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31 very interesting things. 4: Cardiff's Somali Community

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The Guardian put together a great interactive map of Britain a couple of years ago showing the location of different ethnic minorities. I'd love to know why Greeks were attracted to Guildford. The Irish in Cheltenham is pretty obvious. And then there's the Somalis in Cardiff. They first arrived there to work on the docks in the 1880s and now number as many as 10,000. What I love is the way that it reminds me of so many trips to Somalia. They rave about Welsh lamb and every question prompts a heated disagreement and rapid discussion. I'd love to know the origins of Minnesota's Somali community too...


Amani | May 22, 2008 6:30 AM | Reply

Don't know about Minnesota, but Maine (where I live) has a big Somali community. They started coming via Atlanta seven years ago (Atlanta was too expensive and had too much crime). Most Somalis have now settled in Portland and Lewiston, and there's probably around 2,000 here now, with more arriving all the time. Many of them came from Mogadishu or from the camps in Kenya.

There's a lot of racism for them to contend with (Maine is the most white state in the nation). The Lewiston mayor wrote an infamous letter to the community asking the Somalis to tell their relatives to quit coming-this was a while back. I blogged on it if you're interested: http://newsoutofafrica.blogspot.com/2008/02/observations-on-somali-diaspora.html

Anonymous | May 22, 2008 6:41 AM | Reply

Thanks Amani.

What do you think?