Day: August 2, 2018

Somali-Americans are coming into their own in Minnesota

Somali-Americans are making a name for themselves in Minnesota some  are finding their way into politics according to this report by Ibrahim Hirsi of the MINNPOST

 Ever since Omar Fateh announced his run for a state legislative seat last December, he’s been taking note of a recurring experience on the campaign trail: It’s easy, at first glance, to mistake him for an immigrant or a refugee from Somalia.

But when people hear him speak, they realize something different about him. “A lot of times,” he said, “they say, ‘It’s interesting because you don’t have an accent.’ ”

Each time Fateh comes across these individuals — and he often does during campaign events or phone conversations with constituents — Fateh uses the moment as an opportunity to walk them through his family history.

He tells them about how his Somali-born parents immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s; how the couple then got married in New York City; and how they eventually gave birth to him in Washington, D.C., 28 years ago.

“I’m an American,” he tells them.

Even then, Fateh is quick to say that he doesn’t take issue with questions about his identity and that he is, in fact, proud of his Somali heritage.

But the reason voters assume he’s a refugee has a lot to do with the immigration experiences of the Somali candidates who have come before him. While there have been dozens of Somali-American politicians who have run — and won — political offices in cities and towns across Minnesota in the past two decades, not a single one of them was born in America.

The same is true for a half dozen Somali-Americans whose names will appear on an election ballot in Minnesota this year, including two other candidates vying for the same District 62A state House seat that Fateh is.

Fateh’s experience, as a U.S.-born Somali-American, represents something of a milestone for the Somali-American community in Minnesota — the emergence of a second generation of leaders — even as it reprises a familiar story, a path taken by the German, Scandinavian, Eastern European and Southeast Asian refugees who came to Minnesota before them.  Continue reading “Somali-Americans are coming into their own in Minnesota”


Ethiopia to open a consular office in Minneapolis


August 2, 2018

Following a successful tour of the United States Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has promised that a new consular office will be opened in Minneapolis to cater for the 19 thousand Ethiopians in Minnesota. This is according to

Ethiopia is to open a consular office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where tens of thousands of Ethiopians live, announced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. It is going to be the second consular office in the United States next to Los Angeles.

It was during the final destination of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s and his entourage trip to the United States in Minnesota that the opening of the consular office was announced. More than 19,000 Ethiopians and Ethiopian-American attended the meeting with Dr. Abiy Ahmed in Minnesota.

And the prime minister wants Ethiopians to use the consular office and support it. “Unlike before, this is going to be your own. It is your home,” he declared to the applause of the crowd. And he wants the office to serve as a symbol of Unity of Ethiopians in the city. The city is home to Ethiopians of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Apart from Abiy, Lemma Megersa, president of Oromo regional state, made a highly rated speech to the crowd which Ethiopians widely shared on social media. Continue reading “Ethiopia to open a consular office in Minneapolis”

A visit to the Yankees Stadium

Yankees Stadium Gate 4I went to visit New York’s Yankee Stadium. I got there when the NY Yankees baseball team was playing the Baltimore Orioles. I was intrigued by this American national pastime. I was approaching Gate 4 of the huge stadium when people started streaming out of the stadium. It started as a trickle at first, and then it became a deluge; a wave of people, a fast flowing tide of white people. These New Yorkers were of Germans, Dutch, Italian, and  Irish heritage. These were the Caucasian Americans.

Now and then a sprinkling of well-off looking Hispanics and black people (or African-Americans as is more politically correct to say)  went past, but most of the people I saw coming off Gate 4 were white, I mean the kind of white people you see when you visit a rural village in Germany. There were friends, families and individuals.  There were mothers, fathers, children, and grand-parents in the crowd. They were leaving the stadium early, disgusted that their team was trailing by 7-1 at time and also to beat traffic.

Since arriving New York I have been ensconced in neighborhoods that had more immigrant populations than native-born Americans. Neighborhoods where when asked questions, people would probably reply in Spanish or with strong Caribbean or Jamaican Patois.  I have heard a lot of people tell me “No speak English” in Bushwick. People who just want to be left alone as they work towards their American dream.

But not this crowd I saw walking past. These people exuded wealth, they had the aura power. These were the people that made New York the capital of global finance.  These people are the reason New York is the wealthiest metropolitan area in the world, generating 1.4 trillion dollars a year. An economic output that is almost larger than the Gross Domestic Product of Africa’s 54 sovereign countries combined. Continue reading “A visit to the Yankees Stadium”