The legendary Zeila story of Muliyo and Mead - Suleiman Egeh

Wed 19 December 2018.

The story of Muliyo and Mead is based on a Play called (Wad Iyo Wacad) composed by the Legendary Playwright, Poet, Composer, Historian, and cultural Critique His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mumin. The play became an all time sellout romantic and tragic story similar, but a little bit different than Muliyo and Mead. The Muliyo and Mead story is a real Romantic story that has happened in the ancient city of Zeila. Zeila is an ancient port that was once the center of Islamic studies in this area, the capital city of Ifat Emirate, and the much larger Adal Empire that once took over almost the whole of Abyssinia, modern Ethiopia.

The back and forth wars that happened between the Ifat/Adal Empire between the previous and the successive Abyssinian/Ethiopia rules between 1200-16th century, and the later conquest of the Emirate of Harrar by Menelik 1 with the help of European colonial powers underscores the traditional rivalry between the people of the Somali decent and allies and Abyssinia/Ethiopia and its allies. The war between Ethiopia and what was the former Somali Republic in 1964 and 1978 was also a follow up of the previous that was part of the historical rivalry between the ancient Abyssinia/allies, and the people of the Somali decent and their allies throughout history.

The Haleeli Waanbee play which is part of the famous Zaylici folklores play is based on the story of Muliyo and Mead. Muliyo was an interesting woman who was so well-versed in the Saylici folklore and the other famous folklores in western Somaliland and especially in the modern Awdal/Salal regions such as Hariimadee, Sadehlay, Dhanto/Awdal version, Jifto and others. Mead was a navigator who was the pilot of a merchant boat/ship used to go to Suur (ancient Oman port city), Sahel (ancient Berbera), and Indian city of Bombay modern Mumbai. folklore Muliyo longed for her fiancée Mead’s home coming, she was so concerned his boat did not arrive from Mumbai, while all merchant boats, and ships already arrived in Zeila. Then the message she was sending to her fiancée Mead romantic message through Zeila folklore song called Haleeli Waambee folklore and her emotional lyrics are as follows: “Reer Sahiliyo Reer Suurba Yimiday Hoo Waa, Al-Donyaha Bombay Mabirbaa Ku Jabanay. Mead answered his fiancée Muliyo’s plea by saying Anbaa Waan Jiclaaa Inan Soo Dhakhsad EE Hoo Waaa Jilaalihiibaa Jidka Igu Xayirayay. This is an emotional story that happened in the ancient port city of Zeila, that once the capital of the Ifat Empire, that later became the capital city of the famous Adal Empire composed of more than seven emirates. The name of the legendary city of Zeila comes across in multiple spellings and pronunciations. The ancient Greeks called the people of Zeila the avalites.


The following are famous landmarks of Zeila. The architectural advancement and wonders of ancient Zeila is evident in these buildings. All of the under mentioned buildings were mosques except the building at the bottom right side which was the home of one of Zeila luminaries of the past. In its history Zeila had  about thirty Three rulers. Imam Ahmed Gurey was one of its charismatic heroes.


Suleiman Egeh is a Freelance writer and a senior science instructor



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