Tag: Somali-Americans

SOMALI PROFESSIONALS SHOWCASE TALENT AT INAUGURAL NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Somali North American Business and Professionals Inc. began mostly as a loose project in 2017 on Facebook. It quickly grew to become one of the most popular Facebook groups for Somalis. With more than 15,000 members, it has now officially transitioned from mainly having online interactions to in-person connections.

By MUKHTAR M. IBRAHIM

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East Africans Clock in With Hope, Hard Work on Minnesota’s Thankless Jobs

By SOLOMON GUSTAVO

Calling Aklilu Burayu a parking ramp attendant doesn’t come close to describing the roles he’s played in the Twin Cities economy.

In the 13 years since coming to Minnesota from Ethiopia, he’s been a painter and sander at a Blaine wood factory, an assembly line worker in Arden Hills and worked a succession of office jobs through a staffing agency. These days when he’s not at the ramp, he picks up shifts at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as a chef.  

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Minneapolis’ Somali-American Community Can Soon Bypass the Bank to Buy Homes

by  EMILY NONKO    

Said Sheik-Abdi describes himself as “one of the Somali-Americans residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota.” The state has 52,333 people who report Somali ancestry — the largest concentration of Somalis in America — and many live in the Twin Cities. But since his arrival to Minneapolis 20 years ago, Sheik-Abdi has distinguished himself as a community activist skilled in mobilizing fellow community members.

Almost a decade ago, he began collaborating with the American Refugee Committee on ways Minnesota’s Somali-American residents could support their home country. The result was the Neighbors for Nations initiative, which engaged the community in fundraisers including a sambusa cook-off, charity walks and a “1,000 giving $1,000” campaign to raise $1 million.

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Omar Goes Back to Africa With Congressional Black Caucus and Takes Pelosi With Her

By Lauren Floyd

It’s been more than two weeks since President Donald Trump told Rep. Ilhan Omar and three other congresswomen of color to “go back” to the “crime infested places from which they came” July 14.

Since then, The words “send her back” have been yelled at a Trump campaign rally and even chanted in response to a California restaurant promotion offering a free side for doing so.

That door is where “every man, woman and child walked to the slave boat, catching a last glimpse of their homeland,” according to the African American Registry, a web database of Black heritage.

Omar’s visit was part of a trip the members of the Congressional Black Caucus took to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the beginning of the slave trade from Africa to what became the present-day United States.

A ship arrived in 1619 at Jamestown, an English settlement in present-day Virginia, carrying about 20 captured Africans in what’s documented as the arrival of enslaved Africans on the American mainland.

Pelosi addressed Ghana’s Parliament Wednesday in what she called “a message of respect and reaffirming the U.S commitment to security, freedom and justice for all.”

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Somalia’s President Gives Up US Citizenship, But Unclear Why

The office of Somalia’s president says he is giving up his United States citizenship but it is not immediately clear why.

A statement posted on Twitter on Thursday says President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed made the decision voluntarily, with lawyers involved. It says Somalia’s constitution allows for dual citizenship.

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What Is The History Behind Minnesota’s Somali-American Community?

By Heather Brown

Recent political attacks have shined a spotlight on Minnesota’s immigrant communities. Minnesota has the country’s largest Somali-American population – 69,000 people. That’s about 40% of everyone reporting Somali ancestry in the United States and more than four times the Somali-American population of the next largest state, Ohio.

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Somali-Americans in Minnesota mourn death of ‘inspirational’ Somali journalist

By Ibrahim Hirsi

One day, Hodan Nalayeh would be pounding the pavement in the Twin Cities, striking up conversations with Somali-Americans at their businesses — with her camera rolling and her face beaming. 

The next day, she would be in remote Somali villages, laughing with nomads herding camels and goats — and inviting them to speak into her microphone for a chance to tell their stories.  

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‘We Are Americans’: Somali Refugee Family Reflects On Making A Life In The U.S.

By Josh Axelrod, Von Diaz, and Camila Kerwin

Facing persecution, violence, lack of health care and myriad other barriers to safety, millions of refugees leave home each year seeking a better life in a different country. As of 2017, more than 2 million Somalis have been displaced, in one of the world’s worst refugee crises, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

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How one former Minnesotan is modernizing government — in the Somali state of Puntland

By Ibrahim Hirsi

For the better part of the 2000s, Yasin Jama spent most of his free time with friends at Starbucks coffee shops in Minneapolis, contemplating what he could do for Somalia, especially the semi-autonomous northeastern state of Puntland from which he hails. At the time, Jama served as a medical laboratory technician for various hospitals — including HealthPartners, Park Nicollet Clinic and Fairview Hospital — in the Twin Cities metro area.

But what kept him up at night in those years wasn’t necessarily testing and recording blood samples. It was the urge to improve Puntland, which was founded in 1998 and has since enjoyed relative peace and tranquility, while also seeing dramatic economic growth, political development and waves of returnees from North America, Europe and Australia.

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Somali and American: Portrait of a Minnesota Community

By Aida Alami

Refugees often say that war feels like a wave of violence washing over them, leaving behind death and destruction. The feeling was no different for Katra Ali Hethar, who fled war-torn Somalia in 1991 with her nine small children.

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‘Because I love Somalia and because I love America’: Minnesota celebrates Somali Independence Day and Week

By Jim Walsh

Cheers erupted and hundreds of Somali flags cut through the humid Minnesota night, waving wildly as Walz read from his proclamation celebrating Somalia Independence Day and Week. Observed annually in Somalia on July 1, the date celebrates the unification of the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somalia) and the State of Somalia (the former British Somaliland) on July 1, 1960, which formed the Somali Republic. 

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In a first, 2 Somali-Americans joining ranks of St. Paul firefighters

By Katrina Pross

The newest firefighters in St. Paul and Minneapolis graduated Friday, including two men who will be the first Somali-American firefighters in St. Paul and possibly the state and nation.

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From Somalia to Kenya, From Michigan to Missouri: Abdi Tarey Finds His Place as a New American

By Jessica Balise

In 1991, civil war broke out in Somalia. It’s a relatively young country, with only 59 years of independence since British rule. At the time, Abdi Tarey was five years old. His father was in the military and things became very dangerous for his family.

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As length of immigrant detentions grows in Minnesota, so do petitions for relief

By Brandon Stahl

Cabduqaadir Mayow fled Somalia in 2014 and asked the United States for asylum, saying the terrorist group al-Shabab was threatening to kill him. A judge, finding no credible evidence to support the claim, ordered him deported. But with no functioning government in Somalia, the Department of Homeland Security let Mayow go.

He moved to Minnesota, married a U.S. citizen in 2015 and hoped they could start a life in the country. During a check-in on June 10, 2017, ICE arrested him and told him he would be deported to Somalia. For nearly two years he sat in jail, despite never being charged with a crime.

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A Vivid Tale of Father and Son

A Somali immigrant struggles to grasp his child’s imprisonment.

By Adeel Hassan


One of our best-read stories this month followed the journey of a white college dropout who was drawn to the alt-right after watching thousands of videos of far-right YouTube personalities.

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