Agazit Tesfai and I were connected through the South Sudanese Center. We’d never met in person before the interview, so I was trying to both interview and talk to Agazit, with the hope of also making a friend. If we end up getting that Ethiopian coffee together, then I’ll take that as a success. Originally, the plan was for us to meet at Geisel Library to do the interview in person, but because Agazit had to get ready for a class she was teaching. So, she was at her home while I was in one of the quiet study rooms in Geisel. We talked aboutRead More →

I met Huda at UWEAST for the first time at an event called Urban Beats. We talked then, and we talked more when we met again at the Celebration of Africa event at UCSD. At some point it was evident that Huda would be a great person to teach us about hers and the larger Somali community in San Diego’s experiences. We conducted the interview at her home in Serra Mesa, and we discussed her life in San Diego to being. Moving beyond that, we touched on politics, community development, peace, culture, and the future. I found it interesting that Huda was so on theRead More →

On May 25, 2018, I had the opportunity and privilege to interview a coordinator from the United Women of East Africa Support Team (UWEAST) center. My interviewee who wishes to remain anonymous narrates her journey as a refugee to the United States while reminiscing about her hometown, family, culture, and finding her own identity. She was born in Somalia and raised in Egypt and arrived in the United States at the age ten. While arriving she experienced cultural shock, but by having the support from her mother and engaging at UWEAST she has manage to continue practicing and embracing her culture. Finally, the message sheRead More →

  My interview was with Rizzhel Javier, a local artist working for the New Children’s Museum. We talked about her life growing up in Mira Mesa and how she wanted to go to college as far away from home as she could. When she finished her undergrad, she came back to San Diego for grad school. She now lives in the house she grew up in and does a lot of work in the community. Identity was a big struggle for Rizzhel growing up, and she talked about how she could not find a Barbie doll that looked like her when she was a child.Read More →

    These interviews concentrate on Jama Mohamed’s working at the United Women of East African center. Jama was born on January 1, 1987, in Mogadishu, Somalia but currently resides in City Heights, San Diego. He was forced to refuge from his country at the age of three and lived in a refugee camp for seven years before coming to the United States. In the interview, Jama speaks about some of the work he does at United Women of East Africa. He is committed to helping youth with mental illness issues and is motivated to help people in his community. Lastly, Jama speaks about whatRead More →

During the interview Mirna talked about her involvement with Casa Familiar’s Youth Center and how she is able to make an impact on the students lives but also how they impact her life. She talked about how not places like Casa exist down in San Ysidro. Mirna also shared how she grew up going to Casa and that they are the reason along with other resources why she was able to go to college and achieve her goals. Mirna also expressed that even with all the work that she’s done with Casa there’s still a lot more to be done. I wasn’t able to uploadRead More →

  I was able to interview two folks from the tejido group (knitting group). I interviewed them on May 30th, 2018 at Casa Familiar during their session. In the background of both interviews you can hear the laughs and convivencias of the other señoras in the group. The second person I interviewed was Maria Trejo, she is also a community member that uses the Casa Familiar services. During the interview she was working on starting a new piece for another one of the señoras and you can hear her talking about the piece and the steps as she goes along the interview. She talks about migrating to TijuanaRead More →

    I was able to interview two folks from the tejido group (knitting group). I interviewed them on May 30th, 2018 at Casa Familiar during their session. In the background of both interviews you can hear the laughs and convivencias of the other señoras in the group. The first person I interviewed was Josefina Loyon, she is one of the community members that uses Casa Familiar services. In the interview she talks about her tejidos, life, the space, and love. During the interview another community member joined us for a bit and I think that part of the interview was really interesting because it showsRead More →

The interviewee of this oral history is Miriam Adam, a Youth Coordinator at the United Women of East Africa Center. It took place on May 31, 2018 at the UWEAST center, and discusses her experiences growing up and attending school in the United States, family and Eritrean culture, and Muslim traditions and holidays. Miriam has unofficially been involved with the UWEAST center since fourth grade, and has officially worked there since May of 2015. She is a current student at University of San Diego, and was happy to share with us her knowledge of cultural customs, especially the Eritrean coffee ceremony!  Read More →