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Tweet City Heights: Somali Leaders Inspire Community

By Megan Burks

Local Youth Leader Recounts Aid Trip to Somalia
Abdumalik Buul, a local Somali leader who recently returned from a trip to deliver aid in Somalia, visited Speak City Heights partner KPBS this week to talk about his experience in the famine-ravaged country. In a radio interview, he described a crumbling Mogadishu filled with makeshift refugee camps. People travel for weeks to get to the capital city, but get little help upon arrival, Buul said.

“Over here, people argue about what they’re going to eat,” he told radio host Maureen Cavanaugh. “There, they argue about if they’re going to eat.”

Buul documented his trip with a video camera, interviewing starving families and talking with children who lost their parents.

“These kids are waiting for us to go and be activists for change,” Buul says. “To go and not only donate, but be productive people that go out and advocate for these people.”

Buul and the Somali Youth League of San Diego raised $30,000 at carwashes and a benefit dinner over the summer. Buul said he was able to provide food and supplies for 250 families, medical supplies for a hospital and cash donations for 70 orphans, 30 widows and 10 disabled famine victims.

A walk to raise awareness and funds is scheduled Dec. 17.

Find Somali Youth League on Facebook.

Somali Community to Celebrate Strong Leadership
Somali Family Service will celebrate inspirational leadership like Buul’s at its OceanLeaf Awards Celebration 6 p.m. Wednesday at 404 Euclid Ave. The event will honor six individuals and organizations that support and enrich the East African community.

One honoree is San Diego State University graduate student Ali Artan. The Daily Aztec profiled Artan this week, calling him “a phenomenal role model for young Somalis.” Artan founded the only bilingual Somali newsletter in Southern California, volunteers as a translator and has been a student leader at SDSU.

Click here to see the other honorees.

Follow Somali Family Service @SomaliFamilySvc.

More City Heights Mentions
Follow @spkcityheights or find us on Facebook for more on news bits City Heights, including its re-branding as “North Park East” and a move to turn Hoover High School into a charter school.


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