Somalis frequently use wordplay and humor in everyday communication.
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.Vegetation is generally sparse, except in the area between the Jubba and the Shabeelle Rivers in south-central Somalia.A semiarid plain called the Guban runs parallel to the northern coast of Somalia.The Karkaar Mountains extend from Somalia's northwestern border to the eastern tip of the Horn of Africa, with the highest point, Shimber Berris, at 7,900 feet (2,408 meters).
South of the mountain ranges, a central plateau known as the Haud extends to the Shabeelle River and westward into the Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia.
Other symbols of Somalia are the five-pointed white star on the Somali flag and the crescent, which represents the new moon and is a universal symbol of the Islamic faith.
Each point of the star represents a land that is home to Somali people: the portion within the national boundaries, once divided into two territories, Italian and British; the Ogaden region of Ethiopia; the Northern Frontier District of Kenya; and Djibouti.
Punt is also mentioned in the Bible, and ancient Romans called it Cape Aromatica.
Somalia is named for the legendary father of the Somali people, Samaal (or Samale).
In 2000 a Somali assembly voted to make Mogadishu the new president's base but to move other government functions to the city of Baidoa, northwest of Mogadishu, until the capital could be rebuilt. No census was taken in Somalia until 1975, and those figures were not reported.