Comments: 314 • Responses: 91  • Date: 

Lager1725 karma

Do you live in Minnesota? How did so many somalians decide on Minneapolis?

FattyDoo8 karma

Umm, i think once some got here, more just followed. Somewhat like the karen diaspora

sunnydaize-1 karma

I worked for the US Census in 2010 and I censused a lot of Somalis. You guys are awesome! One question: Why do you guys have those couches that look like thrones? Do they have a name? Do most Somalis actually shop at the Somali malls? (my friends and I used to buy knock off handbags there when we were younger, haha!) I guess that's a few questions, sorry. :)

FattyDoo10 karma

How many people did you censused that had 01/01/19xx as their birthdate, haha? It's stylistic choice for most somalis with those couches. I personally don't enjoy somali malls. They get to become too much. They're great for ethnic food/clothing and stuff.

pseudofed6 karma

It is called fadhi carbeed: translation: arab seating. It is a type of furniture from the arab culture I guess. Not sure what the english word is.

Most somalis "the young ones" assimilate well and shop at local malls, but the older somalis support the somali-run businesses more frequently. That being said, older somalis still shop for groceries, electronics, etc at large retail malls

Source: I am a somali male

FattyDoo1 karma

Thanks for your input, I couldn't put my finger on the name of it.

billegoat2 karma

I hope you get an answer to this, I too would like to know. It is my basic understanding that Minneapolis has been a landing spot for many political refugees. I remember in the early 90's we had a very similar influx of Hmong peoples, mostly from Laos.

sunnydaize2 karma

It is. I'm from Minneapolis (now in NYC, woot) and there are tons of Somalis, Mexicans, Ecuadorians, Hmong, etc etc. Actually most of the Hmong live in St Paul but, ya know, same diff. I don't know why people would come to Minnesota. We're nice people but it's cold as SHIT. Somewhat related, I also read about some research at the University of Minnesota investigating links between autism (for which there is no word in Somali) and lack of vitamin D in mothers (which would make sense because hello, latitude change). I'm not sure how it ended up though, if someone randomly knows about this I'd love to hear about it. I think it was in Doris Taylor's lab, iirc, but she's kind of a rock star so I could be mistaken.

FattyDoo1 karma

Yeah the autism thing, I know a ton of Somali families with autistic children. My little brother is autistic and from what I understand, its not always seen as an actual disorder by Somalis.

UnicornPanties1 karma

What do you mean not an actual disorder? There's gotta be some stuff one can't overlook... (?)

FattyDoo2 karma

Well some people don't believe its a disorder as much as they believe its a possession or something that can be healed by God

J0A25 karma

Are you circumcised?

FattyDoo18 karma

Yes Edit: i am a guy continue ama

StockWobble21 karma

Thanks for the AMA. What is your most poignant/ disturbing memory of your time in Somalia?

FattyDoo8 karma

people's desperation to put it simply. People do some seriously scary things when desperate.

ryangaston886 karma

Any stories or examples?

FattyDoo14 karma

One that particularly stood out was this man who beat a kid to bloody pulp because the kid was hungry and stole some food from the man. Not a soul spoke up about it, most were too preoccupied with not dying to say a thing. Then was the scrap between two people over a rat they killed. Most of this was in the poorly fed refugee camp we spent a few hours in.

SomeSayIAmAnAsshole17 karma

I have heard you can live the perfect pirate's life in Somalia. Even Kyle said so. Care to comment?

FattyDoo17 karma

For some it can be pretty fucking lucrative, but for others not so much.

punkmonk14 karma

When I was visiting Minnesota, I was told to be careful around Somali immigrants. I thought they were just being irrational.. and then I was mugged by a Somali immigrant as I was returning to my hotel room kind of drunk.

Whats the deal? Why do Somali's have such a bad reputation? What is causing this?

FattyDoo8 karma

Generally younger somalis do this shit, usually has to do with the disconnect between family life and the rest of their lives. Cant really go to parents for advice about that sorta stuff. Edit: also many are subject to conditions of poverty which make you seem like an easy come up if you're white and drunk

halcyon_on_on13 karma


FattyDoo21 karma

They're in the same boat racially as I am. They're alright, theyre people, some somalis would argue differently though.

