Staff Directory 6370527

Faiza Mahamud

Reporter | Minneapolis

Faiza Mahamud covers Minneapolis for the Star Tribune. She has previously covered education, immigrant communities, city government and neighborhoods. 

Before joining the Star Tribune, Mahamud was a reporter and editor at Mshale, the largest African community newspaper in Minnesota. She has a bachelor's degree from Augsburg University and a master's degree from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Recent content from Faiza Mahamud
Marjorie Wunder

Marjorie Wunder, a peace activist, dies at 90

She was arrested numerous times for civil disobedience in her attempt to bring attention to the dangers of ongoing wars and the production of nuclear weapons and cluster bombs.
The turnout in Ward 6 has dominated early voting in Minneapolis municipal elections this fall. (Star Tribune file photo by David Joles)

Minneapolis Ward 6 candidates at odds over policing, division of power in City Hall

Despite their split views on some of the other major issues, both candidates support rent control.
Andrea Jenkins is the incumbent in the Minneapolis’ Eighth Ward race for City Council.

Candidates for Minneapolis City Council's Eighth Ward seat at odds over policing

City Council district includes the area where George Floyd was killed.
A Minneapolis Police Department squad car.

What you need to know about the Minneapolis charter amendments

Proposals tackle the future of policing, how power is divided in City Hall and whether to limit rent increases.
A campaigning Mayor Jacob Frey was greeted by supporters at the Karmel Mall in Minneapolis last Sunday.

Jacob Frey faces new scrutiny in second run for Minneapolis mayor

Frey has worked under an intense international spotlight since George Floyd's death put the city into the epicenter of a reckoning over policing and racism. It placed the mayor at odds with many members of the City Council and powerful political forces bent on reducing police funding.
Elliott Payne, the first voter and a candidate for City Council Ward 1, right, gave a high five to fellow voter Jill Davis, the second voter, during t

Early voters head to cast ballots in Minneapolis election

The city is facing historic questions on the future of policing, rental pricing and power in city hall.
Early voting center workers prepped for the first day of early voting Thursday. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE • Minneapolis elec

Big issues, lots of candidates: Minneapolis officials prep for historic vote starting today

Up for a vote are key ballot questions and elections for the mayor's office, all 13 City Council seats and more.
Jimmy John’s has agreed to allow its employees to take time off when they are sick and offer training and education to both its workers and manageme

Minneapolis Jimmy John's to pay $17K for sick leave violations

A city investigation found workers had almost no access to sick leave.
Minneapolis mayoral candidate AJ Awed says he has been shut out of a debate hosted by the Minnesota DFL Lawyers Committee.

Minneapolis mayoral candidate AJ Awed blocked from DFL debate

Member of the group said they invited candidates with most delegate support
Foes say parking meters near Karmel Mall are bad for business and the neighborhood.

Minneapolis residents and businesses at the popular Somali mall want parking meters removed

The popular Somali hub is leading a community fight to have the city remove the area's parking meters.
A rental property in Minneapolis, on April 7, 2020.  Housing leaders and researchers who study the effects of rent regulations warn that, while rent-c

As Minneapolis faces rent control vote, experts caution it's not a cure-all

Local caps can help short-term housing issues, but they don't fix underlying market forces.
Red For Rent sign closeup against brick building. (Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto) ORG XMIT: MIN1801191410370364

Minneapolis voters will see only one rent-control question on ballot

Council members meanwhile approved the ballot language for a proposal that could change the power dynamics in City Hall.
A rental property in Minneapolis, on April 7, 2020.

