United States Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz met with Somali Community in Ohio

Photo State Department


While visiting Columbus, Ohio on January 12 and 13, 2017, Ambassador Schwartz met with a distinguished group of community leaders including college students, religious leaders, former Ambassadors, Mayors, current Federal Government of Somalia officials, educators and medical professionals.

The United States Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz spoke to students at the Ohio State University Somali Student Association during his visit to Columbus, Ohio. Ambassador Schwartz engaged students at Ohio State University, answering tough questions about U.S. policy to Somalia. The  Ambassador also met with former Fulbright Fellow and Columbus native Mushtaq Dualeh.

The Abubakar Islamic Center in Columbus, Ohio, hosted the United States Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz for a round table discussion with various community members.

During his visit at the Abubakar Islamic Center,  Ambassador Stephen Schwartz met with Somali community leaders including female leaders who fundraised and contributed over 60% of the resources needed to open and maintain the Abubakar Islamic Center.

Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz met with Columbus, Ohio, Mayor Andrew Ginther to discuss Somali Diaspora outreach. Present at the meeting between the Ambassador and the Mayor were Carla Williams-Scott (Director of Department of Neighborhoods, City of Columbus), Stacy Session (U.S. Department of State Somali Desk Officer), and  Abdirizak Farah (Department of Homeland Security).

His meetings in Columbus, Ohio, Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz also met with the Columbus Police Department to discuss partnerships with the State Department on how to build capacity of the Somali Police Force and how to better understand outreach efforts by Columbus PD to the Somali diaspora of Columbus.

The Somali community in Ohio found themselves in the difficult position after Abdul Razak Ali Artan who was Ohio State University student and a member of the Somali American community in Columbus drove a car into a crowd, then jumped out and slashed people with a knife before he was shot and killed by a campus police officer.

Columbus has the nation’s second-largest Somali population, after the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Estimates range from 15,000 to 40,000.

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Photo Credit: Kaafi Yusuf Adan

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