Webmaster: Dr. Abdurahman Garad, Ph.D.

Openions expressed in the site  including by website links are soly that of their respective authors and notnecessarity that of the site. 

Authored by the Webmater unless otherwise stated

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in sha'a 'llah to:-

1. Introduce Harari heritage to the general public
2. Promote research in  heritage studies in general and in the history and
    culture of Harar in particular
3. Spread awareness on the existence and content of the Diwan Archives
Undertake certain projects in such fields as Harari language, Afocha
    associations and political culture
5. Follow up and streamline responses through recommendations for
    Harari institutional improvement
6. Seek and implement way of cooperation with institutes and individuals that
    are interested in Harari Studies.                                           

About the site

Haraca is an acronym for Harari Research and Cultural Advancement, which functions as an online presence of Diwan Centre for Harari Studies, so called after the name of the Harari Amirate's department that produced archival material under the custody of the  Centre. It also doubles as the name of the centres quarterly journal. The site represents a modest attempt to tie heritage research, which is the sites major purpose, with social advancement, since the former is an aggregate human experience that should serve as a means of wisdom and improvement         


An  ancient cradle of civilization in the Horn of Africa, Harar was found by a Semitic speaking people, probably from Yemen, about one thousand years (ca. 980 A.D) ago. In the 13th century the settlement is believed to have matured to a full-fledged city state led by the community elders like Aw Abadir, the celebrated father of the Hararis. The role of Aw Abadir in establishing Harar (Tuxun gey) as a capital city of other Harari settlements like Harawwe-Gey, Hassan-Gey, Lam-Gey and Isxanti-Gey is described by oral traditions and various manuscripts.  The most significant of these is a work in Arabic by a certain Yahya bin Nasr Allah entitled "Fath Madinat Harar", translated and edited in German by the renown Prof. E. Wagner, to whom the director of the centre is highly indebted for his professional guidance as student of oriental studies.

Key/ Translitlation            www
for Harari scripts in the website


a =   i = e = u = c = ch v= tch
q= x =kh   s=   8=sh 7= t 6= ኘ '= ء

By: Imam Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali (1058-1111) 

fot long vowels: A, I, U in capitals or  á í ú
read 1st geez and 6th sadis like Arabic  a i  =   -- _
See an off-shoot of the poem at

                                                                    The purpose of these pages is to bring into light the important aspects of the
history of the Emirate of Harar through investigative analysis of the Arabic records ot the city's "Diwan". These are the hand written documents produced in the process of government administration in the Emirate of Harar, of which a considerable amount is available for the period covering from 1825-75.
Together with other manuscripts, accounts of archaeological findings and a rich heritage of material culture, these archival materials constitute a priceless reservoir of historical, social, economic, legal and political facts.  The records, henceforth referred to as "DR" for Diwan Records, are the product of administrative activities of the Qadi office called by the Hararis as the Dîwân, an Arabic loan word of Persian origin designating a registry, a court or the relatively modern concept of a ministry. They were written by various functionaries of the office known in Harari as in the Arabic katib in the singular. A quick survey of their content shows, beyond doubt, the prominent position Harar was still maintaining up to the close of the 19th Century in the Horn of African region as a centre of political, spiritual and commercial activities.

Introduction to the Diwan