|Regions with significant populations|
|Islam (Sunni, Sufism),|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Isaaq, Hawiye, Darod other Somali clans|
The Dir (Somali: Dir, Arabic: در), or Theyr bin Abdalla as mentioned in the book Futuh ul-Habasha, is a Somali clan. Its members mostly live in northwestern, central and southern of Somalia and Djibouti, in addition to the Somali Region of Ethiopia and the North Eastern Province in Kenya.
The main sub-clans of the Dir are the Issa of Djibouti and Ethiopia, as well as the Gadabuursi, Akisho (Akishe), Biamal (Biyomaal), Surre and Gurgura. Although often recognized as a Dir sub-clan, the Isaaq clan claims paternal descent from one Shaykh Ishaq ibn Ahmad al-Hashimi (Sheikh Isaaq).
According to an official military survey conducted during the colonial period, Dir clan members are by tradition believed to be descended from a forefather named Dir. Dir is held to be the great grandson of Ram Nag, an Arab migrant who landed in Zeila on the northwestern Somali coast. However, other accounts maintain that Ram Nag was of Indian, or of Abyssinian extraction.
Dir is also reputed to be the uncle of Esa Madoba, the patriarch of the Issa Dir sub-clan, as well as the brother of Hawiya Irrir, who founded the Hawiye clan. In addition, Dir is regarded as the father-in-law of Darod, the progenitor of the Darod clan.
Dir had four sons named:
- Haytham "Madahweyne"
- Salah "Mandaluug"
- Nuur "Madoobe"
- Khalid "Meha"
According to others, Dir had a fifth son, Qaldho Dir.
The Northern Dir consist of the Gadabuursi (Samaroon Siciid), the Issa Madoobe Dir of Djibouti, and the Isaaq. The Southern Dir and Western Dir of Ethiopia number over eleven clans who mostly come from the Madahweyne Dir or Meha Dir.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2010)|
Madahweyne in Ethiopia
The Dir in Ethiopia are represented by the Madahweyne Dir. The subclans of the Madahweyne (Madahweyne Dir) include: Gariir, Gurgura clan, Layiile, and Akisho (Gurre). Other Dir clans in Ethiopia are the Issa of Madoobe Dir, Samaroon Siciid (Gadabuursi) of Mandaluug Dir, Garre-Quranyow Maxamed, Gadsan, Fiqi Muhumand, Fiqi Yahye and Fiqi Cumar (Qubeys), Fiqi Khairre (Saleban Abdalle) of Meha Dir and others.
Most of the Dir clans in Ethiopia live in the Dire Dawa area, the Jijiga Zone, and along the Awash River. The rest of the Ethiopian Dir clans live in southern parts near the Somali border near Dolo Odo and as far as Guure Dhamoole and Negele Boran where the Garre Quranyow Maxamed Xiniftire subclans of Meha Dir live. Also the Guure(Akishe) are the dominant Somali clan in the Liben Zone at the extreme south of the Somali Region.
Surre in Bari and Mudug
In the Bari and Mudug regions of Somalia and all the way to Hiiraan region is another cluster of Dir clans known as the Surre Qubeys or Abdallas. The Surre have been associated with spreading the Islamic faith in Somalia and the Qadiriya Sufi tariiqa in southern Somalia. They left the Lafaruug area of Awdal where their founder was killed during the clashes with the Ethiopians and they were the defeated. That last defeat forced the Biamal to flee to the Lower Shabeele region while the Qubeys and Abdalles fled to Mudug and Bari.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2011)|
The Surre sub-clan is mainly local to Puntland state districts such as Mudug (Galkaiyo, Jariiban, and Hobyo) in particular Towfiq, El danane (Ceel dhanaane) and Awle (Cowle) of the Golol Valley which is dominated by the Saleban Abdalle segments Agoon, Daba(dabac), Siad, food'ade muuse Gorod Abdalle and Na'door(nacdoor Abdalle; Nugal (Eyl); Bari (Qardo, Bosaso, Qandala, Alulo)(siyaad); and Sanaag (Laasqoray), the Laasqoray Surre clan called locally Reer Cabaas or curdudub and live side by side with Warsangeli. In Galgudug, the Surre sub-clan of Cabdalle occupies territory extending 180 km from approx 20 km of Abudwaq to Balanballe parallel to the Ethio-Somalia boundary. The centre of the Surre in Galgadud in the district of Xeraale which is located between Dhusamared and Abudwaq (The heartland of the Dariqa sects Ahlu-Sunna Wal Jameeca). Southward, the Surre is also an integral part of the Hiiran region communities. The base of the Surre is the commercial and farmland villages of Alaabay, Kabhanley and Defow. Perhaps the most important region for the Surre remains Luq district of Gedo. The border town of Boholgaras to the limits of the Jubba River banks of Luq is dominated by Surre/Dir sub-clan of mainly Fiqi-Muhumed sub sub-clan. In the Jubba regions, Jamame is an important homeland of the Surre accompying their Biamal brothers who are vastly dominant in that area. The farmland town of Bender-Jadid is solely domiciled by the Surre.
