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During the rainy seasons, from April to June and from October to November, this area provides plenty of water and grazing lands for livestock.Somalia's two rivers, the Jubba and the Shabeelle, flow from the Ethiopian highlands into southeastern Somalia.The Shabeelle (Leopard) River does not enter the Indian Ocean but instead turns parallel to the coast and runs southward for 170 miles (274 kilometers) before drying up in marshes and sand flats. The port city of Mogadishu, in southeastern Somalia on the Indian Ocean, is the largest city and the traditional capital of Somalia.Mogadishu was largely destroyed in the fighting between clans during the civil war of the 1990s.Two African leopards adorn the national emblem, a five-pointed white star on a light blue shield with a gold border. The Somalis are tall and wiry in stature, with aquiline features, elongated heads, and light brown to black skin. Arabs introduced the Islamic faith to Africa beginning in the seventh century.By the tenth century, Arab trading posts thrived in southern Somalia, along the Indian Ocean.Its coastline extends about 1,800 miles (2,896 kilometers).Somalia is hot for much of the year, with two wet and two dry seasons.
Arabic, the language of the Qur'an, is spoken and read for religious purposes.
About three-quarters of the people live in rural areas and one-quarter in the cities.