Whirlwind Two Weeks
By: Hussein Samatar
It has been grueling two weeks. After getting back from the Achieving Excellence in Community Development session at Harvard, I was able to spend some time with my family and ADC tasks on Saturday, October 1st, before jetting off to Denmark. The trip was extremely successful, and I have learned a lot about Denmark, the Danish-Somali community, and the great work our U.S. Embassy is doing in that nation.
The trip was made possible by the U.S. Embassy in Denmark and our remarkable Ambassador Laurie S. Fulton. Ambassador Fulton visited the Twin Cites about three months ago to see the remarkable work of the and Somali-American community in Minnesota. She was so impressed that she thought an exchange of ideas between the Minnesotan-Somali community, the Danish-Somali community, and larger community in Denmark would be a beneficial and timely undertaking.
Edward Messmer and Travis Sevy were our guides throughout the tour, and were magnificent. They are truly great public servants and represent this country very well. What I saw last week was public diplomacy at its best. Edward and Travis accompanied us to each and every meeting.
In the next couple of weeks, I will post four blogs about this visit.
- The first blog will be my impression about Danish-Somali community in Denmark.
- The second blog will be about the promising ideas and groups that we met in Denmark.
- My third blog will be about discrimination and radicalization in Denmark and how the Danish approach security of their country.
- My final blog will be about how the Danish-Somalis and Minnesotan-Somalis can help the future generations to do better through education, handwork, resilience, and lot of hope and optimism about the future.
Finally, I would like to thank the U.S Embassy in Denmark for inviting me to travel there, and for setting up amazing meetings and facilitating for me to access and meet key policy makers in Denmark. It is remarkable to know that our Embassy in Denmark is truly pioneering new way of engaging the community and creating spaces and venues where dialogue can occur in Denmark between communities who might otherwise not meet or talk to one another, even though they live side by side.