It’s Friday night! Oh, wait…

Hargeisa Central Mosque

All my life, I’ve been accustomed to working Monday through Friday and having Saturday and Sunday as the weekend. Even in Tunisia, a Muslim country, we followed the Saturday-Sunday weekend.

But in Somaliland, which is a much more Islamic country, the weekend consists only of Friday, the Muslim holy day when people gather at the mosque for the jumu’ah (the Friday congregational prayer). That means there is a six-day work week, starting on Saturday and ending on Thursday (although in practice, not much gets done on a Thursday afternoon, so it is sort of like a 1.5 day weekend).

It takes some getting used to, since Friday night is really like Sunday night given that you have to wake up the next morning for work. And Thursday night is really like Friday or Saturday night, the one night you can go out and stay up late (if there were anywhere to go out, that is). So, while the weekend is beginning for everyone in the west, here in Somaliland the weekend is coming to an end.

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