People often gape openly at Ahlaam Ibraahim. Covered from head to foot in a hijab, the college freshman and daughter of Somali immigrants has grown accustomed to stares from fellow students on the University of Washington campus, just as she did at Rainier Beach High School when she enrolled there four years ago. But in her entrepreneurial spirit, Ahlaam, 18, is as American as they come.
This fall, the double major in business and education put her ambition to work by creating a group to help other East African high-school kids navigate the application-and-financial-aid gauntlet. Most of the 50 young men and women who have come to early meetings of Educating the Horn will be, like Ahlaam, the first in their families to go to college.
“Ever since we’re young kids, our parents have been telling us they came to this country for an education,” said Ahlaam, whose father drives a cab and mother stays at home caring for four younger children.
Her drive to reach out and organize when many kids are more interested in their social calendars was no surprise to Rainier Beach teacher Colin Pierce. He described Ahlaam as an uncanny mix of wonkish activism and teen girlhood. “She is definitely a mover and shaker, with an incredible sense of how you mobilize people,” Pierce said. “I could see her becoming a politician.”
Last week’s election of Donald Trump to the presidency, after a campaign driven in part by anti-immigrant rhetoric, caused only a momentary blip for Ahlaam. “I woke up at 3 a.m. and lay there staring up at the sky, thinking about how my life’s going to change,” she said. “I was scared for my safety — a lot of people felt that way. But Donald Trump affected so many minority groups that it gave us a connection, which makes us powerful.”
Born in Seattle, Ahlaam spent her elementary years in Islamic schools. Rainier Beach was her first experience with public education, and initially, it shocked her. Casual attitudes toward authority, free-form cursing, disrespect for elders — all of it left Ahlaam speechless.
Yet Beach’s small size also fostered a sense of family and encouraged her to take a full slate of International Baccalaureate courses. Last spring she learned that she’d earned a full scholarship to the UW. Only later did she realize how unusual that was. “Not a lot of people who look like me are getting these scholarships, or even applying for them,” she said. “So I want them to know, ‘If Ahlaam can do it, so can I.’ ”
The next meeting of Educating the Horn will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, at East African Community Services, and it is designed as a submission party to help students fill out paperwork, edit college essays and learn of scholarship opportunities.read more...
By GIDEON KETER@ARAPGKETER
The second leg of shuttle diplomacy to campaign for Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed’s candidacy for African Union Commission chairperson begins this week. Kenya has put up spirited and well-funded campaigns for Mohamed. At least 35 of the 53 member countries will have to vote for her if she has to occupy the seat. Nineteen Comesa countries have pledged their support.
Deputy President William Ruto returned to the country on Saturday after lobbying West Africa and parts of East Africa. “This is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to ensuring African institutions have robust leadership that delivers on the continent’s agenda, including the ambitious Agenda 2063,” State House said on Sunday. “Kenya remains encouraged by progress made in the campaigns. The EAC endorsement followed that by Comesa and Somalia’s announcement of the first vote at the election.”
Comesa is a 19-country free-trade bloc, but its members also belong to other regional communities. “You can expect to see more of the travel, as Kenya robustly seeks an African consensus on Mohamed’s candidacy. That can only be achieved if the President reaches out to all the continent’s leaders, which is what he is doing,” State House added.
Mohamed is contesting against Botswana’s Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Equatorial Guinea’s Foreign minister Agapito Mba Mokuy and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily. Malawi and Madagascar, which belong to SADC, have pledged to support the CS.
The elections are slated for January 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the headquarters of the AU. On Monday next week when the President hosts the State House Diplomacy Summit, Mohamed will update Kenyans on the gains made since the campaigns began.read more...
A COLLEGE student from Somalia has gained a top sporting award.
Rahmo Ali Adan (18), who relocated to Rotherham from the African country and now studies an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course at Rotherham College, has taken up the chance to participate in sports that she could not have in her homeland.
She received second prize at Sport England’s National Satellite Club Participant Awards and was presented with her honour by Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch and Paralympic superstar Dame Sarah Storey.
Rahmo was presented with her award in recognition of her contribution and outstanding commitment to taking part in community sport. Rotherham College introduced Rahmo to the Places for People Leisure satellite club to let her develop her interest in sport.
The club hosts weekly sessions and offers a range of sports like zumba and boxercise. Rahmo is now actively encouraging other young women to try out all the sports the club has to offer. Rahmo, who lives in Rotherham, said: “I recently moved to England. Back home only boys do sport or physical activities.
“I started to do sport at the Female Fitness Club through Rotherham College and it’s become one of my favourite things at college.
“In my free time I now play football and netball with my nephews and nieces. I enjoy walking as well.
“I thank my teachers who introduced me to sport. Sport has really changed my life.” Rahmo’s efforts were praised by Rotherham College’s sport co-ordinator, Ben Hannan. He said “Rahmo has been on an incredible journey, overcoming adversity along the way and always with a smile on her face.
“Her achievement is absolutely outstanding and is a credit to her.” Director for community sport at Sport England, Mike Diaper, said: “Despite the obstacles she has faced, Rahmo’s determination to succeed is an inspiration to us all.
“Thanks to the support of Rotherham College and Places for People Leisure, Rahmo has found a supportive environment, which allows her to try out a range of activities and make new friends. “Her infectious positivity, reminds us about the many benefits sports can offer, and I hope she will continue to be a beacon for youth sport in Rotherham.”
The presidents of Galmudug and Puntland state, Abdikarim Hussein Guled and Abdiwali Mohamed Ali Gas headed for Galkayo for possible negotiations on ceasefire , officials said.
Each is coming from a different direction and the two leaders are set to meet to find a way out to bury the hatchet and foster a peace deal in the troubled city. The delegation of Galmudug president is said to have left Adado towards the troubled city.
On the other hand, a plane carrying president Gaas from Garowe touched down in Galkayo’s main airport on Friday.
The two regional state officials are anticipated to meet at Galkayo airport and discuss ways and means to bring the hostility in the town to an end. Presiding over the meeting will be UN officials and officials from the federal government of Somalia.
This meeting was the upshot of a recent meeting in Bossaso between the president of Puntland and the UN Special Envoy to Somalia Michael Keating who advised the two presidents to meet in Galkayo for a durable solution on the recurrent hostilities between the two neighboring regional states.
However this is not the first time the two presidents meet. Earlier this month, they have met in Dubai for the same concern and an agreement to stop the fighting brokered by the UAE government was hatched despite the fact that it was disturbed by the escalation of clashes in the town.
Dozens of the warring troops and increased number of civilians are believed to have died there in renewed clashed earlier this week. UN estimates that the recent clashes in Galkayo displaced about 80 per cent of the town’s population.
UN Security Council renews authorization for international naval forces to combat piracy off Somali coastread more...