Mpls. mayor vetoes one rent control measure, other is on ballot

The 13-member council, which meets next week, would need nine votes to override Jacob Frey's veto.
The Minneapolis City Council’s Policy & Government Oversight Committee voted to take more time to finalize wording on a proposal that could reshape

Fight over Mpls. ballot questions intensifies as key deadline looms

A judge scheduled a Monday hearing in a lawsuit challenging whether city officials can include an explanatory note alongside policing ballot question.
A homeless encampment in September 2020 in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis to resurrect rooming houses to offer low-cost housing option

The city will start accepting applications to build and operate single-room occupancy units in November.
Jagadish “Jack” Desai

Jagadish 'Jack' Desai, who helped Indian immigrants bridge cultural divide to U.S., dies at 87

Jagadish Desai was always busy doing something, whether it was helping newly arrived immigrants from India get acclimated to life in Minnesota or bridging cultural…
A sign for Bde Maka Ska near the south shore of the lake in 2019.

Mpls. East Calhoun neighborhood to change name

Association leaders said the new name will better reflect the area's Dakota heritage.
Heather Johnston is “someone who’s a good listener, establishes trust, no ego and just a smart, articulate person who works hard for government,�

Heather Johnston to take over as Mpls. interim city coordinator

City Coordinator Mark Ruff resigned just days ago.
Minneapolis officials said Friday they were not yet putting sprinkling restrictions in place but will if drought conditions worsen.

Minneapolis reminds residents to practice responsible water-saving in drought watch

The city of Minneapolis is urging residents and businesses to practice responsible water-saving habits as drought conditions intensify around the state.Tips include taking short showers…
Mark Ruff, Minneapolis City Coordinator, will leave his post Aug. 1.

Mpls. city coordinator to resign

Mark Ruff said he had to choose between personal and professional crises.
A maroon and silver truck drove through the marked crosswalk in front of pedestrian volunteers Dave Passiuk and Nelsie Yang on St. Paul’s East Side

Twin Cities get serious about crosswalk etiquette

Large blue signs, updated weekly, will now show the rate that drivers have been yielding to pedestrians at select sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
A rental property in Minneapolis, on April 7, 2020.

Minneapolis Charter Commission says no to citizen-led rent-control petition on ballot

The Charter Commission said a citizen-led petition is not a good policy.
Minneapolis mayoral candidate Sheila Nezhad, right, spoke with Avdi Barre during a Somali Independence Day Festival on Franklin Avenue on Saturday, Ju

Minneapolis mayoral candidate Nezhad works to sway voters on transforming policing

As the top vote-getter in the DFL endorsement convention, she now faces a barrage of questions on other issues.
Minneapolis and other local jurisdictions recently launched a program for landlords and property managers to apply for rental assistance on behalf of

Minneapolis leaders prepare for evictions despite state's new deal

Advocates for landlords laud city tenant programs, but see no eviction crisis.
Ballots collected at the Minneapolis DFL convention in 2017 (Star Tribune file photo by David Joles)

Minneapolis DFL fails to endorse in mayor's race, but challenger Nezhad finishes ahead of Frey

Sheila Nezhad, a community organizer came in first in the final ballot, but failed to garner enough votes to win the party's backing.
Mayor Jacob Frey told reporters at the Elliot Twins public housing complex that “people are struggling to make ends meet.”

Mayor Frey will use $28 million in pandemic relief money for housing in Minneapolis

Mayor hopes to help keep people in homes at end of eviction moratorium.
Ballots collected the Minneapolis DFL convention in 2017 (Star Tribune file photo by David Joles)

Minneapolis DFL fails to endorse in six of 13 City Council races

Five incumbents, a challenger and one vying for an open seat get nods.
DFL balloting at the Minneapolis party convention in 2017, the last municipal election cycle. (Star Tribune file photo by David Joles)

Accusations fly in Minneapolis DFL party over fairness of online voting

Minneapolis DFL leader called the allegations "absolute garbage."
Charlie Johnson was shot and killed in downtown Minneapolis the same day he was to graduate from the University of St. Thomas with a mechanical engine

Stray bullet cuts short St. Thomas student's adventurous, joyful life

Charlie Johnson was shot and killed hours before his graduation.
“The credit union has the potential to be a source of hope, a source of pride, and just a new beginning,” said Debra Hurston, new executive direct

