OSFNA day one wrap: Unity and Reconciliation Forum

On the opening day of Oromo Week, a reconciliation forum organized by Oromo Artists Association (OAA) in collaboration with many other civic organizations was held at the Oromo Community Center. The last such attempt according to some, the forum sought to bring rival OLF factions to one camp. At the outset, it appeared the meeting will be poorly attended. Continue Reading

OSFNA day one wrap: Soccer players undaunted by the weather

Minnesotans are no strangers to extreme weather. But a lot of Oromos who are in Little Oromia for the 2011 North American Oromo Festival are not enjoying the hot, humid, and sticky weather. Some players are undaunted by it. “We are from the Mile High City and Rocky Mountains, this is nothing”, remarked a Burqitu of Denver player as his team made the entry into the field for their first game. Continue Reading

Oromo festival in North America opened colorfully

Minnesota (Little Oromia) is playing host to the North American Summer Oromo convention (aka Oromo Festival in North America). Now a sixteen year old tradition, once a year Oromo immigrants living in North America and around the world, descend on a chosen city for a week long soccer tournaments, conferences and cultural events.

Continue Reading

Oromo: Minnesota’s early settlers reminisce and reflect

On Memorial Day, Oromo Minnesotans, early settlers of the land, congregated to reminisce and reflect on what has been an extraordinarily American experience. People lived in the territory today known as Minnesota starting in the last ice age (some 10,000 years ago). That said, the Oromos are not among the early settlers by any stretch of the imagination. Continue Reading

Dire Dawa Restaurant debuts in NE Minneapolis

It’s Sunday afternoon and the weather is brisk in Minneapolis. The owner of Dire Dawa Restaurant cleans the backyard where he plans to open a balcony for social outings. He tells me that he is prepping for spring and summer. Inside the restaurant, three men are chatting away, waiting for food and watching Al Jazeera’s coverage of the uprising in Libya.

Continue Reading

Oromo student group claims bullying and harassment

The city of St. Cloud is no stranger to bullying and hate crime incidents. Earlier this year, a Facebook group called “I hate the Somalians at Tech High” made its brief debut online. Then there was a “vandalism at a Somali-owned grocery store” and later the anti-Islam newspaper advertisement. The St. Continue Reading