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Abdirahman Kahin

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Abdirahman Kahin was born in Djibouti and immigrated to the United States in 1996. He has lived in Minnesota since 1997. After working for several years in media production, he created Afro Deli, a popular East African restaurant in Cedar-Riverside, Minneapolis. In 2015, he opened its second location in St. Paul.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

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Abdirahman Kahin Transcription
My name is Abdirahman Kahin. I’m from Djibouti. I immigrated to the United States in 1996, and I lived since ’97 Minnesota where I feel second home. We ask other people where is the best place for us, for Somalis, and Minnesota was where Somalis were more welcome than any other state. The reason that I came to the States was I grew up with the American culture even though growing up in Africa, we knew a lot of things about the States. We have a dream to come to the States and be a part of American Dream and at the same time go back to Africa and help as much as we can. I started the restaurant in 2010 – October 2010. This is actually our fourth anniversary. We’ve been very blessed to be in the West Bank or to start in the West Bank. We call it Afro Deli because we are part of the African community. That serves African food or East African food to mainstream America or to Minnesotans. It’s where, regardless of your religion, your ethnicity, your background, your thinking, your gender, that’s the place for you. Like any immigrant or any society when they move to the state, the first thing they introduce is their food. That reflects who they are and where they came from. People from other cultures were always interested about African food and I see that opportunity that was missing, and I thought about it and said “Hey.” You know like most of the people they think having a restaurant, coffee shop, and I was indifferent. I always had that dream, you know, how to bring people together, and I think one of the reason why I pushed myself to go into the restaurant business. I am a community activist and I do organize a lot of events. Our social venture for the African Development, we give part of our profit to the African Development which is a very social nonprofit organization. That’s something people admire in this community, and we are very proud to be passionate with that. I feel proud to be able to help a lot of different organizations who are trying to make us a better world or a better community. So, those four years I’m enjoying being a part of the community and very helpful in the community.