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A series of Somali success stories in the diaspora.

Somali journalist Abdi Dahir appointed New York Times East Africa correspondent.

MOGADISHU (Hiiraan Online) - Somali journalist Abdi Latif Dahir has been appointed the New York Times East Africa correspondent, the U.S news company has said.

Dahir who has in the last three years been East Africa reporter for Quartz International will was unveiled Monday as the New York Times East Africa correspondent to be based in Nairobi.

“We are excited to announce our first new correspondent: Abdi Latif Dahir is joining The Times in Nairobi from Quartz Africa, where he has served for three years as East Africa reporter,” Times said in a statement.

New York Times International Assistant Managing Editor Michael Slackman described Dahir as ‘new talent and bringing in fresh insight’.

According to the Times, Dahir has covered China’s deepening reach into Africa, the political transitions in Ethiopia and Sudan, and the intersection of technology and geopolitics.

He has written about how companies and innovators are shaping industries, from agriculture to art. In between, he’s brought readers insightful stories about African culture, literature and food.

Abdi was born in Nairobi and grew up partly in Mogadishu, the Somali capital.

My journey to Kellogg College, Oxford & the 10 key lessons I picked up along the way. Hamze's story.

Hamse Abdilahi is a Somali community activist and writer. He is a postgraduate student at Kellogg College, University of Oxford, studying for an MSc in Sustainable Urban Development. Here he tells us about his childhood in Somaliland and he shares ten lessons which he learnt on his way to being accepted to study at the University of Oxford. Hamse is also former Mandela Washington Fellow at the University of Delaware and a former Chevening Scholar at Bristol University.


Somali refugee named director of Seattle clinic that cared for her as a child.

Dr. Ibrahim moved to the U.S. in 1993. Her family fled unrest from the Somali Civil War. She now leads Harborview Medical Center's Pediatrics Clinic.

SEATTLE — A woman who came to the United States as a young refugee in the 1990s now leads the Seattle clinic where she was cared for as a patient.

Dr. Anisa Ibrahim was recently promoted to medical director of Harborview Medical Center’s Pediatrics Clinic. She said the promotion brings her story full circle.

“It's one that I'm honoured and grateful for, but it’s also one that I've worked really hard, to be in a clinic that I am passionate for” said Dr. Ibrahim.

Dr. Ibrahim was brought to the U.S. in 1993 from Somalia when she was six years old. She said her family fled unrest from the Somali Civil War that began in 1992.

“We got to Kenya in 1992, and by 1993 we were resettled to Seattle," said Dr. Ibrahim. "That is a very short amount of time. The average amount of time a person spends in a refugee camp right now is 17 years."

She said she remembers a tuberculosis outbreak at her refugee camp, and her sibling getting the measles. When she arrived in Seattle, she and her sibling were treated at Harborview Medical Center's Pediatrics Clinic.

It was those experiences that made her want to become a doctor.

"I can say I know life is tough in a refugee camp," she said. "I know life is tough settling into a new country and not speaking English and not knowing where the grocery store is and being isolated from the rest of your family."

Dr. Ibrahim attended the University of Washington's School of Medicine and graduated in 2013. From there, she continued to do internships and her residency at the UW Department of Pediatrics.

Now, in her new position at Harborview Medical Center's Pediatrics Clinic, she gets to care for and do outreach for immigrant and refugee populations, with a focus on those from East Africa.

"It's amazing seeing children who I saw at three days of life now telling me about their first day of kindergarten," said Dr. Ibrahim.

Dr. Ibrahim emphasized that representation is extremely important. She said one thing she wished she had when she was younger, as a Somali refugee wearing a hijab, was someone who resembled herself.

"There are probably millions of little girls in refugee camps right now that are not being offered the opportunity to get an education that could probably be the next neurosurgeon," said Dr. Ibrahim. "It's the support that we're not giving them that makes them different from me, and it's not anything inherent to one particular person."


Ramla Ali

She is very much deserving of a spot here!

"After her family fled Somalia and settled in Britain, Ramla Ali secretly took up boxing, having been teased at school for being overweight. Now she’s a national champion, and inspiring other African and Muslim women to fight."

Also see:

Sxb, thanks for remembering her, but I think that I already featured her on this thread. Check it.



A detailed version of the success of Ismail Ahmed on @angelplan's tweet. Thanks to my brother @land owner from Gosha who first posted on the general room.

From Somalia to picking fruits and unfair treatment at UNDP, this man has risen to become Britain’s most influential black man .

Ismail Ahmed, founder and chief executive officer of WorldRemit Ltd., poses for a photograph in London, U.K., on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Refugee, economist, whistle-blower, entrepreneur -- Ahmed has played many roles in his odyssey from war-torn Somalia to London's fintech frontier. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Somalia’s Ismail Ahmed, the founder of WorldRemit – the digital money-making service – has been named the most influential black Briton.

Powerlist 2020 is a list that highlights 100 people with African, African-Caribbean and African-American heritage who are considered influential.

“It is a real privilege and honour to win this award. When I was growing up in Somaliland, I saw how money sent back home by migrants could transform the lives of individuals and entire communities,” Ahmed said.

