First ever Somali Night hosted at NDSU

Somali Student Association helps students feel a sense of community

students celebrated Somali culture by performing traditional dances.

Every year, students come onto campus hoping to find their second home. This year, a group of students found their second home by creating the Somali Student Association.

This new group on campus was created to bring Somali students together. The overarching goal was to create and foster a community, which was emphasized in their inaugural Somali Night on March 30.

This event was put together to celebrate Somali culture and bring the community together in Fargo-Moorhead. It was a night filled with dances, poetry and fashion, all while recognizing those in the community that have helped Somali students become acclimated to their new home.

The unity and sense of community throughout the room was thriving. During the award ceremony, it was shown that there are many who have done a lot for the Somali population in the F-M area.

The Somali Student Association Award went to Sharif Hashim Hassan for his efforts in leading and fulfilling Islamic duties and rituals within the community. The Recognition and Appreciation Award went to Dahir Ahmed for his work the past 22 years taking care of the well-being for many refugees and helping close the language barrier.

The most memorable part of the event was the poetry. Zamzam Ulow, Jabril Hassan and Ashya Madi all performed various poems. Though each poem was unique and read by a different person, the poems all shared the commonality of sharing their pride in their culture and being Somali.

During the event, when seating fell short, audience members showed unity with each other and selflessness by grabbing more chairs for themselves and others, as well as helping those putting on the event. Sadiyo Hassan, the group’s vice president, noted that she’s “really grateful that we were able to showcase our culture, but the way that it brought us all together is what really made me love the night.”

The theme, “Home away from home,” was chosen to represent that the F-M community is a place where Somali people have been thriving. It is a place that has been turned into their home, even though their first home is far away.

In tradition with Somali culture, tea and various desserts were offered at the beginning of the event. They offered three desserts: halwa (a sweet, gelatin-like delicacy), small cookies and a cake similar to a Bundt or pound cake.

Putting on this event was made easier for the new group with the donations they received. Hajira Hassan, the Somali Student Association’s social events coordinator, also played a large part in putting it all together, as she spearheaded the project.

This free event was sponsored completely through donations from Somali run businesses in the area. The Somali Student Association is already looking forward to holding the event again next year and strengthening the Fargo-Moorhead community.

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