Hussein Mohamed Hosts Oxford Freshman Seminar Course

Kimberly Calugaru, Staff Writer

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On Saturday, October 28, the freshman discovery seminar course The Contemplative Mind: Engaging the Critical Questions of Social Justice traveled to Sagal Radio Services in Clarkston, Georgia to hear about Hussein Mohamed’s, founder of the radio station, experience as a refugee. 

Hussein spoke about his relocation from Ethiopia to Somalia in an effort to gain a better life for himself and his family. He then arrived to the United States in 1982 as a refugee with no knowledge of Western civilization.

He told the class that in Somalia, he was accustomed to the women doing all the housework and the cooking. He soon had to learn to cook for himself and his roommates; they lived off of spaghetti for a while because this was all they knew how to make. Although he initially arrived in Chicago, by 1986 he found his way to Atlanta and has been living in Georgia ever since. Hussein worked with other refugees, teaching them to cook, how to use the air conditioning system, and other necessities that they needed. In Clarkston, a divide was created between the existing members of society, specifically the police, and the refugees. 

Hussein began the radio station as a way to foster a sense of community with the other refugees in the town and spread awareness of the existence of this culture in the area. He became a figurehead for the refugee community and others often came to him for advice and support.

This trip was another way for the class to become aware of core concepts of social justice in today’s world. Throughout the semester, this discovery seminar, led by Professor Owen-Smith and Dr. Lyn Pace, spoke about racism, sexism, classism, religious oppression, heterosexism, transgender oppression, ableism, and many more topics that are often underrepresented in present day conversation. Having these conversations is important because the students of the course can better understand others’ differences and work toward the goal of social justice.

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