A good opportunity where everybody can make his own life.: Becoming Minnesotan

Male silhouette.
  • Name - Hared Mah
  • Age at interview - 23
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 06.03.2004
  • Somali students at Arlington High School multicultural fair, St. Paul, May 2004.

    Freedom, Somali

    Essential Question

    Becoming Americans: What does it mean to be an American?

    Opportunities in America: What kind of opportunities does this person see in America that he/she did not have in the homeland?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    America is sometimes called the “great melting pot” or the “salad bowl", because it combines many different cultures.  Immigrants have come from all over the world to settle in the U.S.  whre they have started businesses, farmed, and found success in other activities, too.  This narrator sees America as a place where any person can succeed.

    To learn more about Somali history and culture, visit our Somali Community page.

    • Chapter 1

    Download Hared Mah 6
    0:51 Minutes | 0.81Mb


    Narrator: Hared Mah (HM)

    HM:  I think it’s interesting how America formed.  Many of the people are immigrants from other countries, like Europeans came and then the Japanese, and all that stuff.  So you feel like I can also be one of these people.  They were all immigrants first.  Not all of them; the Native Americans, they’re not immigrants.  It’s a good opportunity where everybody can make his own life.  It’s not like, "You’re an immigrant, so…"  There's no classes, like, "Here, you are immigrant, you stay here."  Maybe first time, first ten years, twenty years.  But later, on you can involve everything, politics, everything, if you want to.  It’s open to everyone.  That’s the first important thing that I learned about America.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun:  A grouping in society based on a person's wealth, education, and other characteristics.


    Noun:  A person who comes to a country to permanently settle from another country.


    Noun:  A chance for advancement, progress, or profit.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access]. http://www.mnhs.org/immigration
    nid: 534