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18 June 2014
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Legacies - South East Wales

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Immigration and Emigration
South East Wales

About Abdi Sugulle:

Cardiff Bay
Somali-born Abdi Sugulle came to the UK in 1990 aged 10 years. His family settled in Manchester where his sister was already living. He has nine brothers and sisters - a large family even by Somali standards, the average being five or six children. He now lives with his wife who is a Cardiff Somali and works at the Red House.

When Abdi first arrived in the UK he didn't speak English and he thinks it took him about five years to learn properly. He admits that when he's working he writes in English but still thinks in Somali, although there are many words that don't have literal translations.

Many Somalis continue to travel back and forth to Somalia, especially the older generation and the children, who can take advantage of the long summer break, but Abdi has still not returned since he arrived.

About Red Sea House Abdi works as the Scheme Manager for Red Sea House, a sheltered housing scheme for Somali elders which is managed by Taff Housing Association. It was funded by the National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff County Council, and the Race Equality Council.

Abdi Sugelle
Red Sea House was finished in September 2002, and permanently houses 15 retired Somali seamen in self-contained units. Some of them served in the British Navy during World War II. Many fought alongside the British and were awarded medals for their service. The housing complex was named after the Red Sea, which is immediately to the north of Somalia, by Mr Ahmed Mohammed, a seaman who came to Cardiff when he was 19 and is now a resident.

Red Sea House was built to replace the accommodation which had been provided by the boarding houses in Angelina Street for several generations and which were demolished in Cardiff Council's redevelopment of the area. The boarding houses had been run by Somalis, and provided a home-from-home for many guests. The older generation of seamen are connected by trust and friendship , when they arrived in Cardiff, all they had were each other. Now Cardiff's Somalis have friends and family from several generations.

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Internet Links
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A Seafaring Tale By Isman Hassan Ali
Camels and Curran's by Jama Mohammed Ali
Article: Wales has been a refuge to a persecuted patriot
English/Somali Bilingual newsletter from Cardiff
News site for UK Somali community
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