“When I came to London to study and started to send money back home, I was frustrated by the inconvenience and cost of transferring money through traditional agents.”

In a bid to find a better and efficient way of transferring money, using compensation from the UN for exposing alleged corruption, Ahmed set up his firm in 2010.

WorldRemit is a global digital money transfer service operating in six continents designed to help migrants send money back to their friends and families. As at December 2018, valued at $900 million, the company has raised more than $375 million in investment and seen its global workforce grow to 600 employees. It now operates in 150 countries.

Before becoming a migrant, Ahmed had his fair share of challenges that stems from the civil war in Somalia in the 1980s. He witnessed the deaths and destructions caused by the war.

He journeyed arduously for a month and half to neighboring country, Djibouti and he was smuggled out in a truck to the UK. To fund his education, he had to pick fruits. “It was one of the toughest job I’ve ever done,” he said in an interview.

Recounting how tough his first day of strawberry picking was, he said: “I went back to my hostel. I fell asleep without eating or even thinking of my muddy shoes because I was so tired.”

Like many other migrants, he had multiple jobs in addition to his full time education, but what kept him going is his decision to remain positive in the face of challenges.

He kept many jobs so he could send money back home to his family. While doing so he learnt how difficult it was to send money back and that sparked his curiosity.

He started to think of better ways of sending money home at a relatively lower cost with ease hence the birth of WorldRemit.

For Ahmed, the digitization of mobile money is important because of its huge success, especially in Africa where there are over 400 million mobile money accounts.

Ismail Ahmed, CEO, WorldRemit. Pic Credit:voice-online.co.uk

“Today migrants can just send money by just taps on their phone. There are countries that suffer hyperinflation where sometimes carrying an equivalent of $100 requires a wheel barrow,” he told BBC community affairs correspondent, Adina Campbell.

Before mobile money many of our recipients were literally saving cash under the mattress, he said, but today WorldRemit is changing that with a leading technology that protects money and guarantees it arrives safely at its destination every time.

The company is licensed by government regulators around the world and maintains the highest possible standards.

The journey of becoming a successful man and topping on the list of top 100 most influential people of African or African Caribbean heritage in the UK didn’t come on a platter of gold.

Ahmed worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where he helped run a money transfer project. He told his boss about ongoing corruption in its Somalia programme and consequently, he lost his job to uncover the fraud.

He was transferred to another office without proper visa support, and the UNDP Somalia office later told a potential employer not to hire him because of his “silly non-proven accusations”, Reuters reported.

He was later found to have been unfairly treated by the UNDP, and awarded compensation of £200,000. He went on to take an MBA course at London Business School to get a formal business education on money remittance business and through that he launched WorldRemit.

Reportedly, the company will be launched on the Stock Exchange in the next two years. With a turnover of £95 million a year, WorldRemit is planning to keep growing to take a bigger slice of the estimated $700 billion-a-year remittances market.

WorldRemit is now licenced to work in 50 US states, with New York overtaking the UK to become its biggest sending market.

To the young people from Africa and Caribbean backgrounds who want to be successful, the most influential black Briton has a word of advice: “If you don’t stay positive, you are likely to lose. Work on something you’re very passionate about.

Somali who was target of threats wins US municipal election.

Safiya Kahlid speaking at aCandidates forum at Geiger Elementary School in Lewiston, Maine. Lewiston, a city in Maine that is home to thousands of African newcomers has elected a Somali American to its city council. Safiya Khalid soundly defeated a fellow Democrat on Tuesday for a seat on the Lewiston City Council./Sun Journal via AP)

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — A city in Maine that is home to thousands of African newcomers has elected a Somali American to its city council.

Safiya Khalid (sah-FEE'-yah kah-LEED') soundly defeated a fellow Democrat on Tuesday for a seat on the Lewiston City Council.

She says her victory is proof that "community organizers beat internet trolls."

The 23-year-old Khalid was subject of social media criticism and threats, much of it originating outside Maine.

A photo of Khalid flipping off the camera when she was 15 and an audio recording of a local Democratic leader taunting her opponent were featured in the attacks.

Somalis fleeing war and famine began settling two decades ago in Maine's second-largest city. Lewiston is now home to more than 5,000 Africans.

Yet another first for Somalis in US as two women elected to City Councils.

NEW YORK (HOL) - Two Somalia women secured historic wins in two US city council elections Tuesday attesting to remarkable participation of Somali immigrants in leadership roles in the US.

In St. Luis Park city council in Minnesota, 23 year old Nadia Mohamed decisively won by 63% to secure a seat at the city council.

Nadia who ran on a platform of affordable house, racial equity, youth engagement and climate action according to her campaign website became the first Somalia and Muslim woman to take a sit at the City Council.

According to a US based website Sahan Journal, Nadia got in involved in city politics to build connections within the St. Louis Park community. She joined the St. Louis Park Multicultural Advisory Committee, which helps bridge the city’s police departments with different cultural groups.

In March, Nadia received the St. Louis Park Human Rights Award in recognition of her “continuous dedication, leadership in connecting and communicating across cultures and ability to find new ways to build relationships in the community, the website reports.

