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Anab Gulaid

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Anab Adan Gulaid grew up in Hargeisa, Somalia. After the outbreak of the Somali civil war in late 1990, she left Somalia with several family members and moved to Toronto, Canada, where she went to school and became a Canadian citizen. After marrying her husband, she moved the United States, living first in Chicago and then Minnesota. She is a member of the Minnesota Department of Health

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0:03:25

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Anab Gulaid Transcription
My name is Anab Adan Gulaid. I’m originally from Somalia. I grew up in Hargeisa which is in the northwestern region of Somalia and is the second largest city in the country after Mogadishu. I’m the younger of eleven. Due to civil war, my mother, sister, and five of her children left Somalia and migrated to Toronto in late 1990. I went to school, high school, and college, and I got married shortly after. My husband was a U.S. citizen, and I was a Canadian citizen at the time, so we decided to move to U.S. After a brief stay in Chicago, we made Minnesota our home. And I have four children: two sons and two daughters.
Even though most of my early experiences as a newcomer occurred in Toronto, Canada, like learning new language, getting used to the cold, and so on, still, there were some things that I had to get used to migrating to Minnesota. Here, I started driving. I had to get used to that. Toronto has a very efficient transit system. I took the bus and the train all the time. But at the same time during those years I was primarily a student, so it made sense for me to hop on the bus or the train. I noticed that the weather is a bit different here. Here it seems to snow more. It also rains heavily. I think in my ten years of living in Toronto we only had one major winter storm. In Minnesota, we’re famous for our snow. Living in Toronto was a bit more multicultural. Taking the train was like United Nations. Here, I had to get used to Minnesota population, which is less multicultural. In fact, according to the latest government estimate, as of 2013, Minnesota’s population was 86% white. The health care system was different too. It took me a while to understand the U.S. health care system. Canada has a universal health care system. I had a health card from Health Canada and I presented that wherever I went. With that, I didn’t deal with deductions, copay, health claims, in and out of network, and all the other layers that spilled into having access to health coverage. Even after more than a decade of living in Minnesota, I’m still learning Minnesota ways. Like what “interesting” means. Is it a polite way of saying I don’t like something?
One thing I can say is that Minnesota is a great state to live in, work, and raise a family. In all the cities I lived in thus far, I found Minnesota to have great parks, recreational places to take your kids to, great schools, and great neighborhoods. My boys play soccer, and Minnesota is known for having nice soccer fields. I have a great job, colleagues, and active, vibrant Somali and non-Somali friends that I can rely on when I need to chat and socialized. That’s my story.