Full coverage: Somalis in Minnesota

A collection of stories exploring the lives, culture and issues of the Somali-American community in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota.

Somali teen struggles to find his place after high school

Somali teen struggles to find his place after high school

Mohamed has felt many eyes on him on this journey. He knows the story line: An immigrant kid forges a path to the good life. But he also feels under a new scrutiny as a newcomer.
Minn. Somali model walks runways in Milan — and cleans rooms in St. Cloud

Minn. Somali model walks runways in Milan — and cleans rooms in St. Cloud

April 3
No matter how incongruous the notion of a model moonlighting as a housekeeper may seem, to Minnesota's Halima Aden, 19, there's nothing at all unusual about it. Both are part of who she is.
Inside 'Little Mogadishu,' the Somali capital of America

Inside 'Little Mogadishu,' the Somali capital of America

March 2
The Cedar-Riverside area has long been a magnet for new arrivals. Today, it's mainly East Africans breathing new life into it.

Twin Cities refugees sound off on ban

April 3
Former refugees currently living in the Twin Cities share their thoughts on President Trump's controversial executive order.

Somali-American father shares with parents the painful lessons he learned in Minnesota

December 28, 2016
Mohamed Mohamud's Somali American Parent Association (SAPA) has grown into one of the largest East African nonprofits in Minnesota.

Blind Somali math teacher adding to his legacy in Minneapolis

November 27, 2016
Since October, the man known as "Macalin Xiito" (Skinny Teacher) has thrown himself into tutoring children, adapting to his new life and inspiring those around him.

Blind mathematician tutors children while relearning how to read and write

November 26, 2016
Blind mathematician tutors children while relearning how to read and write.

Teen is first fully covered Muslim Miss Minnesota USA contestant

November 25, 2016
Halima Aden aims to defy stereotypes without compromising her religious beliefs.

St. Cloud teen makes history

February 17
Halima Aden, a Somali-American from St. Cloud, was the first to wear a hijab and burkini as a contestant for the Miss Minnesota pageant.

Ilhan Omar will be nation's first Somali-American legislator

November 9, 2016
"It's the beginning of something new," said Omar, who faced only nominal Republican opposition in a heavily DFL Minneapolis district.

Ilhan Omar supporters celebrate new possibilities for Somali-Americans

January 26
Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American elected to a state legislature representing Minneapolis' district 60B.

Hindsight haunts Mpls. mother of two sentenced in ISIL case

November 19, 2016
2 sons "were always happy," Ayan Farah recalls.

Ayan Farah haunted by hindsight after two sons sentenced in ISIL case

January 26
Ayan Farah spoke of her sons, Adnan and Mohamed, who were sentenced recently for trying to join ISIL.

'Mogadishu, Minnesota' HBO series stokes hopes and fears in Minneapolis

September 15, 2016
Heated debate over a TV pilot for the series reached a boiling point at the West Bank Block Party, when a protest ended with arrests and police pepper-spraying the crowd.

Somali-American outreach workers bridge gulf between community, government

October 8, 2016
They are among a growing number of Somali-Americans recruited as bridge-builders to overcome mistrust and misunderstanding.

Trump's victory triggers anxiety among Minnesota Somalis, other immigrants

November 9, 2016
Trump had an especially strong showing in places like Stearns County, which have experienced recent demographic changes and tensions over the issue of new arrivals.

Minnesota Somalis work to root out terror from within

September 17, 2016
Hodan Hassan has become a central player in the fight to eradicate homegrown extremism in Minnesota. But she has discovered that the project faces daunting obstacles.

Years with no nation, they have 90 days to become a Minnesotan

December 31, 2016
Thousands of refugees are navigating hurdles of a new life. And front-line workers in Minnesota, one of the country's resettlement hubs, are poised to take in 2,530 refugees, more than during any year in the past decade.

How Denmark tries to subvert call to terror: A model for here?

July 31, 2016
Denmark counsels budding radicals, finds jobs for returning foreign fighters and coaches family members. Authorities there say this soft approach works. The exodus of young people has slowed to a trickle.

Extremism in Denmark: Striking a balance

January 3
Denmark's unique approach to deradicalization relies on inclusion and religious freedom.

