Video: Somali prime minister commends Afro Deli owner for community contributions
Author: Heidi Wigdahl
Tuesday September 26, 2023
In a surprise gesture, Abdirahman Kahin, the founder and owner of Afro Deli & Grill, was honored by Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre for his remarkable contributions to the community.
Since opening his first restaurant in 2010, Abdirahman Kahin has garnered numerous accolades. In addition to being recognized as the 2023 National Small Business Person of the Year by the Biden administration, Kahin received yet another recognition on Sunday night, this time from the Somali prime minister.
“I had no idea what was in store for me until I was called up to receive an award on behalf of the Somali community in Minnesota. It is an incredible honor to represent the hard work and achievements of thousands of East African Somalis in our state,” said Kahin.
Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre presented Kahin with an award that acknowledged his exceptional accomplishments, commitment to community engagement, and job creation. The inscription read, “I express my heartfelt gratitude for your outstanding contributions. Your achievements are a source of pride for all of us, and we eagerly anticipate your future success.”
Afro Deli, which now boasts four locations in the Twin Cities, made its highly anticipated debut at the Minnesota State Fair this year.
“The Somali government places great importance on the Somali diaspora in the United States. They closely monitor our activities, and for Prime Minister Barre, visiting Minnesota was a significant milestone,” explained Kahin. “Being recognized on behalf of the community was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the evening.”
Prime Minister Barre’s visit to Minnesota marked a historic moment, as he became the first sitting Somali prime minister to visit the state. A large crowd warmly welcomed him at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington on Sunday night. Minnesota is home to the largest population of Somali Americans.
“It was the most united event we have ever organized in Minnesota,” shared Kahin.
During his speech, