Louisville Magazine

MAR 2017

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/791253

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Page 33 of 112

pegasuspins.com LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.17 31 Hussein remembers when he was new to Louisville in 1996. For work, he set up chairs and tables for events at the Seelbach until he was trained to weld. These jobs were a lot different than tutoring for a private school back home in Somalia. (Speaking four languages, Hussein has been a longtime interpreter in America. He secured the job at CC in 2009.) Somalia — the warm in Hussein's heart. Fond memories of Thursdays (the Saturday of Islamic weekends) and hitching rides to the nearby Indian Ocean to swim. The onset of civil war is still fresh in his mind. "It was January 1990, a week before Desert Storm," the 46-year-old says. The first shot he saw fired in his neighborhood still rings in his ears. "A neighbor got shot and there was no way to take them to a graveyard because shots were flying, so we dug a grave between the houses. Because in Islamic culture, if someone dies, they have to be buried quickly." Hussein ended up at a refugee camp in Kenya. "When I talk about my clients, it's like talking about myself, because I was there," he says. "Imagine leaving everything you owned all of a sudden — your money, your wealth, your name, your papers, your family, your friends, your neighborhood, your everything. When they come here, it's like a new baby born. There's no backup for these guys. Nothing is given to them free. It's like, 'OK, here you are, take care of yourself.' They're willing to work day and night." He remembers one Congolese woman who took a taxi to Tyson one day when the man she was carpooling with called in sick— a 40-minute ride, more than $40 one way — because she couldn't miss a day of work. President Donald Trump's recent "Muslim ban" — targeting people from seven Muslim-majority countries — included several home countries of CC clients. Last year, for instance, CC received 72 immigrants from Iraq, 185 from Somalia, 32 from Sudan and 51 from Syria. One worried client recently called Hussein, said, "Hey, Ahmed. I just furnished an apartment. I took off two weeks from work. And now they tell me my wife isn't coming. What do you know?" The man had left Ethiopia when his wife was pregnant, and he was expecting to meet his three- year-old for the first time. "I said, 'I have no idea,'" Hussein says. "But have faith, man. Have faith." JUNE 2016 $4.70 CITY GUIDE Publishing June 2017 Call 625-0100 or email advertising@loumag.com for more information

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