Working with some other Somali Americans, Burhan Ahmed got the celebration of the Somali Independence Day (July 1) into the Chambers of the Columbus City Council with virtually all the council members in attendance. The three-day event, branded with the image of Ohio State Representative Dontavius Jarrells brought politicians, businesspeople, community leaders, Somali and friends together. Burhan Ahmed spoke with the New Americans magazine on the planning and execution of the events:
Congratulations on Somali Independence Day and the events organized before and on the day in Columbus, Ohio. What motivated you to organize the event?
Thank you! My motivation behind hosting these events was to showcase how important and strong the Somali community is here in Columbus. We add so much value to the community and it’s important that others see that too. We wanted to celebrate our culture.
How was the response from Somali Americans towards the planning and execution of the event?
The love we received from the Somali community here in Columbus was out of this world. Everyone was so proud that Somalia was in the spotlight and highlighted throughout the city.
How did the community in general respond?
The community’s response was amazing. We had a great turnout and had many of our Somali community members show up as well.
How will you describe the success of the event?
The event was very successful. The turnout alone was amazing and the outpouring of love and support on social media was great as well.
What are the expectations and next steps?
Our next steps is to continue to celebrate the African diaspora here in Columbus.
Is there any other information that you have for the community?
We are encouraging everyone in our community to get vaccinated and get the affordable care act.