Sharif Sheikh Ahmed

Sharif Sheikh Ahmed

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Sharif Sheikh Ahmed

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Sharif Sheikh Ahmed (, ) (born July 25, 1964) is the current President of Somalia and former Commander in Chief of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU).


Ahmed was born in the Shabeellaha Dhexe province of southern Somalia, and studied at Libyan and Sudanese universities. Sharif Ahmed began his education at the Sheikh Sufi Institute, which was associated with Al-Azhar University in Egypt. He then went to Sudan and entered Kordufan University in late 1992, where he pursued a Bachelor's degree in the Arabic language (major) and geography (minor) in the city of Aldalanj. In 1994, the university was renamed to the University of Dalanj, and Sheikh Sharif left for Tripoli, the capital of Libya, after having completed only two out of the required four years. In Libya, he entered the Open University where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Law and Islamic Shariah, graduating in 1998. He has worked as a secondary school teacher of geography, Arabic, and religious studies.

A hafiz, Ahmed had memorized the Qur'an by heart as a child and spoke only standard Arabic shunning slang and local dialects. Thus, his religious upbringing and education allowed him to succeed his father as the spiritual leader of the Idriseeyah sect of Sufi Islam in Somalia.

Besides his mother tongue Somali, Ahmed is fluent in Arabic, and has some command of Italian and English.

Islamic Courts Union

After returning from overseas, Ahmed became involved in the...
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