A Letter from Osman


My name is Osman.

I was born in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in 1967. I went all the way through secondary school there and studied engineering to design new buildings. But the civil war broke out, and I didn’t get the chance to work.

It was not safe to stay in Somalia, so I went to Kenya, where I was a refugee from 1997 until two months ago. When you live as a refugee, you need shelter, food, education, and healthcare. But you cannot get any of that. And you cannot bring anything with you. You can only take what you can carry by hand, and even then, not much. I lost my photo album. The pictures of my childhood until now, all gone. My certificate of education, gone.

I met my wife in Kenya, and we had a son! She had a sponsor through one of her sisters and came to Minnesota in 2004. We were separated for 11 years. Our son stayed with me until 2011, when he came to the U.S. too.

I spent all of my time thinking about my family and how they were doing. In life, you need someone to support you. It is difficult alone. When I finally got to join my family here, I came out of the airport, and the first thing I saw was my wife and son. We ran to each other and hugged. I can’t express that moment, but I feel it. It was a remarkable day. Now, finally, we are reunited!

When I got here, my wife advised me to join this school to improve my English. I need English for my life and to get a higher degree at the University. That is a very big goal I wish to achieve.

Even when I was a child, I was dreaming of being a doctor. My father was a doctor of agriculture. He would say, “If you want a better life, study something!” I think I might choose business and management.

One day I will reach my dream. I am very grateful to everyone for helping me to get there.