Metro Transit employees come from many cultures and backgrounds. To celebrate this diversity, employees who are proud to share their heritage and identity will be regularly featured on the Riders' Almanac blog. Read more stories here.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’m from Mogadishu, Somalia. My father died before we immigrated to the United States. My mother and sister are both in Minnesota. When I arrived, I was full of energy to be in a new country. Here, I met my wife and have five kids. I came to Minneapolis directly and now it’s my home.
How did you settle in Minnesota and come to work at Metro Transit?
When I was 19 years old, I left Somalia with my mother in 1992. We were refugees in Kenya for about 4 years. My sister who was in Minnesota sponsored us and we arrived in 1996. For a few years, I worked in technology manufacturing inside a clean room. Then I heard a radio ad for Metro Transit and decided to apply. In 1999, I started here as a bus operator. I eventually moved into a dispatcher position. Twenty-three years later, I don’t plan on looking for another job and hope to retire here.
How do you continue to celebrate your culture today?
Minnesota has a large Somalian community, so it’s easy to continue to celebrate Islamic holiday, like Ramadan, happening right now, and Somalian Independence Day in July. During Ramadan, I fast during the day and break fast with my family at night. We all look forward to Eid – this year on Sunday May 1 – when we celebrate the end of Ramadan. My family and I pray with our community. Sometimes it’s at the Convention Center or when it was around the Metrodome due to the number of people celebrating. Then we usually go to the Mall of America to break fast and spend time with families. Many Somalian families go to malls and restaurants together that day between prayer. And I look forward to bringing my kids to Somalian Independence Day on Lake Street this July.
Ramadan, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. The annual observance of Ramadan lasts twenty-nine to thirty days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.