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I'm keeping this upper section because it is a built-in demo of some good tools - a form and a map.  I think we could use these if needed.

Tel: 123-456-7890

Fax: 123-456-7890

500 Terry Francois St.

San Francisco, CA 94158

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Our Somali Neighbors

Where is Somalia?

Boasting the longest coastline of any African nation, Somalia hugs the far eastern coast of Africa – the ‘horn’ of Africa.  About 11 million people live there presently, mostly speaking the Somali language.

Picture of Africa - highlight nation of Somalia

Picture of Somalis - ideally with a pictures of a nomadic life - and happy 

And the People of Somalia?

Historically, Somalia's population has been rural and nomadic – raising crops or animals like camels, cattle, sheep and goats in villages that could move with the seasons.

The people have lived this way, as ‘big families,’ or clans, for generations. Historian Charles Geshekter notes, "When Somalis meet each other they don't ask: 'Where are you from?' Rather, they ask: 'Whom are you from?' Genealogy is to Somalis what an address is to Americans."

Through the course of many complex events, Somali entered a civil war in 1991 that the country hasn't fully recovered from - and has caused many to seek refugee in neighboring countries, as well as countries overseas, such as the United States.

The impact of this diaspora was felt in Minnesota starting in the mid-1990's.


Somalia has been a Muslim nation since the 11th or 12th century, that was impacted by European colonization through the 1800’s – their traditional land divided into 5 countries.

In the 1960’s, independence swept across Africa, and two of the regions of Somali people joined to form the nation of modern Somalia.  Attempts at a republic never took hold, and in 1969, a military dictator named Siad Barre took control – who held power until a revolt around the year 1990.

Different clans fought each other and within themselves to gain control of the country, which led to civil war and anarchy.  A resulting famine, exacerbated by the civil strife gained world attention, leading to UN and finally U.S. military involvement.  After the killing of U.S. troops, in an incident known as “Blackhawk Down”, they pulled out of Somalia.

During that time until now, Somalis have fled the country and many have lived in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia, seeking other countries which would allow them to come as well.  Many Somalis have been  resettled around the world

somali flag.jpg

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Oh, so that’s why we have Somalis here in Minnesota?

Heart Shape Cookie Cutter

The first Somali refugees started arriving in the Twin Cities in 1993.  The numbers have grown each year since – encouraged by jobs, a good educational system, and relatives living nearby.  Every family has been impacted in some way by famine andor war.  They have had many difficulties in getting here and most have close relatives or extended family still in East Africa.


The actual number of Somalis is difficult to determine. There are probably at least 50,000 living in the Twin Cities5 – making them the third largest ethnic population in the Twin Cities behind the 160,000 Hispanics and 85,000 Hmong that call the Twin Cities home. 

How did Somali Adult Literacy Training begin?

SALT officially started on International Literacy Day, September 8, 2003 under the leadership of a young Somali Christian man - Rev. Yaqub Mohamed - who saw the great need for English skills in the Somali community, and longed for his people to come to know the Lord, and Michael Neterer, who was given a vision to ________ 

Morning classes and evening classes were launched above the Urban Jungle Coffee Shop on East Lake Street, seeding a powerful idea - Sharing Jesus with our Somali neighbors through literacy and friendship.

What is the religious background of Somalia?

Can you find your school district in the chart below?

map of Somali interest in living.jpg

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Department of Education’s “Primary Home Languages” report which lists 64 urban, suburban and rural communities in Minnesota whose school districts report Somali-speaking school children. 

Somali Minnesota school map b-1.jpg

The Basics of Islam


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Islam is monotheistic religion that arose in the seventh century A.D. under the leadership of Muhammad.  Muhammad is believed to be the greatest of a long line of prophets that included Moses and Jesus.  Growing up as an orphan, Mohammed was first raised by his grandfather, then after his death, the prophet’s uncle.  Allah, the God of Islam, is believed to have revealed to Muhammad over a 23-year period what is recorded in the Quran, Islam’s holy book.  The Somali’s we reach out to among the nearly 1.5 billion people around the world that profess the Islamic faith. 

What do these words mean?

Quran - that which is to be read

Islam - submission of the will of Allah

Muslims – those who submit


In 2006, SALT joined World Relief Minnesota whose mission was, “Empowering the local Church to serve the most vulnerable.”  Under this guidance, SALT continued to grow.

In 2014 World Relief Minnesota changed its name to Arrive Ministries to more accurately reflect our mission of serving refugees.  Did you know that Minnesota has more refugees per capita than in any other state in the U.S.?

At present, there are more than a dozen SALT sites in the Twin Cities, as well as outreaches in places like Willmar, Marshall, Faribault, Sioux Falls, St Cloud, and beyond.

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Islam involves both obligations (The Five Pillars of Islam) and

beliefs (The Five/Six Doctrines of Islam)

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The 5 Pillars of Islam (Actions)

 – The profession of faith (Shahadah)

 – 5 daily prayers (Salah)

 – Alms to the poor (Zakah)

 – Fasting during Ramadan (Sawm)

 – Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj)

One way to remember these is:

  - Declare

  - Charity

  - Prayers

  - Forbear (fast)

  - Go there (Mecca)

The 6 Articles of Islam (Beliefs)

 - One God called Allah

 - Angles

 - Holy Books

 - Prophets

 - Day of Judgment

 - Predestination

Somali Language

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Somali spelling

Pronunciation Guide

English Translation



How are you?


Fee ‘on


Magacaygu waa ______.

Mahga ‘eye gu wa______.

My name is _________.


Mahga ‘aa ?

Your name?

(missing lines – re-insert table






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thank you















what is your name?

magacayguwa __


my name is __

iska warran?

is-kah wa-run

how are you?







adaa mudan

a-DAH mu-dahn

you're welcome




soo dhawow



fadlan, ku celi

FAHD-lahn koo-'eh-lee

please repeat

ma fahmin

mah FAH-min

I don't understand

nabad gelyo

nah-bahd GEHL-yo

good bye (peace to you)










habeen wanagsan

ha-BANE wah-NAHG-sahn

good evening


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