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Somali refugee finds opportunity, love in Rwanda


Ali Abdi came to Rwanda when he was forced to flee his home country two decades ago. Rwanda allows refugees like Adbi to start businesses, have healthcare and financial services, as well as get access to education.

“I live like any other citizen of this country. I speak the language and my friends for the last 17 years are from this country”, Abdi said.

Abdi married Jasmine Mukagashagaza many years ago and now speaks the local language Kinyarwanda.

“She is from this country, she taught me a lot and now I can be independent”, he added.

Their years of hard work and sacrifice are paying off. They own their own home and are focused on giving their five children a better life.

“I want them to learn and work hard, so they do not have to face the same problems I did. That’s all I dream about”, he Abdi said.

Rwanda currently hosts over 150,000 refugees, with about 12,000 of them living in urban areas like Kigali.

Somalia plunged into lawlessness and violence in 1991. A further layer of chaos was added in 2015 with the formation of a splinter group of former al Shabaab insurgents who pledged allegiance to Islamic State.


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