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The ancient walled city of Harar was for many centuries a major commercial centre. Trading with the Ethiopian interior, the Gulf of Aden ports, and many Eastern lands, it had its own language, Harari, or AdarC, which was spoken only within its walls, and issued its own currency. The city was moreover also great center of Islamic learning. It was further more renowned for its remarkable handicrafts, notably its fine weaving, and its beautifully-bound manuscripts. These were rated as virtually without equal in the Islamic world.
Visitors to Harar should inspect the city’s unique housing, the colorful dress of its inhabitants, and its stout old walls. These latter were built, in the mid- sixteenth century, by one of Harar’s most notable rulers, Amir Nur ibn al-Wazir Mujahid.