civil war kids: young somalis in minnesota

I *heart* public radio.  I believe the series has three parts, so scroll through to see them all.

Young men escape bloodshed in Somalia, but find violence in Minnesota

“I don’t know what’s going on with the community,” said Rahma Warfa,” who lost her brother and cousin. “It’s sad that we left a civil war to look for a peaceful country, and then we come to a peaceful country, and we still kill ourselves.” Prosecutors say two 17-year-olds killed the three men during a botched robbery. It’s not clear if either teen was involved with gangs, but the shootings are part of a grim cycle of violence within the Somali-American community.

It’s also easy to find success stories among Somali refugees. More Somalis live in this state than anywhere else in the country. Many immigrants have set up shops and restaurants. They’ve rebuilt their careers in health care and public policy. Their children are graduating from college.

But among those newcomers are some disaffected young men who are causing the most harm to their own people.

Murshid Barud, a first cousin of two of the victims in the Seward Market shootings, said wasn’t surprised that the suspects were so young. Many Somali-American boys are growing up poor and fatherless in the inner-city, Murshid Barud said, and they’re turning to the streets for their role models.


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