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Speaker series on Somalis in Roxbury wraps up Wednesday

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  December 14, 2010 01:28 PM

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The third and final installment of a fall speaker series on the history of the Somali community in Boston, particularly in the Roxbury area, will be held Wednesday evening at the neighborhood’s Haley House Bakery Café.

Since the early 1990s, civil war and violence in Somalia has driven millions of people from the nation along Africa’s eastern coast to refugee and resettlement camps in neighboring countries and to communities abroad, including in the United States.

Almost 6,000 Somalis have settled in the Boston area since the turmoil in their native land began, according to the Somali Development Center, a 14-year-old social service agency based in Jamaica Plain near its border with Roxbury.

Roxbury has become a center for the Hub’s Somali population and home for several Somali-owned businesses, said speaker series organizers and co-sponsors Discover Roxbury and Haley House Bakery Café – both neighborhood-based non-profits.

For Wednesday’s talk in the series dubbed “Somali Roxbury,” Abdirahman Yusuf, co-founder and head of Somali Development Center, along with Mariam Gas, founder and head of the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center in Jamaica Plain, will focus discussion on the rise and growth of Roxbury’s Somali community.

Starting at 5 p.m., the café will offer authentic Somali sampusas to purchase in addition to regular menu items. The speaking program runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, visit www.haleyhouse.org and www.discoverroxbury.org.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.

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