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.





  1. Asmahan Sh. Mussa said,

    June 25, 2004 at 11:20 am

    Hi Yvette,

    I always look forward to the time I spend on your blog and thank you for the good job you do. These beautiful and colourful pictures take me back to when I was in S/Land 12/03 to 03/04. I enjoyed going to the markets and bargaining (bargaining was hard for me in the beginning but I mastered it quickly). I definately wish I was in your shoes i.e. being in my home land. I hope you’ll still be there when I visit next.
    Nabad gelyo 🙂

  2. Jama said,

    June 25, 2004 at 2:54 pm

    hi Yvette
    exiting! l didn’nt know that the somalilanders
    in Hargeisa have so much of variety of clothes
    for shoping. complement. l guess the life of
    business is coming back to good old days of
    60’s. God bless to all SOMALILANDERS where ever
    they are existing abroad and at home.
    Ahmed M.Jama, Nuernberg,Germmany

  3. ahmed hussein said,

    June 25, 2004 at 6:31 pm

    hi yvette

    first of all thnkz 4 this wonderfull and colourfull website, i logon everytime i come at the net to see if there is new pics today,i came back to the country 2001 if i knew where u based i could came and see u, but i will visit u one in the will of Allah.

    yvette keep the good work and i wish u all the best. please let me know i f i can do anything 4 u to make this website more attractive. i live in the UK.

    many thnkz again and well done yvette.

  4. mohamed said,

    June 26, 2004 at 9:14 am

    The name of the Mall is Waahen.

  5. tet gallardo said,

    July 23, 2004 at 2:22 pm

    Happy Birthday, Yvette

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