Somali Community

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It has brought together all Somalian people. It would be interesting to look at organizations like this and how they make change. In the case of CSCM, it shows how important the intergenerational aspect of the community 'young, old, parents, and grandparents' is to all the people we work with. There is an ownership of it CSCM by the community which makes it unique.
~Saeed Fahia, Minneapolis, MN

The kind of business Somalis do is more entrepreneurial, and could change other people's way of doing business. We have started from nothing and created something. I have just talked with an African-American guy who wanted to know why the Somali are so successful with their businesses. This African-American guy wanted to start his own small business. If people could learn from our system of private investment it could help them to start businesses.

The way we do business is different than how most people do business here. We use 'ayuta.' 'Ayuta'is an Italian word that means 'help.' It is a system of giving money to each other in a community. 'Hagbad' is another name. 'Sholongo' in Somali means, 'sharing.' It is started when many people get together and they give each other money. Each month you give money to someone and eventually it's your month. So if you give $500, you could get back $60,000. They help each other. That's why it is successful because we come together. The Somali people always stick together.
~Mohamed Ali, Adar Kahin and Farhia Del, Minneapolis, MN

We find consensus. Most Somali finish conflicts through mediation in the community. That's important. When people get caught up in conflict, usually people settle differences with elders and the community. That is a strength we brought with us from our home. From our culture. Very important to us.
~Confederation of the Somali Community in Minnesota Staff Workshop, Minneapolis, MN

Somalis in Minnesota are the largest Somali community in the United States. It would be interesting to look at children who were born here and then look at their parents, and then those born here, the first generation. Look at the changes in clothing, how it impacts our lives for work, school, etc. Somalis have brought increasing diversity in Minnesota. Since the establishment of the State of Minnesota now it's more multicultural society and state. For example the Somali community has brought their way of dress with them, celebrating marriage, and community events. Expression of those cultural or new ways in an exhibit could be good. The Somalis have changed the crime in areas where they settled. They settle in an area where there is crime, drugs, problems. Immigrants start new businesses and people stand outside and are talking. So that presence has stopped the drug business, because people are outside and talking. Usually in these areas you see drunk, homeless people. Now the neighborhood looks better. Minneapolis has been improved by the Somali community. They have brought in a lot of income taxes. Somalis are good taxpayers. That's why Minnesota has been growing.
~Faduma Abdi, Mohamed Ali, Adar Kahin and Farhia Del, Minneapolis, MN




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