--MxM--6 karma


FattyDoo20 karma

Some people are racist, some are old school, some don't really think racial slurs and perjoratives are insulting. For example the word for asian translates into small eyes

AfricanGenius1 karma

Indho Yaar lol. The funny thing is, I am a young Somali too... except I live in the South where there are practically no Somalis (except Virginia). My question is, is it hard for you too learn Somali, or easier since you live in the 612?

FattyDoo1 karma

Born in somalia, moved to america, specifically seattle, then to ohio and then to minnesota. It was easy because I grew up with it, not because I live in the Twin Cities

winkraffles12 karma

You mentioned your mother contacted your father who was living in America to help you move out of Mogadishu. What was the process of leaving Somalia? How long did the whole process take (from your mother deciding to leave to the point where you met your father in America) and what were your means of travel?

FattyDoo15 karma

It included a long ass trip to Liboi, Kenya, harassment by Kenyan officials, and a few weeks stay while figuring paperwork out. Then talked to the U.S embassy and they expedited the process, (dad was already a citizen, etc) and then a long flight from nairobi, to some arab country, and then long ass flight to america. (Some details might be off)

The_Cat_Guy12 karma

Why the heck do you guys smell so odd? I mean the Wells Fargo in my town smells like Somalians when none are in there.

FattyDoo23 karma

Really depends on the household. We have some foods that tend to smell weird to people who aren't accustomed to it. When families cook the smell tends to get around the home and smell up not only the home, but their clothing, hair. Its not usually a question of hygiene, but the home smelling. In my home we try to air out the house, close doors, move the clothes to somewhere where they aren't exposed to food, etc. I really appreciate the balls it took to ask this.

xxhamudxx4 karma

It depends on what you mean as odd, Somalis traditionally use an incense in their home known as Dabqaad, the smell is peculiar but pleasant, and women tend to use it on their clothes. That said, you should define what you mean by odd... as I'm sure with everyone, some Somalis might smell unpleasant.

FattyDoo2 karma

This is also true

aaron666nyc9 karma

I grew up in minneapolis and there was a lot of fighting/shootings between african-american gangs and somalian gangs (esp at mall of america). aside from the usual "gang beefs/rivalries", i heard that they were mostly race related. i never understood this, altho what i heard, was that it was viewed that the african american gangs "weren't truly black because they had never even been to 'the motherland' before" .... i know this is crazy sounding, but i was curious if there's any validity or insight to this

FattyDoo10 karma

I actually live in Saint Paul, most of the race related shit is somewhat understandable, you have a group who just arrived after a huge diaspora and a group who has been there since like the 1920's. They suddenly live in similar areas crowded together and have completely different cultures.

CityGirlsEh9 karma

Are you ethnically Somali, or an ethnic minority? What is your favorite Somalian dish? And lastly, how do you feel about the effectiveness of the government reforms that occurred in 2010?

FattyDoo12 karma

Ethically somali, i love sambusa, and well i havent kept up with somali politics, but i would imagine those policies did jack shit because there's a radical islamist sect running amok and there's a famine going on.

dregond-3 karma

There are no ethnic minorities in Somalia.

FattyDoo4 karma

I would argue that there are some ethnic minorities in somalia, nomads and Bantu are arguably such

benmurOF8 karma

You seem like a nice person. And the first Somali I had ever experienced back in grade school grew up to be quite the successful intellectual and graduated from a good college. But ever since we received a large immigration of Somalis into my Minnesota suburban town, robberies and comparable crimes have increased drastically. And a majority of the Somalis are linked to them. And I regret to say that they are starting to ruin this town's reputation because almost of them act like animals. Can you explain why most of their behavior is like this?

virak_john5 karma

Interesting. The Somali community has drastically improved the Northland corridor in Columbus, my hometown.

We have around 80,000 Somalis in Columbus, and I've never met one that acts "like an animal."

FattyDoo4 karma

I actually used to live there, lol funny story, cousin of mine got shot in the ass with a bb gun and got onto house arrest

FattyDoo4 karma

I honestly don't understand the behavior, sorry, ill pm you if i think of anything

upforgnar8 karma

Are you getting any advantage applying to colleges? (i.e affirmative action)

FattyDoo-2 karma


upforgnar2 karma

care to elaborate?

FattyDoo2 karma

I went to 2 separate debate camps last summer (6 weeks of debate camp total) and I wrote on my scholarship that I was a low income member of the somali community and I was not only accepted, but I got a full ride to one the camps and Darthmouth Debate Institute gave me a HUGE scholarship which covered a large part of tuition and room and board and I paid for round trip plane ticket and supply pocket money for myself.

idekcookies3 karma

Do you do policy debate? I'm a policy debater at the college level.