In Maine, another female Somali was elected to the Lewiston City Council. Safiya Khalid also 23, defeated fellow democrat to become the city council’s new member. The Associated Press reported that Safiya called her campaign proof that "community organizers beat internet trolls."

The win by the two Somalis adds to an increasing number of Americans of Somali extraction who have clinched leadership positions in the last few years. Congress woman Ilhan Omar led the pack of three other Somalis in 2016 to be elected to political office.

In Canada, Ahmed Hussein was elected MP in 2015 and went ahead to become Immigration Minister in 2017. He was re-elected MP last month.

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

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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.

We Somalis tend to focus on the bad and negative in our community It’s nice to finally see the success stories and trailblazers of our community!!!!
Somali native gives up American life for military service in his birth nation.

FORT LEE, Va. (Feb. 28, 2019) -- It surfaced during his childhood in a typical American suburb setting replete with friends, video games and extracurricular sports.

It lingered in high school with a growing comprehension of his good fortune and a burgeoning understanding of world affairs.

It persisted as he entrenched himself in study at the University of Southern Maine and further gained a sense of what would give life purpose in his adult years.

African-born Mohamed Yusuf Mohamed had nurtured constant suppositions about his fate had his family not immigrated to this country from war-torn Somalia in 1990.

"Growing up, I always had a question about who I would be if A, B, C or D hadn't happened to me," said the now Somali army captain and recent International Military School graduate of CASCOM's Army Logistics University. "Would I be a refugee, not having a chance to seek education? Would I be a child soldier? Would I be dead?"

Mohamed was a year-old when his family departed Somalia for the U.S. due to an impending civil war. A dual citizen on paper, he sees himself as fully Americanized but unable to erase the cultural and spiritual connection with a homeland that is still rebuilding. The 29-year-old wants to be part of the recovery and summed up his desire with this perspective:

"I was afforded this chance, but a lot of people are still suffering," he said.

Meaning there is work to be done, and his fortuitous circumstances would not absolve him from the personal responsibility of helping to pull his countrymen out of the strife plaguing the Somali nation for the past 25 years.

Mohamed's plan to help did not initially include enlistment in the Somali National Armed Forces -- which he eventually did in 2017, two years after his college graduation. The international relations major intended to start his work through diplomatic channels in the comfort of an office building in an urban setting. His first opportunity was an internship with the Permanent Mission of the Somali Republic under the United Nations in New York City.

"It was unpaid, but that exposure -- essentially working as a diplomat there -- really gave me hope for the country," Mohamed said. "What I also began to recognize was the many things needing to be changed that probably wouldn't happen in that setting."

More of a pragmatist than an idealist, Mohamed knew country-wide reform would not occur overnight and could not be achieved entirely through diplomatic circles. The inherent politics and other factors during a subsequent posting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu convinced him to pursue alternatives. As a result, Mohamed relinquished his diplomatic position but decided to remain in the hometown from which his parents migrated to become more intimate with the country's issues.

"To change any system you have to be in the system to change it," he said, referring to his 2016 decision to live in the capital. "That's the idea I formalized."

Soon after, Mohamed went to work for a non-governmental organization whose mission was to reintegrate former members of terrorist factions in the country. The project was clearly meaningful but not without danger from adversaries determined to undermine the progress of their efforts.

"You found people were being assassinated or targeted -- (human) rights workers, aid workers, anyone who was against their message," he recalled. "As a humanitarian living in Mogadishu with its bomb and terrorist attacks, I came to the realization my contributions had to be more impactful … something that went at the root of the problem."

Mohamed enlisted in the SNAF in 2017, further abandoning his American lifestyle and a potentially prestigious career in international relations. He began a new journey in an army still rebuilding itself within a country doing the same.

His recent promotion to captain and the subsequent opportunity to attend Basic Officer Leader Course training here -- he graduated in January -- are further examples of Mohamed's steadfast resolve. Brimming with optimism, he admits Somalia has a long way to go to achieve peace, prosperity and economic stability, but the work has to start somewhere. For him, that means applying the leadership and team management skills he acquired during his recent training, and demonstrating the professionalism he observed daily at Fort Lee.

"I suppose the lesson in all this is that I'm trying to make a difference in my own small way. Would it be easier to just walk away and live the American life? Sure, but there are always challenges in life," he said, "so why not go after the hard ones -- the things no one should have any hope for or be optimistic about. Why not?"

That kind of sentiment struck a refreshing chord in Donna Wells, IMSO chief, who had no difficulty boasting about Mohamed's many admirable qualities.

"He's very personable and seems like a young man who is very committed," she said. "He has passion for his country, loves his people and he believes he's one of those who can make a difference."

Mohamed -- who gave up a career in diplomacy and life in the West for uniformed service in the Third World -- said his plans are to serve in the military for however long it takes to paint this picture he envisions for Somalia:

"A country that opens its doors to the world; that is developed; that plays its role in the international community in terms of the issues plaguing the citizens of the world, like poverty, climate change, renewable energy and education.

"It will all take a while, but we do have some bright stars here and there."

Mohamed's example of selfless service is without doubt one of them.

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.

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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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