Community eager to hear from President of Somalia during first visit to Minnesota in 8 years

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud visits Minnesota for the first time in 8 years after attending a summit with other African leaders in Washington DC for the last two days.

And for many Somali-Americans, it's a visit like no other. 

"I have four kids, and I'm happy to see the President because I haven't seen him in real life. It's a big deal to us as Somali people. We want to see our President. We are so happy," said Kadera Hurshe, a member of the local Somali community, who turned out at the Minneapolis Convention Center to hear the President of Somalia speak. 

The land of 10,000 lakes is home to the largest Somali community outside of Africa, and many in attendance want to hear the President fill them in on what is going on back in Somalia, from the government's war with the militant extremist group al-Shabaab to the food crisis caused by a severe drought.

"We want to hear from him what he has heard from all these factions and groups that are threatening the stability and safety and security of our people and our country. We also we want to see what they have done about the drought and all these problems our community are facing back home," said Somali-American Yasin Ahmed of Eagan.

About 70,000 Somali-Americans call Minnesota home, and many send money back to relatives in Somalia.

"Our president comes to get in touch with the people, his own people, to see how they are doing and what issues they have and how he can address the issues that they have in town here," said Ahmed.

They believe it's important for the President of Somalia to have close ties with the local Somali community.

"It's a piece of our history to come here, so we are very proud, and we are very eager to welcome the President to come in town," said Ahmed.