Group seeks $6M to revive plans for Black-led credit union

Under new leadership, the Association for Black Economic Power says it has overcome the setbacks of 2019.
Minneapolis Council President Lisa Bender in 2020 (Star Tribune file photo by ELIZABETH FLORES)

Minneapolis landlords must alert renters two weeks before filing an eviction

City leaders said the new law will reduce homelessness.
Ali Tennant, center, placed candles around an angel painted on the sidewalk at George Floyd Square during a daylong celebration on Tuesday to commemor

'Living memorial': Minneapolis, world remember George Floyd

Memorials and protests cropped up around the globe a year after Floyd's death. Despite the grim nature of the anniversary, many who gathered in Minneapolis said there were reasons to celebrate.
On the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, there was a celebration of his life at the Salvation Army Harbor Light, where he once worked, finishing

Day marks celebration, mourning in Minneapolis and across country

George Floyd Square was jarred when police responded to call of shots fired at 10 a.m. one block away. One person was treated for a gunshot wound, police said.
An eviction protest in California last year. (Los Angeles Times photo)

Minneapolis wants more notice for renters before an eviction filing

Council members said the proposed ordinance would prevent massive evictions after the statewide ban is lifted.
Minneapolis Public Housing Authority executive director Abdi Warsame at Hiawatha Towers in February. Hiawatha Towers is one of the building to get the

3 Minneapolis public housing properties to get $235,000 for security upgrades

The sites mostly serve seniors and disabled residents.
Three Bird scooters were on the sidewalk at 9th and Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis.        ] GLEN STUBBE •   Tuesday,

Scooter operator that lost Minneapolis contract takes aim at competitor's record on equity

Lime challenges Bird on inequitable deployment on Mpls.' North Side.

Mohamed Samatar, Islamic schoolteacher and mentor to youth, dies at 36

In his youth, Mohamed Samatar's magnetic personality showed no boundaries. Everyone was drawn to him, including bad influences.But after his father died in 2015, Samatar…
Scooter riders in Minneapolis in 2018, the year they debuted in the city.  GLEN STUBBE •

Scooters roll out again in Minneapolis this weekend

About 1,000 scooters will appear in the coming days with more on the way.
The shooting happened about 7 p.m. Tuesday in the 400 block of S. Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis.

Cedar-Riverside store owner recounts robber fatally gunning down friend, fleeing

The gunman walked into the store about 7 p.m., pulled out a gun and pointed it at Hassan Shire, the owner. "Give me money, give me money," the gunman said, according to Shire.
Minnesota National Guard members patrolled Lyndale Avenue S. near Lake Street in Minneapolis on Friday.  DAVID JOLES •

Among Minnesota's refugees, military presence in Twin Cities stirs painful memories

Seeing the heavy security presence reminds many of conflicts in their native countries.
Imam Sharif Mohamed consulted with Dr. Thomas Wyatt, who used a GPS compass app to find the location to place a qibla sticker in HCMC’s Emergency De

New prayer stickers in Hennepin Healthcare are a welcome message for Muslim patients

Hospital leaders and faith groups said the signs are about giving Muslims a space that's more inclusive and improves their health.
Arfasse Gemeda, wife of imprisoned activist Jawar Mohammed, is afraid she and her son will never see Mohammed again. 

With her husband a political prisoner, Minn. woman fears worst

Arfasse Gemeda is worried about whether she will see her husband again.Jawar Mohammed, a media influencer turned politician, traveled from Minnesota to his native Ethiopia…
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says he opposes rent control ballot measure

The mayor says creating policies through a referendum process could lead to flawed
Votes were counted backstage at the DFL convention.  ]  Shari L. Gross •   The Minneapolis DFL held its convention Saturday a

Field of 56 candidates for Minneapolis offices seeking DFL endorsements

In a virtual endorsement, voters will decide on own time, in own language.
Investigators concluded that a sprinkler system would have saved lives in the Cedar High Apartments, a 25-story structure at 630 S. Cedar Av. In 2019,

Sprinklers coming to Minneapolis high-rise where five died in 2019 fire

Traumatized residents at the Cedar High Apartments welcome the safety upgrade.
Kayse Abdirahman administered COVID vaccine at a pop-up clinic in the Brian Coyle Community Center on Friday.

