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Mohamed Essa

Mohamed Essa

Somalian Immigrant and Community Worker

Born: Yemen
Heritage: Somali

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HONOR SONG LYRICS

I Want Peace For My People Of Somalia
Inspired by Mohamed Essa

My people were happy
And then started fighting
My people were starving,
Running and dying. . .

I want peace for my people
Of Somalia

Those without guns started fleeing
To Ethiopia
Yemen and Kenya
California, Minnesota. . .

I want peace for my people
Of Somalia

Each year we keep fasting
From sunrise to sundown
For love everlasting
To care for each other. . .

I want peace for my people
Of Somalia

To be smart like a tiger
To be quick, to be ready
To be strong like a liion
Loyal and steady

I want peace for my people
Of Somalia

Grandmothers, grandfathers
Grandsons, granddaughters
Mothers, fathers
Brothers, sisters

I want peace for my people
Of Somalia

With heart, mind, and body
We pray for the families
For this land, for this nation
For respect for each other

I want peace for my people
Of Somalia

Music by LARRY LONG. Words by LARRY LONG with Cathy McNamara’s 3rd Grade Class of Eden Lake Elementary School (Eden Prairie, Minnesota)

Copyright Larry Long 2004

Mohamed Essa

Somalian Immigrant and Community Worker

My name is Mohamed Essa. I am from Somalia. My people are from Somalia. I was born in Yemen, a country east of Africa. Somalia and Ethiopia are sometimes called the Horn of Africa because they look like an animal horn on the map of Africa. Africa has many beautiful animals, like lions and tigers.

In Somalia my people were very happy. When I was young my country had a government. In 1991, a group of people fought and drove our president from Somalia. Then many groups of people were fighting each other, each trying to choose the next president.

During the fighting people without guns ran away to other countries. Some people went to Ethiopia and Kenya. Some people came to the United States. The people in Somalia were
fighting and starving and dying.

Our culture is different from some other cultures. In our culture, extended family members live together in a home. You live with your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, your parents,
your brothers and your sisters.

We are Muslims and follow Muslim traditions. We celebrate the month called Ramadan by fasting from sunrise to sunset. We dress differently than many of you. Women cover their
heads and bodies. They only show their feet, hands, and faces.

In our religion respect is very important and one way we show respect is to pray five times a day. When I came to America there were less than ten Somali people in Minnesota. Now there are 70,000 Somali people living in Minnesota. Many came from refugee camps and had nothing.

I help them find housing. We take children to school. People say, “When you go to Minnesota go to Mohamed Essa. He will help you.” Now many of the Somali people have graduated from college and own shops, houses, and buildings.

I have lived in Eden Prairie for seven years. When we first came here my wife said, “No, we will not live here. It’s too cold.” We came and soon saw that it was a good place to live. It looks like back home. A lot of trees. It is friendly. It is beautiful.