Since the 1990s Somalis have been seeking refuge and setting up a new life in the chilly streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minnesota’s StarTribune calls the neighborhood of Cedar-Riverside—also known as Little Mogadishu—“the Somali capital of America.”
In 2015 150,000 Somali’s were living in the US—mostly in Minneapolis, Washington and Ohio—and as a result the community’s ethnic media has grown and publishes regular unique content that’s of value to not only the community but others in the area.
MIREMS’ special report on stories from the Somali community are cross-culturally translated by MIREMS consultants who are on the ground in these communities; translating more than just words but feelings and nuance.
Tukwila and SeaTac located in Washington Market for Small Businesses are scheduled for Closure
VOA Somali reports from Washington:
Cross-cultural translation: Two markets called Tukwila and SeaTac, which are primarily owned by Somali people, are going to be closed. The closure of these markets is not something only Somalis will be facing, because the entire markets vicinity will be placed under redevelopment. The closure time for Tukwila market has already been finalized and it is set to be close by the end of this year. As the Seattle municipality promised, the government will be compensating business owners for the losses that these businesses will be facing. However, the closure of SeaTac has not been finalized yet and the owners of these businesses are trying to save the market. Ali Dhel is one of the owners of these businesses and a frontrunner of the campaign against the closure. He said he is not sure of the size of the premises that Somali businesses like Halal meat stores, grocery stores, furniture stores, restaurants, wedding halls and clothes shops occupy.
When Mr. Dhel was asked why the government wants to redevelop this area, he stated that 60 percent of the occupants that live in this area are east Africans and Muslims. This area was redeveloped not too long ago and this market is a shopping area for many customers primarily from the above-mentioned communities, whether they live far or close to the market. He added that the government is claiming that the location will be redesigned for a new train station and more developed houses, but the reality is that they want to get rid-off the east African, Muslim and low-income people and create a new space for big, wealthy companies. Our goal is to convince the Seattle municipal government to develop the area not only for wealthy companies, but for both small businesses and big corporations. Abdulkadir Aden, who is also a local business owner, said “although the owners of these businesses were offered a chance to participate in the bids for the land and houses, the low-income residents will not be successful against the big companies. What is also obvious is that the Seattle municipal government’s mindset is against the notion of keeping these small businesses in a prime area of the city.” (29/08/2018).
Muslims celebrate the Beginning of the Islamic Calendar New Year and Ashura Day
VOA Somali radio reported:
Cross-cultural translation: This [sic. last] week, Muslims are celebrating the new Islamic calendar year (Hijri). The Hijri calendar is being celebrated by all Muslim people around the world. The beginning of the Islamic calendar year is regarded as one the most meaningful days of the year for Muslims around the world because they fast on the tenth day of the New Year called Ashura so that they will be rewarded by Allah. Dr. Hassan Albasri, a Somali professor at the Al-Ahqaf University in Yemen, explained what the new Islamic calendar year and Ashura Day means to Muslims around the world. He said that the Islamic calendar year is a unique sign for Muslims.
Whereever they live, Muslims can follow the calendar and figure out what religious holidays and rituals take place at different times. It dictates the obligations and orders from Allah on Islamic practices. Based on the Hijri calendar, Sept. 20, 2018 is Ashura day, the first day of the first month of the Islamic calendar year. All Muslims are fasting on Ashura day. Sheikh Abdulrahman, a Somali scholar who lives in Saudi Arabia, said that Prophet Mohamed saw Jewish people in Mecca fasting on Ashura day once. The messenger asked them why they were fasting. They told him that it is Ashura day, which is when Allah gave victory to Prophet Musa and saved the Israelites from the tyranny of the Pharaoh. Then the Prophet Mohamed himself started to fast from that day on and ordered his companions to do the same. (14/09/2018)