Ali Jirde, the first Somali Engineer, was born in 1919 in the Dariiqa region, of Sheikh. As the son of a prominent leader, Sheikh Mohamed Hussein; Ali Jirde was one of the first boys from the former Somaliland Protectorate to be sent for secondary education to Hantoub College for Boys in Sudan. Following his graduation, he was selected by the Somaliland Protectorate Authorities to complete an engineering degree in the UK. In fact, Ali was the first engineer in the whole of Somali speaking population. Ali was head of civil engineering at the Ministry of Public Works, and following the unification with Italian Somaliland, Ali then went on and became the first director-general of the Ministry of Public Works in Mogadishu taking over from the Italians.
In 1957 as a senior civil servant with the British administration, Ali Jirde applied for a piece of land to build his own house to the administration, he became the first Somali to be granted a plot of land in the Sha’ab area which, at that time, was reserved only for government buildings.
The house, built and designed by Ali Jirde, became a show piece and an example of excellence and beauty ever since and is what is now ALI JIRDE HOTEL.
Today, while the Ali Jirde Hotel boasts new additions to its initial structure, much of the unique original architecture remains. The old building is a show piece of quality and design of Ali Jirde.
After Ali left the civil service in 1964, he created his own business, a construction company which became extremely successful. One of the main projects “Somali Contract” which his company undertook was the huge American Embassy which was built in Mogadishu.
Ali Jirde was incredibly accomplished, and his business was one of the most prosperous and successful business of his time. As a respected and admired member of society, Ali Jirde was renowned for his integrity and in-depth understanding and dedication to his work. He was devoted to his people and community and was well known for supporting and guiding many young Somalis who sought careers within construction.