A series of Somali success stories in the diaspora.

We have discussed here our failures in the diaspora, now, it's time to acknowledge our successes and be motivated by those whose success have been noted, or may have advantaged those back home. It's valid to say that many more have succeeded in establishing a rewarding career for themselves in the diaspora, but on our behalf, let's all celebrate those who were documented their success online. You can add if there are other documented Somali success stories. Let's keep this thread clean.

First, the Success of an 18 year old Somali-American girl.

The Newest Entrepreneur: Young Somali Refugee Credits Success to Community Support.



by Karla Rose Hanson
KRH Communications

When Sadiyo Hassan steps onto the stage at TEDx Fargo on July 26, she’ll share a story about transformation.


Somali Diaspora Success Stories. Muna Handulle (Holland)

Somali Diaspora Success stories. Zahra Abdikarim of SOSTEC Inc. (help me here)

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From Refugee (Via Cornell University) to Rhodes Scholar: A Remarkable Journey of Perseverance



This country has been amazing for us’: From refugee camp, to Cornell, to a Rhodes Scholarship.
Many Americans support Trump’s efforts to tighten border controls, targeting certain countries including Somalia, as a means to keep radical Islamist terrorists out of the country.

[Revised executive order, if upheld by courts, would ban travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from applying for visas]

For Ahmed though, it hit home. “To place this broad, encompassing stereotype or narrative on a whole group” didn’t make sense to him, he said. “I know how unique every individual story is.”

Ahmed said he suddenly felt it would be a injustice — as a black man, as a refugee, as a Muslim, as an immigrant — not to tell his own story.

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He's Turning Lights on in War-Torn Rural Somalia, One Panel at a Time.

By Kevin Knodell



Gender inclusive in renewable energy: Naima with the first Somali female supervising the 300 W solar panel wire connection she designed for a solar home system in Mogadishu.


Local farmers riding first-ever Solar EV made in Balcad, Somalia, by Power OffGrid to transport their harvest, saving 70 percent of their revenue on diesel fuel transportation.

(British) Somali restaurateur defies terrorists.

Ahmed Jama fled Somalia as a boy and made his home in the UK, where he trained as a chef and opened a successful restaurant.

Now he's cooking for the people of Mogadishu with four restaurants; a symbolic part of trying to bring normal life back to the ruined streets, but his high profile is a double edged sword.
Al-Shabaab insurgents fighting for extremist Islamic rule targeted several times his restaurants, killing many people in a shooting and suicide bomb attack.

Can Ahmed's restaurants rise again after such a horrific experience? And if it does, will people be too scared to return?

5 Somali entrepreneurs who dare to invest.

They revolutionize dairy production, create sustainable paint and establish new platforms for online sales.


Samira Mohammad is first to produce cheese in Somalia. Foto: Maurits Otterloo

Together with Business Sweden and Sida, Forum Syd supports Somali entrepreneurs who dare to invest in a market few other dare to touch.

Entrepreneurs can apply for support to their business ideas with clear human rights and sustainability objectives through the program SSBP (Swedish Somali Business Programme). Recently 42 entrepreneurs gathered to develop their ideas and share experiences. Here a five ambitious entrepreneurs who are part of the SSBP programme.

Samira Mohammad is first to produce cheese in Somalia. Photo: Maurits Otterloo

Samira Mohammed, People2work, dairy production.

- It was such a wow-feel when I realized I was first on the local cheese and dairy market. It was during the drought that it hit me that we must make use of all available resources. Despite the meet consumption being high in Somalia there are actually very few who drink milk. I appreciate being able to mix in a Swedish perspective on the market in Somalia, to be able to run a company that also strengthens women’s opportunities and that has a well-founded environmental perspective.


Rhoda Elmi is a pharmacist and has previously been pharmacy manager in Gothenburg. Photo: Maurits Otterloo

Rhoda Elmi, Elmimedic, import and distribution of medicine.
- Everything is optimized in Sweden. That is not the case in Somalia, but we have great potential and opportunity to grow. When I investigated the quality of medicine in Somaliland I realized that the pharmacies only sold medicine that is banned within the EU. Why shouldn’t Somalians have access to the same medicine as Swedes? Health is a prerequisite when building a sustainable society, especially for women and youth. I want to import medicine in order to improve the living standard in my country.


ile Antar Huseyn wants to create tech opportunities for youth in Somalia. Foto: Agnes Nygren

Bile Antar Huseyn, Swedhorn, online sales.
- Somalia hasn’t come very far within the field of online sales. My plan is to start a version of Blocket in Somalia, but bigger. People will be able to sell their things through the service but wholesale retailers will also be able to use the platform to sell their goods. I already have a partner in Sweden and several contacts in Somalia to be able to carry through this idea. SSBP has taught me that there are many risks and that challenges are many but that you can’t give up.


