St. Cloud man’s hope renewed after visit to Somalia
By Ibrahim Hirsi, St. Cloud Times
For more than two decades, Ahmed Abdi has observed what seems like a race between major news organizations to tell a single narrative of his native Somalia: The story of death and destruction.
Abdi, who has lived in St. Cloud since 2003, returned this summer to the East African nation he escaped in 1991 after the brutal civil war that left his homeland in anarchy and chaos for more than 20 years.
The images Abdi saw during a two-month visit to various regions in Somalia weren’t those of terrorism, piracy or drought — stories that at times have blanketed America’s major newspapers and TV news segments.
Instead, he saw Somalia rising from the ashes of a prolonged civil war.
“There are new buildings erected everywhere in Somalia,” said Abdi, who returned to St. Cloud in August. “Some of the new buildings are worth $2 million.”
Abdi also met with hundreds of Somalis returning from Europe, Canada and the United States. Some came to visit; others to help rebuild their country, Abdi added.
Some of those he met included entrepreneurs from Minnesota, doctors from Europe as well as educators and developers from Canada and other parts of the world — all of them wanting to help rebuild Somalia, which suffered in the hands of warlords and extremist groups for many years.
Follow Ibrahim Hirsi on Twitter: @IHirsi.
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