Reflections of New Minnesotans: Talking to Somali activists


Julia Nekessa Opoti and Siyad Abdullahi interview three Somali leaders in the premiere broadcast of Reflections of New Minnesotans on AM950, Voice of Minnesota. [Full audio below.]

  • Dahir Jibreel is the director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in Minneapolis
  • Ahmed Jama is a Somali community advocate from Eden Prairie.
  • Ali Egal works with the courts as a Somali liaison officer.

Among the questions and answers:

Why have most Somalis settled in state of Minnesota?

“Minnesota is nice! The people, the legal resources, the education, the opportunities for entrepreneurship-it is the best.”

“First group came for meat-packing factories, and others followed. It was employment that brought them here. Thus it was employment, a decent standard of living, and hospitality that brought them here. “

“Services provided in Minnesota are better than any state in United States.”


What is going on in Somalia?

The northwest, which is Somaliland, is peaceful and has an administration, a government.

In the northeast is Puntland, one-third of country in area – there’s an administration and peace.

In central Somalia – continuing fighting between radical groups and others. In Mogadishu, there is an African Union peacekeeping force.

In the south, almost all  of the territory is under control of radical group, al-Shabab.

Other discussion ranged over the courts, education, and Somali food, including camel meat.