Harar, The Fortified Historic Town is an eastern city in Ethiopia, and the capital of the modern Harari ethno-political division of Ethiopia. The city is located on a hilltop, in the eastern extension of the Ethiopian highlands about five hundred kilometers from Addis Ababa with an elevation of 1885 meters. For centuries, Harar has been a major commercial centre, linked by the trade routes with the rest of Ethiopia, the entire Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and, through its ports, the outside world.
Harar Jugol has been included in the World Heritage List in 2006 by UNESCO in recognition of its cultural heritage. According to UNESCO, it is “considered the fourth holy city of Islam” with 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and 102 shrines.
Harar was founded between the 7th and the 11th century and emerged as the center of Islamic culture and religion in the Horn of Africa. From Harar, Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi, also known as “Gragn the Left-handed,” launched a war of conquest in the sixteenth century that extended its territory and even threatened the existence of the Christian Ethiopian empire. His successor, Emir Nur ibn Mujahid, encircled the city with a wall, 4 meters high and with five gates. This wall, called “JEGOL”, is still intact, and is a symbol of the town to the inhabitants.