Hosts embody the hospitality of Somali culture
Jamila Osman, Mulki Ali, Nadifa Omar and Maryam Hussein reflect the experiences of many of the Somali people who have made Edmonton their home over the past 35 years. When they heard that EdmontonEats was being created as a way to share cultures, food and assist to provide an economic opportunity, they wanted to help each other and be a part of it. They believe it is important that people learn about each other’s culture and that this knowledge makes a difference in our communities.
When it comes to sharing food and stories, the Somali people are most generous. Jamila, Mulki, Nadifa and Maryam say that Somalia is a country where welcoming people to their homes is a way of life, and they wish to share this hospitality through Flavours of Edmonton.
Maryam Hussein wanted to become involved with EdmontonEats as it has a very local connection to her community of Bannerman. Her four sons and daughter have attended the local elementary school. She works fulltime in a local daycare. Maryam was born and raised in Somalia.
She moved to Canada as a refugee. She sees a future where her children will succeed in school, go to college or university, take care of their family and embrace their culture. Maryam feels taking part in EdmontonEats is important in celebrating and showing pride in her culture while building strong community connections.
Mulki Ali volunteered to pull the ladies together for this event as she knew they would love to share their culture and food as well as benefit from the shared income. She has been a proud Edmontonian for more than 25 years. Born and raised in Somalia, Mulki was entering her adult life when civil war broke out in 1991. Fearing for her safety, Mulki moved to Italy to attend post-secondary school. She met her future husband there, and they moved to Edmonton for his work. When Mulki arrived here she did not speak English and her education did not transfer. However, her community values and desire to start a family gave her determination. Mulki attended Alberta College, learned English and upgraded at MacEwan University. Her family moved to the Edmonton neighbourhood of Dickensfield, where she became active in the community and built valuable relationships. Today, Mulki and her husband have four children. Mulki now works as a Cultural Broker with Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op, where she works with immigrant families, helping them overcome cultural barriers and contribute to society.
Nadifa Omar is described by her friend Mulki as having an amazing spirit and zest for life. Nadifa loves cooking for people and you are always welcome at her home with food and generosity. Nadifa has a deep knowledge of spices and oils which she uses to help her community with cooking and treating ailments. She is a natural mentor and gave gentle and supportive assistance to the NAIT Culinary Students as they implemented the recipes chosen for the Flavours of Somalia.
Jamila Osman is a proud grandmother and mother who come to Canada in the 1990s. She raised her children in Edmonton. They are now adults working and living in Edmonton with their families. Jamila herself speaks and reads multiple languages including Italian, English, Somalian and Arabic. She has been a leader and connector within the Edmonton Somali community.