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 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.
Most importantly, Ali Jirde was incredibly charitable and a giving person. He donated and gave generously to individuals and other worthy causes.
Ali relocated to his home country Somaliland when the civil war in Mogadishu began, and the people in Somaliland were hit hard as their livelihoods
and businesses were targeted.
Ali truly devoted himself to his people. Soon after he settled in Hargaisa, he founded the Hargeisa Center for Disability Rehabilitation of the Somaliland Red Crescent Society. The Center provides artificial limbs for those who needed them, and it was invaluable and much needed in a country like Somaliland where many war veterans from the SNM struggle greatly benefitted from such services. To this day, the Center remains successful, and functioning to serve and help those in need.
Ali Jirde was blessed to have lived a long, peaceful, successful and satisfying life. He passed away at the age of 87 in his beloved home in Hargeisa. Today he is buried in the Dariiqa cemetery, alongside his beloved wife Marian and his parents (May Allah grant them all the highest level of paradise, Ameen)
“Ali Jirde Hotel is named and created in honor and loving memory of my beloved brotherAli, A man who I will remember for his generosity and unending love for his family, friends and country.We will always love you, cherish your memory and pray for you.May Allah take you to JANAT AL FARDUSA”
Amina Weris Sheikh Mohammed Jirde