Bringing Neighbors Together: A Success

Bringing Neighbors Together: A Success
Shabelle Deli, 2325 E. Franklin Ave.
By Dave Madsen

If you happened to walk down Franklin Avenue on the afternoon of Sunday, May 15, you may have noticed a few things out of the ordinary. If you followed the signs and smell of delicious food, you may have had the chance to have lunch at Shabelle Deli (2619 E. Franklin Ave.) for the Bringing Neighbors Together Cultural Fair.

The fair, a joint collaboration between Shabelle Deli, Gargar Clinic and Urgent Care Pharmacy, the Sierra Club Seward Redesign, the Seward Neighborhood Group (SNG), the Seward Civic and Commerce Association (SCCA), the Seward Co-op, drew in well over a hundred people to Shabelle’s space and attendees had the chance to sample the restaurant’s food while they mingled with one another.

The intention of the fair, as described by its lead organizer, Redesign intern Tayo Yokoi, was to “build awareness of the East African culture that resides here in Seward” and “bring awareness of the opportunities for business owners and residents to get involved on a local level.”

In addition to the variety of food provided by Shabelle Deli, attendees had the chance to have their faces painted by resident and Pizza Luce employee Erik Riese. Also, many of those who attended the event chose to decorate their skin with henna tattoos by Angela Skrade of Ancient Traditions Mendhi.

After people filled themselves with injera and other African delicacies, Tayo Yokoi, Katya Pilling (of Redesign), and Abdur Omer Hassen Ismaiel (owner of Shabelle) thanked everyone who showed up. Attendees then waited in anticipation as Tayo and a few volunteers drew names for the raffle. Once the raffle was over, people continued to filter in and out of Shabelle’s space. From looking at the various locations that people and their ancestors come from on the Where are you from? map, it’s clear that this event indeed brought global and local neighbors together.

Dave Madsen

Redesign, Inc.
2619 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406

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