Mogadishu was introduced in Brave New World.
According to the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, Mogadishu was already a major maritime center in the 1st Century AD when Roman merchants began trading from Egyptian ports along the Red Sea coast. With the settlement of Muslim traders in the Somali city around 900 AD, trade routes were expanded to distant realms such as China, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. By the time the Moroccan explorer and author ibn-Batuta arrived in 1331, Mogadishu was at the zenith of its prosperity, the pre-eminent city on the Horn of Africa.
The wealth of Mogadishu became the stuff of legend in Europe, supported by the observations of travelers. Vasco de Gama, who stopped in the city in the 15th Century, noted that it was well defended and well built, with houses of four or five stories, large palaces in the center, and many mosques. The following century the Portuguese traveler Duarte Barbosa wrote of hundreds of ships from distant lands that sailed into its harbor with cargos of cloth and spices which they bartered for gold, wax and ivory. Barbosa also described Mogadishu as the center of a thriving weaving industry that produced a light-weight fabric highly valued in Egypt and Syria.
Spurred by greed, European powers sought to incorporate the city into their colonial empires; the Portuguese tried unsuccessfully and later the British East India Company briefly established control. In 1892 AD the Zanzibar sultan leased Mogadishu to Italy, which made it the capital of Italian Somalia in 1905. In 1960 Somalia achieved its independence peacefully. But the democracy collapsed in the course of the 1991 civil war. Since 1994, when the United Nations withdrew its peacekeeping force, Mogadishu has been torn by near constant fighting between rival militias. In such chaos, the once thriving port has fallen into disrepair and disuse.