FattyDoo2 karma


UnicornPanties2 karma

It sounds like you're well educated and a nice person and now I see you are apparently a skilled debater.

I'm sure affirmative action and your Somali history isn't the only thing that got you a scholarship, just sayin... ;)

FattyDoo1 karma

Hopefully it isn't haha

Ebelglorg8 karma

Af Soomaaliga maad ku hadashaa?

FattyDoo10 karma

ha, diibka iheeyso maaha afka somalidi wee igo jabantahay

cool_itch_effect6 karma

How are your relationships with American born African Americans?

FattyDoo13 karma

Pretty good, at least in my opinion. I'm americanized to the point where most people don't recognize that I'm somali until I tell them. I understand that we have severely different experiences than them but thats usually it.

TaylorS19862 karma

My friend Guled is like that, too. He's totally Americanized, the only clue of his origin is that he is a Muslim and that his East African facial features make him look a bit different then African-Americans, whose ancestors were from West Africa.

What kind of accent do you have? Do you have a stereotypical "black" accent or do you have an typical Minnesota accent?

FattyDoo2 karma


FattyDoo2 karma

No, I would have what you could call a "white accent", I also have a friend named Guled. He didn't realize I was Somali until we were grabbing Ice cream and I started speaking somali.

pseudofed2 karma


FattyDoo1 karma

Where are all the somalis here?

Buschwick6 karma

Are there any Somalian restaurants in the Twin Cities? I am white and don't know anything about Somalian cuisine. I can't believe that I don't know any given the amount of people from somalian decent.

FattyDoo5 karma

Tons of them, ill ask mom about it and she'll recommend some Edit: try the afro deli, its a nice spot, some east african cuisine and delicious food.

and_atom5 karma

I'm a teacher in Canada who has taught a number of Somali students over the years in my English classes. My students have been individuals, defined by themselves more so than their heritage, but I have to ask:

What are some of your most positive experiences in school?
What do you wish your teachers would do differently?
What would you recommend to a teacher who is working with very recent immigrants from Somalia?

Thanks so much for doing an AMA.

FattyDoo3 karma

I really enjoyed a few things *The ability to ask and answer questions * Move away from rote memorization to actual learning and interaction. * The ability to socialize. I wish teachers were more aware of student interactions (bullying, inter-student drama) and squash bull shit immediately before they get to become issues. I would recommend keeping them from each other, as in keeping them in different classes (if thats possible for you) and to have them work with other students when they don't understand specific concepts.

kiwi_hunter4 karma

Are any of your extended family or friends pirates?

FattyDoo7 karma

Yes, but pretty fucking extended, uncle on my dads side, like 4 times removed, his son got into an accident that broke his spine in like 4 places. Its an understandable response, pirating that is.

kiwi_hunter5 karma

What is your opinion on pirates? I understand that you need to go to extremes to feed your family, but to that extreme?

FattyDoo32 karma

Situation is like this: you used to have a dinghy that would score you tons of fish and stuff from the ocean, all of a sudden these big corporations also realize your waters have got way more fish than your people can hope to catch, they catch more fish than can repopulate. All of a sudden, you're going hungry as well as your family. You and a couple of fishermen who are also affected come together, borrow a few guns, and decide to run off the fishing rigs and shit. Hey it worked but all of a sudden, no more fish. You see how easy it was to get rid of that fishing boat, and decide to hold a ship for ransom, you do it, ransom paid, you let them go, all of a sudden all these fishermen are doing it, and then it becomes a problem. Pirating is one of few options left in war torn somalia, mostly southern somalia, to feed your family.

Cannabizzle2 karma

Is it that much worse than joining an army?

FattyDoo13 karma

Not sure, im a 17 year old hs school student, i gave up the pirate lifestyle when i left. It really didnt suit me

xxhamudxx4 karma

You're 17 and left when you were 4, so I'm assuming you lived in Mogadishu between the years 1996 and 2000. Isn't that period considered Somalia's most peaceful few years since Siad Barre lost power? If not, what kind of conflict/violence do you or any family members remember from your time there?

