Sunday July 11, 2021
Columbia Heights Mayor Amáda Márquez Simula made a proclamation at the June 28 City Council meeting that Thursday, July 1, 2021, be declared Somali American Day in the city.Somali American and Columbia Heights resident Ruqia Aden Samatar accepted the proclamation at the meeting.
Somalia’s Independence Day is a national holiday in Somalia and is celebrated every year by the country and the Somali diaspora worldwide on July 1. The date celebrates the unification of the Trust Territory of Italian Somaliland and the British Somaliland on July 1, 1960, which formed the Somali Republic.
“Whereas, many Somali refugees and their families immigrated to the United States, and today Somali Americans are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in Columbia Heights,” Márquez Simula said reading the proclamation at the City Council meeting, “Whereas, like many immigrant groups before them, Somali Americans sought shelter to the United States to escape war and persecution, to find opportunities, and to better their lives and the lives of their children; and, Whereas, Somali Americans play an integral role in building a vibrant and diverse Columbia Heights, contributing socially, culturally, politically, and economically to our city; and, now, therefore, I, Amáda Márquez Simula, mayor of Columbia Heights, do hereby proclaim July 1, 2021, Somali American Day in the city of Columbia Heights. In making this proclamation, the history, culture, and contributions of Somali Americans in Columbia Heights are being recognized and celebrated.”
“I feel proud to come in front of you,” she said to the City Council. “Thank you.”
Dozens of Columbia Heights’ Somali residents attended the City Council meeting. After Aden Samatar accepted the proclamation, the crowd released a zaghrouta in celebration — a high-pitched vocal ululation sound representing trills of joy.