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This profile was last updated on 10/9/03  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. John Drysdale

Wrong John Drysdale?

Employment History

  • Director
  • British Administrator
  • Student
  • Regular British Army Officer
  • Somalis

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Founder
    Africa Research Bulletin
  • Secretary
    British Foreign Service
  • Founder
    Asean Economic Quarterly


  • Oxford University
30 Total References
Web References
The Universal Address System Is Adopted in Somaliland, 9 Oct 2003 [cached]
John Drysdale Director, Cadastral Surveys Gabiley, Somaliland
Former British army officer and author ..., 24 Jan 2009 [cached]
Former British army officer and author - Mr John Drysdale has changed his name to Abbas Idiris and became a Muslim, according to a Somaliland newspaper report.
John Drysdale, who came to Somaliland in 1943 as a regular British army officer, wore a special Islamic hat to pledge allegiance to the holy Qur'an in a ceremony at Hargeisa's main Mosque. Mr Drysdale heads his own organization called Somaliland Cadastral Surveys which carried out 13, 000 farmland ownership surveys 2008 - showing the boundaries and ownership of land parcels in the Awdal and Marodi Jeh states. It plans to expand to other regions of Somaliland this year including Sahil region. John Drysdale is regarded the man who knows most about Somalis - he was not just a top British officer - he is an accomplished speaker of Somali, understands the Somali way of life, it's customs and people very well.
As a publisher Drysdale founded the Africa Research Bulletin in England and the Asia Research Bulletin in Singapore. In 1994 he published his fifth book on Somalia titled Whatever Happened to Somalia? - by far this was the most educational, informative and well detailed book written at that time about Somalia, Somaliland and the American mission into Mogadishu that horribly went wrong. End Item/ 129
John Drysdale : was educated ..., 24 Sept 2004 [cached]
John Drysdale : was educated at Oxford University. He accompanied the First Somaliland Battalion to the war in Burma in 1943 as commander. He joined the British Overseas Service in 1951 and served in Ghana as an assistant District Commissioner; likewise in the Somaliland Protectorate as District Commissioner of Las Anod. He joined the British Foreign Service as first secretary in the British Embassy in Mogadishu. He became adviser to three Somali Republic Prime Ministers, the president of Somaliland and UN Secretary-General's Special Representative to Somalia, Ambassador Mohamed Sahnoun, Ambassador Kittani and Admiral Howe. He wrote several books among others "The Somali Dispute", "Whatever Happened to Somalia? and "Stoics without Pillows". He started in Somaliland, Cadastral Surveys for the purpose of surveying and mapping farms.
13:15: John Drysdale: 'Somaliland and the bigger picture of the Horn of Africa'
15:05: John Drysdale: Outsourcing and the generation of capital through asset collateral
John Drysdale , Former British ..., 10 Aug 2011 [cached]
John Drysdale , Former British Officer Votes In Somaliland Election
US Urged To Cut Lifeline To Somalia's Struggling TFG
John Drysdale , Former British Officer Votes In Somaliland Election
Hargeysa, Somaliland, July 3, 2010 -- On Saturday, June 26th, more than a million Somalilanders including a former British officer queued for hours to cast their historical vote on the historical day.
People either camped over night or rocked to the polling sight as early as 3a.m. amid fears of Al Shabaab threats. Most people wanted to be first on the queue and get out as quick as possible before al Shabaab militants hid among the large crowds.
Among those people queuing up were former World War II British army officer and author, John Drysdale, who arrived in Somaliland in 1943 in his teen. He served along side Somaliland soldiers during WWII in Burma and Singapore. He returned back to Africa after the defeat of the Nazi regime in Germany and Japan to serve in the British Colonial Service and the Foreign Service where he carried out assignments in Ghana (then the Gold Coast) and in Mogadishu (now under British control with the defeat of Italy).
He became an advisor to three Somali Prime Ministers in post independence Somalia and to three successive UN special envoys to Somalia during the 1992-1993.
Mr Drysdale is regarded as an expert on Somalis including the Somali literature, history, culture and the people. He is an accomplished speaker of Somali.
His work on Somalia which includes The Somali Dispute (1964), Somali The Peninsula and Whatever Happened to Somalia (2002) has became a standard reference works on the Somali people and their politics.
During his long career as diplomat, businessman, and publisher, Drysdale has been a prolific writer and analyst of political events in Africa and Southeast Asia.
Mr Drysdale founded and edited the Africa Research Bulletin in Britain and the Asia Research Bulletin in Singapore in collaboration with the Straits Times Group.
He also founded the Asean Economic Quarterly in Singapore. His book Singapore: Struggle for Success is a recommended reading for all young Singaporeans. Returning to Somaliland in mid 1990s, Mr Drysdale worked as an advisor to the Somaliland government under the late President Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal for sometime before setting up his own land survey NGO, Cadastral Surveys.
In 2009, Mr Drysdale wore a special Islamic hat to pledge allegiance to the holy Qur'an in a ceremony held in Hargeysa's main Mosque and changed his name completely to Abbas Idris (Enoch).
Mr Drysdale maintains strong contact with his family and friends back in UK and Singapore but is at peace with himself in Somaliland and might be his final home.
That UN consultant is called Mr ..., 29 Oct 2011 [cached]
That UN consultant is called Mr John Drysdale. He knew the closing stages of the campaign even before it was waged. He was not a fortune teller; Mr Drysdale was some one who had firsthand experience of what Somalis are capable of accomplishing in the war field. He was the British administrator of Somaliland more than four decades prior to the debut of that campaign.
Other People with the name "Drysdale":
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