Story by Bob Hines & Michelle Alimoradi
Over the last three decades, more than 93,000 refugees have come to Minnesota. Refugees have been resettling in Minnesota in large numbers since the mid-1990s. Minnesota has become home to some of the largest communities of Hmong, Somali and Liberians in the United States. Saturday, June 16th at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, World Refugee Day will be celebrated with entertainment, food and education.
Two of the honorary chairpeople for the event are Mohammed Meran Ahmed and Fatuma Elmi.
Mohammed Meran Ahmed was born and raised in Iraq and lived through multiple wars and hardships. He is trained as an aircraft engineer, and now makes his home in Minnesota.
Fatuma Elmi was born in Somalia where the collapse of the government in the early 90’s made it necessary for many Somali people to find homes elsewhere. Though she had a good education and had worked for an oil company in the United Arab Emirates, she took a housekeeping job at a Minneapolis hotel to make ends meet. She has worked with other refugees for 17 years through Lutheran Social Services.
Chairpersons Ahmed and Elmi appeared on KFAI’s Weekly News.