Tag: Somalia

State: Kentucky

City of Residence: Louisville, Kentucky

Country of origin: Somalia

Arrival in the U.S.: 2009

Mr. Mukhtar Ahmed is a Somali refugee who was reunited with his family in Louisville, Kentucky in 2009. After being displaced many times and becoming separated from his family, Mr. Ahmed fled to Kenya with friends, where he spent four years without knowing where his family was or whether they survived. Then in early 2007, Mr. Ahmed received a phone call and heard the words: “Hello, I’m your mother. I’m calling from the United States.” Another two years passed before he would see her in-person. He vividly recalls getting off the plane and seeing his mother for the first time in years. He says there are no words that can adequately describe the joy of that moment. Mr. Ahmed currently attends Jefferson Community and Technical College and has a full-time job. School and work occupy much of his time, but he continues to give back to his community by volunteering at a local resettlement agency, Kentucky Refugee Ministries. His desire is to one day be able to assist people who are still in the midst of violence and help to end the ongoing conflict in Somalia.

State: Minnesota

City of Residence: Columbia Heights, Minnesota

Country of origin: Somalia

Arrival in the U.S.: 1991

Ms. Fatuma Elmi fled the civil war in Somalia and came to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1991, where she was granted Temporary Protection Status. Immediately after arriving, Ms. Elmi began volunteering with Lutheran Social Services to help new refugees adjust to life in the United States. She was eventually hired and has been working there for the past 19 years. Ms. Elmi is most proud of contributing to her community by assisting more than 25 families in their move from temporary shelter to permanent housing, and helping them find good jobs with benefits so that they can become self-sufficient.

Quote: Where a refugee person can become a lawmaker – it can happen only in the US.