The majority of western scholars (both Italian and British) simply referred to the Surre as the "Dir of central Somalia" without differentiating them, but recent studies in Somalia revealed that the majority of the Dir in Hiiran, Gedo, Jubba and Bakool are divided into two branches, the Qubeyes and Abdalles, both descendants of Surre.
The Surre are allocated five MPs among the Transitional Federal Parliament namely: Mahad Abdalla Awad, Jeylani Ali Kediye, Nasra Abdisalam Alim, Sh. Mohamed Sh. Yusuf Direed, and Qamar Adan Ali.
Biamal in southern Somalia
Other branches of the Dir include the ancient Biamal clan, which occupy an area from 35 km from Mogadishu south to Jilib and Kismaayo, not far from border with Kenya. The Biamal fought against the Italian colonial rulers of Southern Somalia in a twenty-year war known as the Biamal Revolt, in which the Dir assassinated several Italian governors.
Fiqicilmi is one of the main subclans of Biamal. The Fiqicilmi clan inhabits Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. And the Fiqicilmi has the following subclans:
- Omar Faqi
- Adan Faqi
- Abdirahman Faqi
- Ibrahim Faqi
- Mohamoud Faqi
- Diini Faqi
Gaadsan, a subclan of Biamal, is one of the largest clans of the Dir. Their homelands are divided amongst three countries: Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. In Ethiopia, Gaadsan clan reside in three woredas: Liben (Jarrati, Waladaya, Doolow and Guuredhamole), Gode (Iimey and Boola), and Misraq Gashamo (Nusdariiq, Marsin, Kabtinuur and Qabridhare). The Gaadsan in Somalia mainly live in Bakool, Gedo and the Lower Juba Regions. In Kenya there is a third division of Gaadsan, known as Gaadsan-Kenya, the brother of Wardey Clan (subclan of Madaxweyne Dir). Both Gadsan and Wardey have settled on the largest and wealthiest lands of Somali Kenya such as Bangal, Garseeni, and Hoolla.
Gurgura Madahweyne Dir in Dire Dawa
The Gurgura Dir is a sub-clan of the Madahweyne Dir. The Gurgura, Madigan (Gasare subclan) and the Barsuug Madaxweyne Dir are among the Somali Dir clans mentioned in the Fatuh ul-Habasha, the account of Imam Ahmed Gragn's campaigns against the Christians of the Ethiopian highlands in the 16th century.[page needed]
Political groups associated with the Dir clans include the following groups in Somalia and Ethiopia:
- Front for the Liberation of Djibouti
- Gurgura Liberation Front led by Abdelasis Ahmed
- Western Somali Liberation Front, led by Abdi Ismail and representing the Gadabursi
- Horyel Democratic Party, also representing the Gadabursi
- Issa and Gurgura Liberation Front of Ethiopia.
- Somali Democratic Alliance of the Gadabursi Dir clan.
- Southern Somali National Movement of the mostly Mohamed Xiniftire Dir Clans (Surre, Biamal) of Jubba, Gedo, Bardheere, and Shabeellaha Hoose region.
- Democratic Liberation Front supported Central Somalia Dir groups.
- Alliance Ahlusunna Wal-jam'a in central Somalia (Surre)
There is no clear agreement on the clan and sub-clan structures and many lineages are omitted. The following listing is taken from the World Bank's Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics from 2005 and the United Kingdom's Home Office publication, Somalia Assessment 2001.
In the south central part of Somalia the World Bank shows the following clan tree:
- Habar Je'lo
- Habar Awal
- Habar Tol
- I.M. Lewis, A Modern History of the Somali, fourth edition (Oxford: James Currey, 2002), p. 22
- Hunt, John Anthony (1951). A general survey of the Somaliland Protectorate 1944-1950: final report on 'An economic survey and reconnaissance of the British Somaliland Protectorate 1944-1950,' Colonial Development and Welfare Scheme, Part 484. To be purchased from the Chief Secretary. p. 151. OCLC 3011788. "Dir, the father-in-law of Darod, is said to be the uncle of Esa Madoba and brother of Hawiya Irrir, who founded the Esa tribe of Zeila and the Hawiya of Somalia respectively. Ram Nag, the great-grandfather of Dir, and Samarone the patriarch of the Gadabursi, are of unknown origin, but probably Arabians who landed at Zeila."
- I. M. Lewis, Peoples of the Horn of Africa: Somali, Afar and Saho, (Red Sea Press: 1998), p.14.
- Hassan Ali Jama, Who cares about Somalia: Hassan's ordeal ; reflections on a nation's future, (Schiler: 2005), p.147.
- Worldbank, Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics, January 2005, Appendix 2, Lineage Charts, p.55 Figure A-1
- Country Information and Policy Unit, Home Office, Great Britain, Somalia Assessment 2001, Annex B: Somali Clan Structure, p. 43
- Worldbank, Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics, January 2005, Appendix 2, Lineage Charts, p.56 Figure A-2