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From the beginning of November to the end of April, a large fair assembles in Berbera, and caravans of 6,000 camels at a time come from the interior loaded with coffee, (considered superior to Mocha in Bombay), gum, ivory, hides, skins, grain, cattle, and sour milk, the substitute of fermented drinks in these regions; also much cattle is brought there for the Aden market.” In 1841, Haji Sharmarke Ali Saleh, a successful and ambitious Somali merchant, successfully invaded Zeila utilizing canons and Somali Musketeers, he deposed and imprisoned the port town's Arab ruler and succeeded him as the undisputed ruler of Zeila and its dependencies.
Sharmarke's governorship had an instant effect on the city, as he maneuvered to monopolize as much of the regional trade as possible, with his sights set as far as Harar and the Ogaden.
During the conflict between the Sultanate of Ifat based at Zeila and the Solomonic Dynasty, the Abyssinian emperor had one of his court officials compose a hymn celebrating a military victory over the Sultan of Ifat's eponymous troops. It contains some of the earliest known rock art on the African continent and features many elaborate pastoralist sketches of animal and human figures.
In other places, such as the northwestern Dhambalin region, a depiction of a man on a horse is postulated as being one of the earliest known examples of a mounted huntsman.
After the collapse of Macrobia, several ancient city-states, such as Opone, Essina, Sarapion, Nikon, Malao, Damo and Mosylon near Cape Guardafui, which competed with the Sabaeans, Parthians and Axumites for the wealthy Indo-Greco-Roman trade, also flourished in Somalia.
In the late 19th century, after the Berlin conference had ended, European empires sailed with their armies to the Horn of Africa.
The imperial clouds wavering over Somalia alarmed the Dervish leaders Mohammed Abdullah Hassan and Sultan Nur Ahmed Aman, who gathered Somali soldiers from across the Horn of Africa and began one of the longest anti-colonial wars ever.
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The peaceful conversion of the Somali population by Somali Muslim scholars in the following centuries, the ancient city-states eventually transformed into Islamic Mogadishu, Berbera, Zeila, Barawa, Hafun and Merca, which were part of the Berberi civilization.