Somalia | KUOW News and Information

Somalia

Courtesy of Zuheera Ali

My mom, my Hooyo, has a special way of teaching you so much about the world and so little about herself.

She tells you the parts of her life that are going to push you to succeed the way she did, without letting you see the struggles she went through.


Dr. Anisa Ibrahim with her two children
Courtesy of Anisa Ibrahim

My cousin Anisa Ibrahim is 30 years old. She’s funny, kind, and compassionate, and an amazing sister, mother, and doctor. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, she came to America when she was 6 years old and has accomplished so much since then. 


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Courtesy of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.whattookyousolong.org/">What took you so long</a>

Nasra Hussain Ibrahim was 11 when she realized she’d have to do something drastic if her family was to survive.  

They lived in Hiiraan, a rough region in south-central Somalia where al-Shabaab, a hard-line, al-Qaeda-linked group, and local clans clash. The militants force children to fight, they take over and shutter schools and rape and force girls to marry fighters, while imposing a warped, violent version of Islam. Those who don’t obey face execution by stoning.  

Poet Hamda Yusuf says Somali poetry 'is the poetry that you have to hear. And you have to hear it from the person who wrote it.'
Courtesy of Hamda Yusuf

When Hamda Yusuf was growing up in West Seattle, her mom used to recite original poems for her children in the car.

"I remember my dad telling me Somalia is the nation of poets and I always knew this to be true... because I know nobody else's mom is writing them poems," Yusuf said. 

Mohamed Rashid Mohamed has lived in Dadaab for more than 20 years. He hopes to move to Seattle, where he has relatives.
Courtesy of Rwaida Gharib

In the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya, there’s a baby waiting to be vetted by the U.S. government. He’s just over a year old. And he’s the reason that his family is still living in limbo, instead of in Seattle.

To understand this story, we have to go back to March 2015.

Sahan Abdi Korane is tired of waiting. She's taking her family home. dadaab camp
Rwaida Gharib

DADAAB, KENYA — Here, at the largest refugee camp in the world, the name Trump is uttered hundreds of times a day.

Mohamed Rashid Mohamed has lived in Dadaab for more than 20 years. He hopes to move to Seattle, where he has relatives.
Courtesy of Rwaida Gharib

DADAAB REFUGEE CAMP, KENYA — Mohamed Rashid Mohamed has lived in the Dadaab refugee camp for more than two decades. It’s a sprawling desert camp, home to more than 265,000 refugees.

KUOW Photo/Andy Hurst

Our Immigration Team has been talking with people from local communities who are affected by President Trump's travel ban. Mohamud Yussuf tells KUOW why he was initially was okay with President Trump winning the election, and why now he's afraid to leave the country, despite being a U.S. citizen. Yussuf is a Somali-American who publishes Runta News, which covers the Somali community in the Puget Sound region.

Surprise and a desire for retaliation are some of the reactions to President Trump's temporary ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

A Somali-American woman from Kent, Washington, has been found guilty of funneling money to a terrorist group. Court documents say the money paid for safe houses and military operations for al-Shabaab, a group affiliated with Al Qaeda. 

The case has sparked concerns within the Seattle area’s large Somali community.


My dad's Cinderella story: Finding love in Somalia

Sep 28, 2016
Courtesy of Zubeyda Ahmed

My dad's life story is kind of like Cinderella’s. 

My dad, Abdul-Basit Hassan, grew up without a mom, worked for an evil relative and found his princess in the least expected way. 


Osman Mohamed, of Somalia, and his three daughters, ages 2, 4 and 5. Osmon hoped to find paradise in Seattle, but in his first year, his family witnessed a shooting and he was hit by a car.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

For many refugees, the first year can feel like a race against the clock to set up a new life.

You get a little cash up front and a few months of help from a social worker.

Then, you’re mostly on your own.


For many Somali-Americans in Minnesota, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's fundraising visit to the state on Friday is the culmination of a tough week, a reminder of recent hostilities against people like them.

They believe Trump's rhetoric on Muslims and immigrants is emboldening hate, and they worry the hostility will stay no matter what happens in the election.

When a suicide bomber destroyed my home

Jul 28, 2016
R
Ismail Taxta/Reuters

At times, life in Mogadishu can feel like living in limbo, somewhere between conflict and peace; if there was a gray area between extreme violence and normal life, this would be it.

No two days are alike, and every day presents a new struggle to maintain a normal routine amid infinite uncertainty.

On Monday I drove 25 kilometers outside of Mogadishu to Afgoye, a town in the Lower Shabelle region that has been a spot for frequent al-Shabaab attacks.

How My Bookworm Sister Left Our Refugee Camp

Feb 18, 2016
A woman named Kamin and her six children lived in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya where Faisa Muse, the producer of this story, also lived before moving to Seattle. The woman had been separated from her husband during the conflict in Somalia.
Flickr Photo/European Commission

My sister Nasteha Muse fought hard to get an education.

We grew up in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Our parents migrated there because of the conflict in Somalia, where they are from. Nasteha remembers the camp as "very harsh, dusty and hot." 

The world's largest refugee camp is also a giant social experiment.

Take hundreds of thousands of Somalis fleeing a war. Shelter them for 24 years in a camp in Kenya run by the United Nations. And offer different opportunities than they might have had if they'd stayed in Somalia.

The Kenyan government wants the experiment to end — soon. It's pushing the refugees to return to their home in Somalia, though the camp called Dadaab is the only home many have known.

Somalis moved to Seattle in two waves -- one in the 1970s and the second after 1991. Somalia's prime minister stopped in Seattle to ask for their help.
Flickr Photo/City of Seattle Tech

We need your help.

That’s the message from Somalia’s former prime minister as he tours the U.S. to meet with Somali diaspora communities. There are about 100,000 Somalis in the U.S., most of them in Minnesota, Ohio and Seattle.

Omar Abdulalim and Shuad Farole send money every month to Farole's aunt in Somalia. She uses the money to pay for food, housing and school fees for 12 children.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

It just got tougher for Somali-American immigrants in Seattle send money to family back home. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

Omar Abdulalim and Shuad Farole send money every month to Farole's aunt in Somalia. She uses the money to pay for food, housing and school fees for 12 children.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle's Somali-American community and elected officials came together Tuesday night to discuss a worsening problem: There is no longer a reliable way for people here to send money to families in Somalia.

Since February, all banks in the U.S. have stopped offering these remittance services to Somalia.

The Seattle area is home to the third largest Somali community in the country, so the abrupt change is acutely felt here.

Ugaaso Abukar Boocow has become an Instagram sensation by sending out stunning visual messages from an unlikely place: poor, suffering Somalia.

She was just a toddler when her grandmother fled with her to Canada to escape Somalia's civil war, leaving her mother behind.

Then last year, she decided to go back, moving to the capital, Mogadishu, and reuniting with her mother, whom she hadn't seen in over two decades.