Muna Magan make use of local production to secure sustainability. Foto: Agnes Nygren

Muna Magan, Riyan Organics, skin care and cosmetics.
- To me the SSBP programme had nothing to do with the grant. It was about the exposure and connection to Business Sweden and Forum Syd. The training and mentorship has really benefitted my business. I employ female workers in my business because they are loyal, motivated and with their salary they provide for more people. Children to a woman who can support herself will go to school. It benefits the whole society.


Khadija Omar strives for both sustainability and job opportunities for women. Photo: Maurits Otterloo

Khadija Omar, Rage 3K, paint production and sale.
- In Somalia women primarily operate in the informal economy and few are registered business women. I want to be a role model as a business manager and hire women to improve their lives. People in Somalia have to repaint their houses every three months since the paint doesn’t stick. Me and my brother, who is teaching chemistry at a university in Canada, will develop paint that is better suited to the Somali climate. It will save people time, money and be environmentally sustainable.

First Somali medical graduate in New Zealand.

Somali graduates are found in most fields of study but Mona Adam is the first Somali medical graduate in New Zealand. Becoming a doctor was Mona’s childhood dream and she realized that dream when she became the first Somali graduate in 2014. Now working as a doctor at the Northshore Hospital in Auckland, she is proud of her achievement and so are her family and her Somali community.


Ahmed Abdille followed Mona's footsteps and has since graduated from the medical school of Auckland University, New Zealand.

Ahmed Abdille's profile:
Junior Doctor
Auckland, New Zealand
Hospital & Health Care

House Officer
Counties Manukau Health
November 2016 – Present 2 years 2 months

Intern/Epidemic Intelligence Officer
World Health Organization
June 2016 – August 2016 3 months
Manila, Philippines

New Zealand Medical Student Journal
2014 – 2016 2 years

Research Assistant
The University of Queensland
November 2014 – January 2015 3 months
Brisbane, Australia
UQ Centre for Clinical Research

From sources.
Mandurah (Australia) doctor honoured in Somalia .


MANDURAH doctor Aweys Omar has been named the Person of the Year in Somalia.

The local doctor, who moved to Australia from Somalia 20 years ago, has been remotely running two projects in the region for some time.

“I’ve always been community minded and looked for what I can contribute,” Dr Omar said.

“So when it came to the award, I was surprised.

“I haven’t paid back what I’ve been given yet – Africa giving me the opportunity to become a doctor.”

The first project came about after Dr Omar networked with friends and colleagues around the world to band together and fundraise for Somali orphans.

This then grew and today the program supports 1000 children – 500 boys and 500 girls – to go to school.

The program pays for the students’ school fees, uniforms, stationery and breakfast and lunch, as well as the teachers’ wages.

“If you want to see a good future you need to put in the effort now,” Dr Omar said.

“I’m trying to empower the younger generation to become independent and become good citizens in the community.”

The second project has Dr Omar give free weekly consults to the Somali people via Skype.

He is sent the patients’ cases a week in advance, including the results of any scans and tests, and then for a few hours on Saturdays he Skypes the patients and their doctors for a consult.

Jamila Gordon: The CIO who escaped the Somali Civil War

“There’s literally nothing that can happen in business that can even compare to the challenges I faced early in my life."


Somalian born senior tech executive Jamila Gordon, owes her life to her quick-thinking father. Just before the Somali Civil War broke out in 1991, he had the foresight to move the family out of Mogadishu before they would have faced certain death at the hands of armed rebel forces looking to overthrow the Barre regime.

“The Somali Civil War had not quite started but my father was a smart person and realised that if he didn’t get us all out, we would all be killed, and he was absolutely right. Every person who didn’t get out of [Mogadishu] at the right time was killed – relatives, friends, neighbours, people I knew because they didn’t react early like my father did,” Gordon tells CIO Australia.

