Ismahan Abdullahi, is a first-generation Somali-American woman who has lived in Denver, Colorado before moving to South Bay and then City Heights in San Diego, California. She currently works as the Executive Director of the Muslim American Society (MAS) under the Division of Civic Engagement. Her career path towards political activism was inspired by her early childhood experiences and by many events she has witnessed amongst communities of color throughout her life. As a former UCSD student, Ismahan was involved as the President of UCSD’s Muslim Student Association (MSA), where she discovered her passion for fighting for justice and equality for African Americans. The interviewRead More →

Maryan Osman was born and raised in San Diego and is the daughter of Somali Refugees. In the interview she explores the themes of her relationship with the city and her community, in particular her connection to City Heights and the Southeast. She highlights the impact that growing up in a very diverse community had on her and the sense of ‘comfort’ it provided. Maryan then talks about her experience in college where she started getting involved in community work with her friends. From there, she explains how she started working at Mid-City CAN and her current role in the organisation and their projects. FollowingRead More →

In this interview Jaffet Emmanuel Garcia, an undergraduate student at UC San Diego talks to former UC San Diego Alumni and current Cal State San Marcos professor Mohamed Abumaye. In the interview multiple topics are discussed ranging from police oppression, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and growing up in City Heights. Professor Abumaye shares his vision for a better future and exposes the shortcomings of the current educational, medical and political system. Having taken place just a week before the enraging events surrounding the murder of George Floyd, this interview also discusses experiences of police oppression and the change that is desperately needed.Read More →

Shamseldin Abdelaziz  is a 17 year old Hoover High School student who was born in Sudan and moved to Egypt when he was 1 years old. After living in Egypt for 7 years, which he described as a very memorable experience, he and his family moved to the United States. Shamseldin currently lives in the City Heights neighborhood in San Diego and is very proud to be a member of this community. An excellent student, Shamseldin has been accepted into many universities and has a full scholarship to attend UC San Diego. Along with being a great student, he gives back to his community byRead More →

Reflection: Established in 2017, the Refugee Health Unit is a functionary of the UC San Diego Center for Community Health and is funded through the UC San Diego Health System. Located in the ethnically diverse City Heights neighborhood, the Unit works in collaboration with local San Diego organizations to help the needs of refugees by providing resources necessary for a large number of organizations to ease existing health disparities. In particular, the Refugee Health Unit addresses public health issues in a holistic manner, with an emphasis on mental and physical health. For our project with the Refugee Health Unit, we created a series of communityRead More →

Ramla Sahid did not consent to have the audio recording of the interview uploaded. However, she did consent and approve the use of the interview transcript. Ramla Sahid was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1986 and is the founder and executive director of the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA). The interview discusses her early childhood leaving the war with her family; the resettlement of some of her family members in Ethiopia; the year she spent with her family in a Kenyan refugee camp; her experience with dual-language immersion in Dallas, Texas; and her experience growing up with, and the subsequent importance of,Read More →

This interview with Noun Abdelaziz was facilitated by Reem Zubaidi at the Refugee Health Center. Noun and I met at the Refugee Health Center and conducted the interview in the conference room. We discussed Noun’s background, including where she grew up, what her family was like, and her experiences in grade school. Noun moved to City Heights when she was 10 years old after moving with her family from Egypt. She started work at the Youth Advisory Council in her second year of high school and is continuing to work to correct food and health disparities 3 years later. Noun was a key member inRead More →

I was not really sure what I was going to encounter my first day working with the Refugee Health Unit, an offshoot of the UC San Diego Center for Community Health. Since moving to La Jolla several months ago, I had yet to visit City Heights, or even truly explore any of the communities outside UCSD. Therefore, when April 11th rolled around I was truly excited to get a chance to meet with R. Z at the Refugee Health Unit office in City Heights. We had already exchanged a copious amount of email correspondence, as at that point in the school quarter, the group ofRead More →