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Sheikh Isaaq's tomb in Maydh.
Sheikh Isaaq's tomb in Maydh.
Maydh is located in Somalia
Location in Northern Somalia .
Coordinates: 11°0′N 47°7′E / 11.000°N 47.117°E / 11.000; 47.117Coordinates: 11°0′N 47°7′E / 11.000°N 47.117°E / 11.000; 47.117
Country  Somalia
Region Sanaag
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)

Maydh (also transliterated as Mait or Meit) is an ancient port city in the northern Sanaag region of the self-declared state of Somaliland.


According to Augustus Henry Keane, Maydh represents an early center of dispersal of the Somali people. National genealogies collected by the scholars Cox and Abud assert that many clan patriarchs are buried in or nearby the town.[1]

The city of Maydh was home to Sheikh Isaaq (Sheekh Isaxaaq), who, according to tradition, moved to Somalia from the Arabian Peninsula in the 12th or 13th century CE. He is considered to be the founding father of the large Isaaq clan that primarily inhabits the Somaliland region of Somalia, as well as parts of Djibouti and the Ogaden. Sheikh Isaaq's domed tomb is also located here.[2] The graves of the ancestors of the Issa and Gadabuursi clans, whose territories are several hundred miles away, are located nearby.[2]

Northern Somalia in general is home to numerous such archaeological sites, with similar edifices found at Haylaan, Qa’ableh, Qombo'ul and El Ayo. However, many of these old structures have yet to be properly explored, a process which would help shed further light on local history and facilitate their preservation for posterity.[3]

In his medieval Futuh Al-Habash ("Conquest of Abyssinia") documenting the Abyssinian–Adal war, the chronicler Shihab ad-Din notes that the Harti Darod were at the time the predominant authority in Maydh.[4] He thus consistently refers to them as the "People of Mait".[5]


Maydh is situated in the Sanaag region, part of the self-declared state of Somaliland.

Maydh has one elementary school and a middle school. It is served by the Erigavo General Hospital, situated around 79 km (49 mi) southeast.

Maydh Island is located about 30 km (19 mi) to the northeast in the Gulf of Aden.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A.H. Keane, Man, Past and Present, (Cambridge University Press: 1920), p.485.
  2. ^ a b I.M. Lewis, "The Somali Conquest of the Horn of Africa", Journal of African History, 1 (1960), pp. 219-220
  3. ^ Michael Hodd, East African Handbook, (Trade & Travel Publications: 1994), p.640.
  4. ^ Peter J. M. McEwan, Nineteenth-Century Africa, Volume 2 of Readings in African History, (Oxford University Press: 1968), p.183.
  5. ^ Charles Lee Geshekter, Somali Studies International Association (1992). The Proceedings of the First International Congress of Somali Studies. Scholars Press. p. 186. ISBN 0891306587.