My family and I resettled to San Diego, but due to our size, we were unable to find affordable accommodation that would allow us to all live together. My brother and I were invited to Lewiston, Maine, where I am currently residing.
The first few months in Lewiston were challenging because we moved here with only the clothes on our backs and a few personal belongings. I'm not the poster child for the refugee experience in the United States - as refugees we have a broad range of experiences, competencies, and language abilities.
As a refugee in Lewiston, I am grateful and appreciative for those who have welcomed me with open arms. In Lewiston, I have found a family that does not look like me, share my language or my experiences. Our relationship is rooted in a celebration of our differences and a willingness to learn from one another.
I am currently pursuing my Masters degree in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University and I hope that my faith, passion, energy, education, and experience will be my investment in the future of Somalia.
As Somalis living in the Diaspora, I believe that we have a responsibility to rebuild our homeland. While we have been lucky to find safety, stability, and prosperity, there are new generations of Somalis who are growing up and being born into the ravages and trauma of war.
Unfortunately, our children's growth and development are being stunted and they are missing out on vital socialization experiences that will allow them to fulfill their destiny as the future leaders of a united Somalia.