Prior to the outbreak of war, Gordon spent her days working in her father’s shop counting how much money he had earned and spent each day. She took responsibility for the family very early in her life, even as six-year-old living in the Somali hinterland with no running water or electricity.

Before the family moved to the coastal city of Mogadishu due to drought, Gordon, the eldest daughter, was responsible for running the household and looking after her brothers and sisters.

“My mother had 16 children, two died young and I was the second oldest. I was expected at a very young age to help my mother,” she says.

Her family was poor but she remembers fondly a childhood full of kindness and happiness.

“I also remember it being a beautiful place – it’s sad to see people from the Western World looking out now thinking it’s all doom and gloom. But if there are no wars and you don’t have anything threatening you … I remember it being good.”

Despite escaping imminent war, Gordon’s resilience would be tested as her family became scattered around the world as refugees. At 18 years of age, she ended up in neighbouring Kenya with distant relatives she had never met before. Gordon’s father was orphaned when his mother, given to her grandfather as a gift, gave birth to him when she was 13 years old and ran away.

“She ended up on the border to Kenya; she remarried and had a couple of kids. One of her sons was in Mombasa [Kenya] – my father’s step brother who I had never met and through this process, we found him,” says Gordon.

Gordon spent just under a year in Kenya during a period she describes as the hardest time in her life.

“I was in limbo, I had made a lot of good friends, the Somali relatives really didn’t want me there because they didn’t have enough money or means to take care of the young woman who didn’t have anywhere to go back to. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, I was moved between different houses with relatives and friends, mainly Kenyan friends,” she says.

Despite facing incredible odds and separated from her birth family, Gordon admits her “life was probably saved again” this time by an Australian backpacker who got her out of Kenya and to Australia where they married.

“When I got here the first thing I wanted to do was learn English. I had some exposure to the language in Kenya. In Australia I would talk to people and they would walk away because they couldn’t understand what I said. My English was very limited,” she says.

Counting on a new life

Upon arriving in Australia, Gordon began a nine-month course in English at a TAFE college in St George, Sydney before moving to the Gymea campus to complete a diploma in accounting. She dreamed of attaining a university degree after meeting a girl who got a job at the Australian Taxation Office.

“I came from a culture where women didn’t work so to watch this young woman finish university and get a job at the ATO was inspirational. I wanted to be exactly like her.”

Gordon studied a Bachelor of Accounting at La Trobe University in Melbourne and this is where she found her passion for programming and IT.

“I had one programming elective and I fell in love with it. A lecturer at the university said ‘you’re obviously good at programming, just follow your passion'.”

Gordon’s obvious ability to cut code landed her a role as a software developer at QSP Software in 1995. To score her first role, she was required to sit a logic and algorithm test. She scored 100 per cent.

An opportunity to travel the world in this role was music to Gordon’s ears.

“All my life I wanted to travel. When I was at university, I watched my friends go on holidays and I never had the means to do it,” she says.

QSP sent Gordon to its research and development base at Gateshead near Newcastle in England, and shortly after, Reading in London where she customised and configured the company’s software for British Gas. She also spent time in Dubai doing similar work at Emirates Airlines.

Gordon then returned to Australia after being headhunted by QSP Software customer, insurance company GIO. She was employed as an applications lead inside the company’s asset management division before moving to Deloitte between 1998 and 1999 to lead a team that was implementing SAP and PeopleSoft ERP suites for its customers.

Gordon was headhunted again, this time by IBM Global Services where she hired as a senior project manager between 1999 and 2001. She spent the next six years at Big Blue in senior program delivery roles working on behalf of Solectron Manufacturing in Nice France; AXA Insurance in Paris; and ABN Amro Bank in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

It’s fair to say that at this point, Gordon’s command of the English language had improved significantly. So much so, that people abroad felt she could be understood much better than locally-born Australians.

“I went to Budapest with IBM and I took my Australian team with me to do a high profile software implementation. The Hungarian people would say, ‘we understand her, how can you all be Australian? She speaks very clearly and you guys speak with your mouth closed',” Gordon says.

Life experience

By 2007, Gordon’s deep understanding of IT and the mechanics of business landed her the role of group chief information officer at Qantas. She joined Qantas at a time when the national airline wanted someone who could partner with the business, had a strong understanding of IT, and understood how vendors worked internally so the organisation could extract as much value as possible from its IT investment.

