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Omar Abdi

Omar Abdi

Born: Somalia
Heritage: Somali

Respect everyone.

Omar Abdi

We are here today to honor Mr. Omar Abdi. We are grateful Mr. Abdi visited our class and shared his inspiring life story. Mr. Abdi has spent a lot of his life looking out for children. He really loves children and he wants to see all children succeed. Mr. Abdi is one of the adults in our school who helps take care of us every day. He makes sure we are safe on the playground and in the lunchroom. He also helps make sure the buses run smoothly at the end of the day. We are lucky to have someone looking out for all the kids at our school.

Mr. Abdi has six of his own children. He has four boys and two girls. He is also a Grandpa! Four of his children are adults and are either in college or working. Two of his children are still in high school. His youngest son is a junior this year and his youngest daughter is a sophomore. He is very proud of his children and his grandchildren.

Mr. Abdi grew up in Somalia. Somalia is a country in East Africa. His Dad died when he was very young so his Mom raised him. Mr. Abdi grew up in a rural area and his family had camels, goats, sheep and cows. When he was little he had to help protect the animals. He had to help protect the animals from hyenas. He remembered that one time while watching the sheep he fell asleep and some hyenas killed one of the sheep before he was able to chase the hyenas away. His Mom was very angry but she also knew that Mr. Abdi was very little. After that day his older brother began taking care of the animals and his Mom sent him to school.

Mr. Abdi was excited to go to school, but in order to go to school, his Mom had to send him to live far away in the capital city with his Uncle. He had never been to a city before. He had never seen cars or big buildings. And his family didn’t have a car so he had to walk to Mogadishu. Mogadishu is the capital city.

Mr. Abdi said that his Uncle and his wife were very nice and they registered him for school. Mr. Abdi loved school. He loved learning and he especially loved math and science. He had to wear shoes to school. Something he wasn’t used to doing in the countryside.

When Mr. Abdi completed school he began working. His first job was with an American company. His first job led him to different jobs in the Middle-East. He was working for an American company in the United Arab Emirates when he learned about the opportunity to go to the United States to live and work. He applied for a work visa through a lottery and won.

Mr. Abdi moved to the United States and lived in Pennsylvania first. He got a job right away and people were very nice but there were not very many Somali people living in Pennsylvania. His wife didn’t know a lot of English so it was a little lonely even though people were nice. He knew that there were a lot of Somali people in Minnesota, so after a year of living in Pennsylvania, he moved his family to Minnesota.

Mr. Abdi lived and worked in Owatana when he first arrived in Minnesota. After his first children graduated from college and moved to Minneapolis, he decided to move to the Cities to be closer to his children. Now he lives and works in Eden Prairie.

We learned so much from Mr. Abdi. He shared many important messages. He told us that education is very important, but that the most important thing is to respect others, especially elders in our community. He said that in Somalia children learn to ask elders if they need help with anything. He feels that each person deserves respect. He wants us to remember to respect everyone.

We are here today to honor Mr. Abdi. We hope you like your song. We would like to thank Mr. Omar for coming into our class and sharing your life story with us. We would like to give you this rose and photograph is appreciation.


You Are The Seed!

Honoring Omar Abdi

You Are The Seed!
(Honoring Omar Abdi)

Learn, read, future leaders of this country.
Teachers, second parents, help you to succeed.

Born in Somalia
Father died when I was young
Mom had to raise us, it was very hard.
Raised camels, goats and sheep
One day even fell asleep.
Chased a hyena who killed my goat
Cried as I ran home.

Made a mistake mom said that’s okay
Somali are brave.
She said it was time to find a school
Mogadishu was that place

Gathered ten thousand dollars from friends and family
Got a visa, paid the money to the US Embassy
Family had no one to talk to, only spoke Somali
Came to Minnesota, more of my people around me

Worked in many schools here
Through cold and through snow
Now here in Eden Prairie
Helping students grow

Be nice to people, even if they’re not nice to you
What goes around comes around others will be good people too.
Care for everyone, anyone in need.
Respect your elders, they are the tree and you are the seed

Words and music by Anthony Galloway with Hannah Yokom’s 4th Grade Class, Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion School. Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

© Larry Long Publishing 2013 / BMI