Library in Cedar Riverside will be Olat’s first priority if he wins Minneapolis polls

Friday, July 24th, 2020 13:22 |
Suud Olat.

Building a library in the Cedar Riverside of the Ward 6 of Minneapolis City will be the first priority of candidate Suud Olat if elected in the August 11 elections.

Olat, during a debate hosted by the Cedar Riverside Community Council and moderated by the League of Women voters in Minneapolis on Thursday  said he is disappointed that with 15 higher education institutions in the entire Ward 6 and the Cedar Riverside with a majority of immigrant population from East Africa lacks a library.

“It is quite disappointing. And I hope it is not because of the high population of immigrant community in this area that has created the neglect in terms of educational facilities.

However, I will use my power and advocacy experience to build that library whatever it takes, and I promise today that it will happen once I am elected,” said Olat during the debate

Quoting former South African leader Nelson Mandela who said the best one can do is to inspire, Olat said his mission is to inspire young people.

“Inspiration is the best thing you can give and that is what I want to give to the young people of Minneapolis,” he said.

“My story is that of overcoming obstacles in life. I spent 20 years in a refugee camp but never gave up and here I am,” added Olat.

Olat, a recipient of Minnesota Health and Human Service Award said health remains an important to the East African community.

“So if we want to inspire and make Minneapolis welcoming for all, and a leader who can inspire not only the east African community but all Minneapolis people, elect me and I will make sure that we make Minneapolis a welcoming city for all and I will be your voice not only here but beyond,” he said in his closing remarks

The 29 year old Olat was barely a few months old when his family sought refuge at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya after fleeing from civil war in Somalia in 1991.

For 20 years, he lived in tough conditions at the camp, surviving on food rations from the United Nations until 2011 when he got the chance to travel abroad to the United States.

“As a young man, I have hope that we’ll see solutions, durable solutions for diseases, refugees and racism. I see hope and believe together, regardless of who you are, regardless of where you come from there is a world for all of us. And we can make the world a better place for the next generation.”

Olat says being educated in a very tough, rough, and challenging environment taught him to seek life and opportunities at the slightest available chance.

“My educational background, experience, and identity have empowered me to share my voice. Without my basic education, I would not be who I am today.”

“I was lucky enough to be among the small number of refugees who were resettled to countries like the United States of America. I am a beneficiary of the humanitarian efforts by individuals who made sacrifices.

Therefore, I am moved to be a voice for millions of refugees all over the world, so that they can access education and have a brighter future.”

Olat wants to use his education to help others, he says.

Through his advocacy work, Olat has met several U.S and Somali leaders. Current Somali president Mohammed Abdullahi Farmajo is one of those who encouraged him to pursue his education.

Olat believes that world leaders have the responsibility and mandate to use their power and influence to change the lives of refugees by allocating adequate resources, establishing comprehensive policies, finding durable solutions, and championing for their rights.

“If world leaders do not take action, then they will have failed in their responsibilities.

Without education for all refugee children and migrants, we could be losing an entire generation.

“If people have peace and education, international immigration will not be such a problem,” Olat observes.

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