Relationships in Flux (Part II): Somali Stories

This is the last part of a two-part series of true stories of some Somalis in America and their relationships. The series is part of a book the writer is finishing titled, “Courtship and Marriage: The Somali Experience in America.” The names of these individuals and their locations have been changed for privacy reasons.

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Lend an ear to my plea

Adan Mahad is a class eight student and prefect at Madogashe Primary School in Kenya. [Osman Osman / Sahan Journal]

Adan Mahad at Madogashe Primary School in Kenya. [Osman Mohamed Osman / Sahan Journal]

Adan Mahad is a class eight student and prefect at Madogashe Primary School in north-eastern Kenya. In a few weeks, he’ll sit for the primary national examination called KCPE. Is he ready for it? Here’s his story.

Enough is enough. The past five weeks have been the hardest time of my life. Imagine walking 10 kilometers a day to go to school only to find locked classrooms without notice. Imagine the pain of an examination candidate in a region that has been constantly overlooked by successive governments. The worst part is that you have no clue when students will step back into class – if they ever will. Continue Reading…

Relationships in Flux: Somali Stories

This is the first part of a two-part series of true stories of some Somalis in America and their relationships. The series is part of a book the writer is finishing titled, “Courtship and Marriage: The Somali Experience in America.” The names of these individuals and their locations have been changed for privacy reasons. Continue Reading…

A Haven for Needy Kids

Students in a primary school class in Djibouti. [Rachel Pieh Jones / Sahan Journal]

When Jimaha gave birth to Ayanleh, it was obvious from his first cry that something was wrong. Kids like Ayanleh don’t squeak at birth, they scream. He emerged from the womb, a place of protection, into the harsh world where every physical touch and every change in temperature would send excruciating pain through his body. He looked like a victim of third-degree burns, his skin blistered and peeling off. Continue Reading…

What does it mean to be Somali?

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Maxamed Ibrahim.

I came of age in a little town in a little state. I am, for all intent and purpose, blessed. And I know this. I left a country of poverty and war and came to a country of plenty. I came to America. There is a certain privilege that comes with this experience. For me however, there is far more guilt. Guilt that I survived, while so many others starved, or were left behind in the war. Guilt that leads me to ask: “What makes you so worthy,” For a while it was God, my survival was ordained, it was reasoned. But I left that teaching behind. If God had anything to do with this then he should have chosen a more worthy subject to save. Or maybe it was just my own failings. I think, I should have been a little stronger, a little braver, a little smarter. But that’s not how life happens. So here I am in the little state, in Vermont. Continue Reading…

Books Over Bullets

Today, the first-ever international book fair was launched in Mogadishu, Somalia. These days, the Somali capital has become a city of firsts: the opening of the first laundry shop, the first flower store, the first automated teller machine (ATM), and even the TEDx talks, the global conference on ideas, was first held there in 2012. After a two-decade war that ravaged the country, signs of recovery are springing everywhere in the Indian Ocean port city. Many of the city’s residents and newcomers are looking for anything new and positive – a coffee shop, a pizzeria, a football game – with dewy-eyed enthusiasm. Continue Reading…

Somali money transfer companies must self-regulate to maintain the integrity of their services

Somali-Americans in Minnesota rally in 2012, after a bank that supported the money transfers services withdrew from those transactions. [Image courtesy of AP]

Somali-Americans in Minnesota rally in 2012, after a bank that supported the money transfers services withdrew from those transactions. [Image courtesy of AP]

In a world where financing of terrorism and efforts to combat it have taken center stage, sending hundreds of millions of dollars every year to a country where majority of the beneficiaries do not have access to credible, government-issued identification documents was always going to raise serious regulatory questions. Continue Reading…

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