FattyDoo19 karma

Yep, but mom felt war and suffering was going to happen again, she contacted my father and uncle (dad was in USA), they helped us flee and apply for permanent residence in 'Murica

garou-garou3 karma

Do you still have connections with Somalians? Is any of your family there?

FattyDoo16 karma

Yes, but most have moved to northern somalia, northern somalia aint too bad honestly.

KlausBarbie3 karma

Is there anything you miss about Somalia?

FattyDoo16 karma

Yes,the fact that you could walk into another persons house, sit and eat and whatnot. It was a lot more open. At least during peace times. When we were leaving was another story.

TheThunderhawk3 karma

What was the music scene like during your time in Somalia?

FattyDoo9 karma

No clue, i was a four year old in Somalia, my taste in music was pretty unrefined.

IAmTheGodDamnDoctor6 karma

How do you feel about K'naan?

FattyDoo10 karma

He's a positive influence on young somali americans, he tends to understand the two worlds somali kids face in america. The old schooled somali homes and the american values they see on television and witness each day

IAmTheGodDamnDoctor4 karma

As someone who is studying international politics and relations, I really enjoy a lot of what he has to say in his music. His music is also just really damn good, in my opinion.

FattyDoo2 karma

Not a big fan of his music, but definetly a positive influence nonetheless

ohdjango3 karma

Somali brit here. I have an uncle who is currently doing business in mogadishu. He says things are peaceful and business is buzzing. Six new embassies opened up in mogadishu according to him but I haven't done any more research. I do know we have struck gold, in particular black gold. Oil I'm talking.

FattyDoo8 karma

Shits gotten better, but al shabaab and shit are still causing a ruckus

ohdjango1 karma

I heard they are no longer in the capital city and more in the smaller towns.

FattyDoo1 karma

The attack just two days ago on the courthouse would suggest otherwise

Smilfink3 karma

Why didnt you go to sweden? Half somalias population moved there

FattyDoo2 karma

Pops was in the good old U.S.A

frsp3 karma

Is all of Somalia as bad as Mogadishu?

FattyDoo2 karma

Honestly not really, lots of places are doing pretty well, especially in northern somalia. Just some people are fucking everything up for everyone else.

AmericanParty2 karma

Why did you come to the US? Do you think you could've helped Somalia improve by staying or going back?

FattyDoo2 karma

My mom believed that the situation in our neck of the woods was going to get a whole lot worse, she decided to move us to the U.S. I don't think a 4 year old could have done a lot against angry mobs of gun wielding motherfuckers. I don't think going back will be beneficial at least not in the immediate future.

PeteWTF2 karma

What's you opinion on the case for Somaliland independence? should the international community support it seeing as it's possibly the best functioning part of Somalia?

FattyDoo2 karma

I don't know, from what I hear, its the other part of somalia that is functioning. The problem with independence for them is their lack of a need for it. They are literally the same people, same religion (like 99% sunni muslim), there is no genocide against specific somali tribes (depends on what you mean by genocide) and it's there is no arguing for their independence.

[deleted]2 karma


FattyDoo1 karma

I like this novelty account, plenty of shock value to it

omgracist2 karma


FattyDoo2 karma

Shiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeet... that was interesting

Spinalzz2 karma

what's the best part about wherever you moved

FattyDoo10 karma

America, umm so much stuff. And like 12 different climates around the country. Holy shit. And its huge. Money is easier to get. Shits simpler and more difficult. There's a ton of stuff.

ScewInDaBelly1 karma

First off why do the majority of you guys suck at driving? And what is the deal with always being on your damn cellphones, you can't drive in the first place so lets make it worse by talking away on your phone.
Second, what is with the disrespect you show towards others? You treat your women like shit and don't show any gratitude to others. Never seem to move to the side when meeting someone on the sidewalk. Its like American customes don't apply to you. Respect the town you live in! Third, what's with the hygiene? It's as if you haven't heard of soap before. To sum this all up why does it seem like the majority (not all) of Somalians suck at everything you do in our American society?

FattyDoo3 karma

This is kind of difficult to answer. I'm assuming you're talking about people in their 50s and older. They were taught that America is a country with people that will treat them like shit if they don't beat them to the punch. They expect to be respected because of their age, at least in Somalia they do. They don't agree with most American customs because they don't care for them. And the smell isn't because of hygiene, generally food that we eat.

pseudofed1 karma


FattyDoo1 karma

Good response

StankDaddyMcNasT161 karma

Do you know any pirates?

