa which protrudes for hundreds of miles into the Arabian Sea. Somalia has the longest coastline on the continent of Africa (stretching to almost twelve hundred miles) and during the Middle Ages was the stronghold of numerous powerful Somali trading empires. Central government control over the territory ceased to exist when the civil war started in 1991 and the country is now largely run by regional administrations, a system that actually seems to work, up to a point.
Sport plays a large part in the lives of many Somali people with football and basketball the two most popular activities, by far. The gold medal-winning exploits of Somali-born Mo Farah for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics might encourage local youngsters to take up long distance running but it’s doubtful if the re-introduction of golf to the 2016 Olympic program will have the same effect in downtown Mogadishu. There was once a nine-hole golf course in the grounds of the US Embassy in the Somali capital, but to our knowledge it no longer exists.