A COVID turnaround in Minneapolis' Cedar-Riverside

Through aggressive testing and stringent measures to curb the disease, the city has consistently lower rates of infection and deaths.
Kate Knuth

Former DFL lawmaker, ex-city employee Kate Knuth announces she's running for Minneapolis mayor

Knuth says Mayor Jacob Frey is not committed to building trusting relationships with city residents.
Minneapolis City Hall, as seen from the back of the U.S. District Court.

Rent control measure moves forward in Minneapolis

City leaders say steep increases in rents are disproportionately affecting Minneapolis residents of color.
Minneapolis City Hall, as seen from the back of the U.S. District Court.

Minneapolis council gives preliminary OK to rent control initiatives

Voters could decide in November whether to cap the amount landlords can charge.
Mpls. voters could decide on rent controls for landlords

Mpls. voters could decide on rent controls for landlords

Three City Council members introduced two charter amendments that would cap rent hikes.
Hwei-Hsien Cheng

Hwei-Hsien Cheng, U soil scientist, dies of COVID-19 at 88

As a young boy, Hwei-Hsien Cheng and his family saw their lives uprooted by the Chinese Communist Revolution.But the longtime soil scientist devoted himself to…
Abdi Warsame helped with monthly food delivery that has become a lifeline for public housing residents deliver boxes of food from East Side Neighborho

In his 'dream job,' Abdi Warsame works to rebuild trust at the Minneapolis public housing agency

The former City Council member wants to preserve and create new housing amid funding troubles and fears of displacement.
Mohamed Ahmed Farah posed for a portrait in his renovated studio unit at Elliot Twins Apartments.

Old Minneapolis public housing towers get new fire safety systems, upgrades

The housing authority follows through with its promise to not displace residents after its partnership with private investors.
Rendering of the proposed Upper Harbor Terminal development in Minneapolis. A planned February vote has been postponed.

Vote on Minneapolis' Upper Harbor Terminal to be delayed until environmental review

The City Council will hold off until an environmental review can be conducted.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey spoke during a press conference to announce the Minneapolis Forward: Rebuild Resilient initiative Tuesday. ] ANTHONY SOUF

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says he's running for re-election

The announcement comes as the city is grappling with multiple crises.
Hassanen Mohamed hosted a meeting of the support group Somali COVID-19 Families from his home in Brooklyn Center on July 18.

Somali group pushes to end state's health care disparities

COVID-19 has hit elders in Minnesota's Somali community especially hard — and racial inequities have led to mistreatment and inadequate care, a local group says.
Yussur Barkhad, an Afro Deli cook and Somali refugee, dies of COVID-19 at 63

Yussur Barkhad, an Afro Deli cook and Somali refugee, dies of COVID-19 at 63

Punctual and stoic, she was a devout Muslim and a humanitarian, those who knew her said.
Minnesota Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker, shown in April.

State recognizes select Minnesota schools, districts for work supporting positive student behavior

Research shows students of color and students with special needs are suspended more often than others.
People stood in the back of the room when an overflow crowd attended the Minneapolis School Board meeting in Minneapolis, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Many

How Minneapolis might reshape its school district

Minneapolis has released five proposals to shift schools and students around the district.
Michelle Kellogg collected questions from audience members at a Minneapolis Public Schools community meeting Monday night at Northeast Middle School.

Mpls. parents pepper district leaders about proposed school changes

Mpls. parents get first look at plans to eliminate racial disparities in district.
Emerson Spanish Immersion student Tayvin Stoll works after school on NASA-inspired computer games by Play Attention, powered by sensors reading one's

Minneapolis schools unveil five options for major makeover

Minneapolis schools look at five options, some sweeping, in latest push to close nagging achievement gap.
Instructor Ellie Fregni worked with Rafhaella Jimenez, 8, during her violin lesson Wednesday evening at Hopewell Music.

