Stories about the Somali community in Columbus, OH, with selected excerpts:
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Community In-Between / Urur Dhex-Dhexaad Ah
Portraits of Somali-Americans in Columbus
FROM OHIO STATE PRESS: Community In-Between / Urur Dhex-Dhexaad Ah: Portraits of Somali-Americans in Columbus by Qorsho Hassan and Ruth M. Smith is a collection of stories and portraits of fifteen young Somali Americans involved in community building in Columbus, Ohio. By using their unique skills, these individuals balance their identities, build bridges, and create spaces for success. The rich, multifaceted stories in this book represent the heterogeneous experiences of the participants and show the deep connection to the diaspora and the interconnectedness of individual experiences.
Fighting for American-ness
By Danny Hamen, Editor, 1870 Magazine (The Ohio State University)
One of the ways Hassan decided to engage with her community was to throw a Somali-American Peace Feast at a traditional Somali restaurant, Hoyo’s Kitchen, mid-December. The dinner provided a safe space for members of the community to heal and seek reconciliation with someone from “the other” culture. Sharing food is an idyllic way to integrate ideologies and to spend time learning and caring about a culture that might be foreign to some.
“I think through that peace feast I learned that even though the people who came out were willing to learn, they didn’t know a lot. And I think it’s really important to foster those kinds of events, those kinds of interactions, on a day-to-day basis,” Hassan said. Read the full story here on this website, where it is reprinted with permission.
Thanksgiving - Immigrants grateful for day, too
CITATION: Viviano, JoAnne. "Thanksgiving - Immigrants grateful for day, too." Columbus Dispatch, The (OH), 26 Nov. 2015, Home Final, News, p. 1A. NewsBank, infoweb.newsbank.com/resources/doc/nb/news/15962532969E1D88?p=AWNB
(Hassan) Omar, of the Somali association, calls Thanksgiving "one of the best holidays."
Having arrived in the United States about 26 years ago, Omar celebrated his first Thanksgiving with a classmate who invited him to his home for turkey, he said.
Omar, who became a citizen 19 years ago, and his family now celebrate as Americans, buying a big turkey.
"We are part of American society, so we are sharing the happiness," he said. "This is not cultural for one group, two groups or three groups. It's an opportunity for everybody, a good day to celebrate."
Young Somalis Drawn to Health Care Careers
CITATION: Boss, Charlie. "Young Somalis drawn to health-care careers." Columbus Dispatch, The (OH), 4 Oct. 2012, Home Final, News, p. 5B. NewsBank, infoweb.newsbank.com/resources/doc/nb/news/141B71880DE0B430?p=AWNB.
Nadia Mohamed was too young to remember the unsanitary living conditions and lack of medical care in the places she and her family stayed while trying to flee Somalia during its civil war.
But she got a glimpse of that life when her family returned to Africa seven years ago.
She saw patients sharing beds with only one doctor to serve them at a rural hospital in Kenya. She visited an orphanage that did not have enough medicine to treat all the sick children.
That's when she knew she was going to be a nurse.
"It's so sad, the quality of life they live in," said Mohamed, 21, who plans to graduate from Mount Carmel College of Nursing in May. "When I came back, I knew I wanted to help."
Somali youths are attracted to medical careers in part because of such personal experiences, said Hassan Omar, leader of the Somali Community Association of Ohio.
Local Somalis aiding homeland
CITATION: Hepler, Lauren. "Local Somalis aiding homeland." Columbus Dispatch, The (OH), 31 Jul. 2011, Home Final, News, p. 4B. NewsBank, infoweb.newsbank.com/resources/doc/nb/news/138D62729839B0D0?p=AWNB.
Somalis in central Ohio are coming together to help those in the eastern African nation struggling with a severe drought that has turned into widespread famine and killed tens of thousands of people.
"There are several initiatives going on," said Hassan Omar, who leads the Somali Community Association of Ohio. "Now, we are strategizing to bring them all together."
Sports teams, community groups, religious organizations and charities are all raising money, said Omar, who was born in central Somalia. Funds are going to African charities operating feeding centers and international aid groups such as the Red Cross, United States Agency for International Development and the American Refugee Committee.