FattyDoo1 karma

not personally, sorry

UnicornPanties1 karma

Well I don't know there is that uncle on your father's side removed four fucking times or something.

FattyDoo1 karma

Well ya, but I only know of him through my dad, never actually spoke to the man.

Maangi_Fii_Rek1 karma

Is there any order in Mogadishu? Or is it just sort of anarchy?

FattyDoo2 karma

Definitely, just a weirder order. Sometimes there are skirmishes and what not.

webcurse1 karma


FattyDoo1 karma

If there is a stable govt set up as well as checks and balances that prevent shit like this from happening, then yes

360walkaway1 karma

When you're pulled over by the cops, do they instantly let you go when they hear your accent?

FattyDoo2 karma

Nope, mostly cause i dont have an accent, like i said, im pretty americanized. But its after they check my licence

Jesse4021 karma


FattyDoo5 karma

Arrrrr right back at ya matey.

FattyDoo1 karma

Another policy debater awesome

IcyColdStare1 karma

Hey,I'm also a first generation Somali American. How's it going?

Yes, that's my question.

FattyDoo1 karma

Pretty good

J0A1 karma

Have you or anyone you know been a victim of genital manipulation? I understand it is a big problem in Somalia...

If so, can you elaborate? What are your thoughts on this subject?

FattyDoo4 karma

Seriously fucked up thing to do, mostly cause it serves no actual purpose and is seriously painful.

Kian571 karma

I did a project on Somalia recently at school. It's a very interesting country. I personally would like to visit if it settles down a bit. Question: Have you ever seen he Mogadishu water front?

FattyDoo4 karma

Yes, its a beautiful waterfront

freezing_viking1 karma


FattyDoo1 karma

Not sure, im fine with them, they make great food

asdfjklfast1 karma


FattyDoo1 karma

Honestly, communicating freely with family in the states. I lived with my moms friends in mogadishu

brobrobromine1 karma

What did you normally eat? I enjoy learning about an average day's meal from different countries.

FattyDoo2 karma

Rice, goat meat, pasta, beef, chicken, livers of animals, sambusa, injera, malawah (sorta like crepes but sweet on their own)

Corso1231 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA, I lived in Ottawa Canada and we had a large Somali Community. I grew up with a ton of new Somali immigrants/refugees. Some where tough guys but for every tough guy there was at least a few awesome dudes that I become friends with, and still am.

We have all grown up together, and laugh at how rough it was initially for the Somali community to integrate into Canadian culture. My guestion is what did the American Government set up to help the Somali community integrate into American culture?

FattyDoo1 karma

I don't think the government set up anything specific to help out with immigrants other than civics classes and immigration centers. Most somalis arrived here because plenty of people already live here.

redant9051 karma


FattyDoo1 karma

Kids beaten to a pulp for being hungry, people fighting over a rat they killed, dead bodies. Most of this in refugee camps except for dead bodies, that was in mogadishu, some guys apparently tried to rob a place

RetroHipster1 karma

Do you/your family keep in contact with people in Somalia? What's the situation like?

FattyDoo3 karma

My mom does most of the communication, from what she tells me there are a few skirmishes here and there, occasional bomb, but most of the shit comes from al shabaab, the radical islamist group

MoreCowbellNow1 karma

Have you ever gone back, to visit family and such? Do you plan to do it in the near term?

FattyDoo1 karma

not really planning on it

kgva1 karma

From reading this, it sounds like your people have really been scattered all over. That sucks. Do you ever see peace coming to Somalia? Would you go back if it ever happened?

FattyDoo1 karma

I most likely would return to visit, but I have roots in this country and don't see myself moving away.

ComradeCube0 karma

Are you a libertarian?

FattyDoo4 karma

Not really, dont know what they really do. American politics is a kinda fucked up thing

ComradeCube1 karma

Well, somalia is essentially the libertarian utopia. Small tribal governments instead of a large one.

It is the only libertarian country in existence today.

FattyDoo1 karma

I guess, but I really don't understand what libertarians stand for. Somalia may be liberterian, but its not really a country.

ChrisMcKormick-4 karma


FattyDoo2 karma

What should i use?

OAGSpengler-12 karma

Why do you guys all have the same face?

FattyDoo16 karma

We're all the same person.

virak_john5 karma

I'm assuming your name is Abdi?

FattyDoo3 karma

Nope, thats the beginning of my middle name though.