At the time, Qantas had engaged IBM to provide infrastructure, Telstra for network services, Tata for front-facing applications, and Satyam (now Tech Mahindra) for its backend applications.

“I ticked all those boxes because that’s what I had been doing.”

While at Qantas, Gordon oversaw the installation at the airline of the next-generation Amadeus software-as-a-service platform for customer service and check-in, a world first. Gordon and her team initially implemented the platform at Perth’s domestic and international airports as a test bed before it was implemented across larger cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.

Gordon spent almost six years as CIO at construction giant Leightons before moving to her current role as director and CIO at GetSwift, an ASX-listed logistics software outfit with a presence in 57 countries.

GetSwift’s wares enable users to automatically dispatch, track and manage the delivery of goods and mobile workforces. Founder Joel Macdonald built the system to provide companies with real time visibility over their fleets and the ability to notify customers with live tracking updates. These were aspects of last mile delivery that he couldn’t see inside his own online business, Gordon says.

“This is the space where global organisations of the future are being born. This organisation within the last 20 months has seen phenomenal growth,” she says. “We have just powered our one-millionth delivery.”

Gordon says any organisation that needs to deliver items to a home or business will benefit from using the platform.

“They can use it right from the cloud and we have all the APIs created. Our largest client typically wants the platform customised to their specific needs so our platform is really getting improved innovations coming from the customer. There are also innovations and insights that we are generating based on the data that we are collecting. We are constantly refining our algorithm,” she says.

Never let it stop you

During her long and varied career, Gordon says has refused to put up with a poor work environment and discriminatory culture. Still, she has been lucky enough to work in many environments where she is not judged due to her gender or country of origin.

“I don’t want to go back and play a victim but what I have learnt is not to put up with it. If people don’t recognise strong performance and give you opportunity, you need to proactively start looking and leave,” she says.

She says focusing on building internal and external personal and professional networks, not getting emotional at work and not taking things personally are also important.

“My background early in life has helped me with this. It’s also really important as a woman to avoid negative stereotypes that are unfair and almost never apply to men while being conscious of your personal brand,” she says.

She agrees that more women need to be involved in STEM subjects but there also need to be environments where women are empowered and given an opportunity to thrive, including making it right to the top.

“The way I see it is that it’s a great opportunity for companies like ours [GetSwift] where we have genuine inclusion and a dynamic environment where it’s all about talent and a diversity of people doing brilliant work.

“Diversity isn’t just the right thing to do, it drives better business outcomes. Over time, businesses that allow a ‘boy’s club’ culture will lose the war for talent,” she says.

She’s describes her own journey rising up the IT and digital ranks as “wonderful” despite facing what she describes as “some pretty awful behaviours along the way”.

“There’s literally nothing that can happen in business that can even compare to the challenges I faced early in my life. I have had my fair share of push back in my career and I’ve recognised when it’s happening and never let it stop me," she says.

"When I’ve had setbacks I’ve always been able to put them in perspective … I always make sure no matter what that I am on top of my brief and I understand my space. But I really do want to see things change to a point where women can genuinely play on a level playing field to men.”

IMO somalis are just as (if not more) successful than a lot of other disaporas, many people (this forum included) has a tendancy to dig up the most obscure negatives new and dwell on it :farmajoyaab:
'Pioneers of integration': Somali-Australian footballers take trip back home. (Video)

A group of young men from Melbourne have described their eye-opening trip to Somalia – which even included an audience with the president.

It's often said that sport can unify communities, bridging the gap between various cultures. And there's perhaps no better example of a universal sport than football.

Armed with this theory, a group of 50 young men from Melbourne's Somali community were taken on a month-long trip back to home turf.

"Soccer is the easiest way to build a bridge," Hussein Horaco, Secretary of the Somali Australian Council of Victoria, who organised the initiative, told SBS News.

"We wanted to give hope to young people in Somalia, and for us also, the young people in Australia to experience how difficult life is there."


Members of Victoria's Somali-Australian community on their football trip to Somalia.

Rest of the story on;

good for them they all fobs tho we need ones born or raised in their respected diaspora


Are you sure about that? The thread starts with the success of an 18 year old's (high school student) post, but most importantly, aren't the fobs Somalis? If a fob can succeed, then why can't the non-fobs? Also, they can be role models for others. Sxb, let's keep negativity out of this thread and if you've other (non-fobs) stories, please feel free to add.