Outpouring of support from community saves North Side music school

Over the years, Hopewell Music has developed the talents of thousands of students.
Joe Nathan, director of the Center for School Change, shown in 2008.

Minnesota students not getting all info on dual-credit opportunities

Of the 95 state school districts studied by the Center for School Change, 97% failed to provide current information about the Postsecondary Enrollment Options program.
People stood in the back of the room when an overflow crowd attended the Minneapolis school board meeting in Minneapolis on Tuesday. Many parents atte

Emotions run high as parents pack Minneapolis school board meeting

Though the strategic plan was not on the agenda, parents and others concerned about the proposed changes spoke out passionately during the public comment portion of the meeting.
Minneapolis' Edison High School band teacher Lesley Earles is working around the clock to keep music alive in her school where resources are tight and

Edison's 'Mr. Holland' breathes life into dying music program

Over the years, Lesley Earles has worked to pull in community support while tapping into students' interests.
“Over the past two years we have been setting money aside in the assigned fund balance because we knew in the future we would have a budget gap,”

Mpls. schools back in big budget hole, with $19.6M deficit for 2020-21

District officials point to declining enrollment and revenue that hasn't kept up with inflation and rising costs.
Chandra Kreyer, emergency management coordinator for Anoka-Hennepin Schools showed school principals at the district's headquarters new radios they wi

Minn. schools rethink shooter drills as parents worry about trauma

School shootings elsewhere prompt parental concerns about emergency plans.


Shanta qof ee naftooda ku waayey dabkii 27ka Nofeembar ee Daaraha Dhaahdeer ee Cedar High ee Minneapolis oo lagu xasuusan doono masiibada dhacday. Noloshooda iyo geeridooda waxyaabo badan oo ay wadaagaan baa jira: halgankii ay u galeen nolosha, doonista ay u qabeen in ay adeegaan inta kale iyo ku xirnaashaha bulshada.
Minneapolis high-rise fire victims linked in life and death

Minneapolis high-rise fire victims linked in life and death

The five people who perished in the Nov. 27 blaze at Cedar High Apartments will forever be linked by the tragedy. Yet their lives, as well as their deaths, share a common thread.
Family members of those killed in the fire sat down with Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center leaders, community leaders and volunteers and representatives of

Grieving relatives of Minneapolis high-rise fire victims come together

Religious and community organizations raised $94,000 in the week since the blaze. But organizers say more is needed to help fire victims.
Salad Samatar is recovering at HCMC after a narrow escape from a Cedar-Riverside apartment fire that killed five others last week.

For survivor of Mpls. high-rise fire, 'My time hasn't ended yet'

Initially pronounced dead, Salad Samatar is making a slow recovery.
Firdaus Aden, who lost her mother, Nadifa Mohamud, in the fire, was comforted Friday at Darul-Quba mosque.

After deadly high-rise fire, a search for answers in Minneapolis

For many in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, Wednesday's fire echoes an earlier tragedy that killed three.
In a room on the ground floor of the affected building, family and friends of residents are in shock after five people died in a high-rise fire in the

Four victims identified as families, survivors gather to process tragedy

Residents of the Cedar-Riverside community attempted to process their shock and grief Wednesday, just hours after an early morning fire killed five and injured four.
Nadifo Yusuf Ismail, 70, lives on the 13th floor of the high rise at 630 Cedar Av. She says she tried to escape but couldn't so she locked herself in

Intense blaze in high-rise kills 5, sends shock wave across Minneapolis

The deadly blaze in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood broke out around 4 a.m. in a 25-story building. The fire was out within 30 minutes, the Minneapolis Fire Department said. Early signs are it was accidental.
Minneapolis fire, police and Hennepin County paramedics responded to a First Student school bus/car crash in 2007.

Minnesota's Democratic members of Congress pen letter to agency over school bus safety

The federal officials want the NHTSA to step up efforts.