London feeling strain of strong fight against extremism

August 1, 2016
Amid controversy over the U.K.'s counterextremism approach, nonprofits rethink their relationship with the government.

Extremism in London: Capturing hearts and minds

August 1, 2016
London's Active Change Foundation is focused on open communication in the battle against radicalization.

Minnesota painter's art captures scenes of prewar Somalia

June 1, 2015
Local artist paints scenes of Somali life and struggle in his vibrant works.

Minneapolis 4-H program brings science, technology to Somali youth

August 17, 2016
A Minneapolis grant funds the Cedar-Riverside area club.

Fear stalks Minnesota Muslims as anti-Islam feeling builds

June 21, 2016
Minnesota Muslims face backlash from terror incidents, campaign rhetoric.

How a Maryland program could help Minn. fight ISIL recruiting

May 16, 2016
A Muslim-led nonprofit's effort to reach people before radical recruiters do is held up as a model for the nation.

Still bearing scars, Minn. woman speaks out against Islamophobia

April 13, 2016
Mondale, other leaders address strategies to confront misinformed fear.

From the heartland to jihad: Heeding ISIL's call to terror

September 30, 2015
No state in the country has provided more fresh young recruits to violent jihadist groups like Al-Shabab and the Islamic State than Minnesota.

Black defendants, white jurors: Does race matter in courtroom?

May 15, 2016
An all-white jury in the Minneapolis ISIL trial raises questions, even among the jurors themselves, but the much-studied answers are complex.

Anti-terror recruiting project awards grants to 6 Somali-American groups

March 11, 2016
$300,000 will be used to help kids at-risk of recruitment by terroristic organizations.

Deradicalization ordered by judge for 4 Minnesota terror defendants

March 2, 2016
Four young Twin Cities men facing federal terrorism charges have been chosen for a first-of-its kind deradicalization program under the supervision of a Minneapolis judge and a German expert on Islamic extremism.

Anti-terror projects in Mpls., elsewhere stoke interest, critics

February 9, 2016
Projects in Minneapolis and two other cities butt up against mistrust and resentment.

St. Cloud faculty member, adviser helps immigrant students with hurdles she once faced

January 27, 2016
Hudda Ibrahim started at St. Cloud Technical and Community College in 2007, six months after arriving in the United States.A refugee from Somalia, she felt…

Minnesota officials envision probation program for people facing terror charges

January 9, 2016
Federal officials consider probation, counseling to steer recruits from militancy.

Calif. shooting puts spotlight on Minn. efforts to fight radical recruiting

December 9, 2015
Minneapolis is one of three cities in anti-recruitment pilot program.

Somali child-care providers get help to boost learning

October 12, 2015
A major push is underway to improve quality at Somali-American day cares and child-care centers, which have mushroomed across the metro area and the state.

Education, mentoring key in anti-terror recruiting project

September 9, 2015
The program still received pushback from some Islamic organizations.

Women drive success of Somali mall in south Minneapolis

August 31, 2015
The women who run the shops cover their heads, and many of them believe it is a man's responsibility to pay bills for the family. Yet they prize entrepreneurship.

Minnesota's East African community seeks answers about radical recruiters

June 6, 2015
Nationwide, more than 40 people have been charged with providing support to terrorist groups in Syria. Almost a quarter of them are from Minnesota.

Nov. 15, 2014: MN Guard, Somali leaders join forces to attract recruits

April 20, 2015
Some Somalis are touting the opportunities of military service — both for young recruits and a community that doesn't want to be defined by the recent departures of youths to join radical Islamist militants.

Minn. high school senior accepted to all eight Ivy League schools

April 8, 2015
"I think I'm still in that state of disbelief," said Mounds Park Academy senior Munira Khalif, who was also accepted at Stanford, Georgetown and the U.

Somali-American imams fight stigma of mental illness

March 7, 2015
Somali-American imams have gathered monthly to learn how to spot the signs of mental illness and steer mosque members to professional help.

Minneapolis police's Somali outreach gets national attention

January 28, 2015
Minneapolis' exchange program with Toronto authorities aims to improve relations

New generation of Somali women is on the rise in Minnesota

December 27, 2014
Sahra Noor, who became CEO of People's Center Health Services in the summer, is among those finding their way into community leadership positions.