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The Swahili Coast refers to the coastal area of East Africa inhabited by the Swahili speakers and includes the coasts of Kenya, Tanzania, south Somalia and north Mozambique. Ibn Battuta travelled along the Swahili Coast in 1331 and visited quite a number of cities like Mogadishu, Mombasa, Kilwa, etc.

 The Swahili Coast during ancient times was an important commercial area. The Swahili Coast along Kenya and Tanzania, have served as the point of cultural and commercial exchange between East Africa and the rest of the world.

Barawa is a port town located in the south-eastern coast of Somalia. The town holds a lot of historical significance and was established in the 9th century. The town is popular for traditional crafts like Kikoy or Aliindi clothes and hats.

The Horn of Africa is referred to the area of North-eastern Africa and at times also called as the Somali Peninsula. The area extends into the Arabian Sea and is located on the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. The countries in the region include Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Ibn Battuta first stepped foot in Somalia in 1331 and visited a few cities along the coast. The Horn of Africa is considered as the Conservation International Biodiversity hotspot. There are several mammals, birds and reptiles found in the Horn of Africa.

Somalia was a country of importance in the past as a vital commercial centre. The main attractions in the country are the port of Mogadishu, Hargeisa and Bosaso. The islands off the shore of Zeila used to be excellent sites for diving. Close to Hargeisa there are a number of cave paintings dating back to the ancient times. Berbera has a number of white sandy beaches.

With the city overview of Mardin in Turkey, published by us today, we have just come to the end of the second phase of the Journeyed Cities of Ibn Battuta. From Mardin he went back to perform Hajj and in fact stayed there for more than three years before embarking on his next travels. The next phase was probably the most adventurous phase of his travels! If you have not done so yet, grab a translation of his "Rihla", it is really worth reading.

In the first part of the journey from Tangiers in Morocco, he covered cities in the regions of the present day Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. After doing his first Hajj he proceeded to explore Iraq, Iran and two Turkish cities on the border of Iraq and Syria.

The Silk Road is one of the most famous trade routes since the ancient times. The Silk Road extended over thousands of miles and was used for transporting goods, silk, satin and luxuries. Silk was the main item to be transported along the Silk Route.

Ibn Battuta while returning from Tabriz to Baghdad travelled on the Silk Road. Tabriz was the first city that opened its gates to the Mongols and became an important trading centre.

The Silk Road was originally a trade route within China, which later expanded under the rule of the Han Dynasty. The route covered ancient China, ancient India, Asia Minor and Mediterranean. The silk trade route also played a significant role in the development of relations between the different regions. The trade between the east and west fell in the 3rd century with the fall of the Han Dynasty. It started functioning again under the rule of Emperor Wu Di and by the year 1400 it stopped function as a trade route for silk.

February 1304 (Rajab 703) : Haji Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta was born in Tangiers, Morocco

June 1325 (Rajab 725) : Started his journey from Tangiers. His intention of the journey was perform Haj and visit the tomb of prophet (peace be upon him). He sets out with a very heavy heart due being seperated from his parents. He never sees them again.

Year 1325 ( 725) : Crosses into modern day Algeria, the first destination of Ibn Battuta when he set out on his voyage.

Enters Tlemcen and mentions performing Salaathul Istikhara on making a decision to accompany the tow two ambassadors of the Sultan of Tunis

Hajji Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta is one of the renowned travelers in the Islamic history and the world as well. Born in Tangier, Morocco in February 1304, Ibn Battuta set out on his voyage with the intention to perform Hajj in 1325 (725H) as a 21 year old. This eventually took him on a fascinating journey through the Muslim world of the 14th Century (8th Century Hijrah).

During a period of around 40 years he travelled through (what is today) more than 40 countries. It is estimated that he covered more than 120,000 kilometers by land. He traveled throughout the Muslim World and visited North Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China.

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