Shopping in Hargeisa


Halimo brought me to Waahen, one of Hargeisa’s dry markets (there are only 2 the one near Radio Hargeisa, Gobanimo market and this one). Our mission: to buy Somali women clothes. We chose the 4 piece ensemble, the masar (head cover), direh (long dress) googarad (slip underneath the direh) and shalmad (upper body cover).

I always enjoy our trips to the local market, this is our version of malling. You should see her bargain, she’s tough. The man who dealt with this lady is Mohamed the owner of the shop.


You will find neatly hanged fabrics as you enter the market, its a colorful parade of textile. There are 2 classes, Shiid and Weel. The cheaper one is Shiid a little thick compared to Weel. It costs $3 per 4 meters, Weel on the other hand range from $12 to as high as $40 for the same length. Everything comes in different colors, the masar costs $1 each, shalmad $6-10 and the googarad $8-10. The challenge is how to mix and match all these pieces.

If you buy the cheaper ones, you’d end up with roughly $18 for the whole set, in shops in the center of the city it would cost $25-30 for the same quality. It’s quite cheap if you compare it to the clothes women wear during weddings which can reach $200 for the whole package.

There are women and men working on sewing machines, they would gladly sew your clothes as you wait it costs $.30 per piece.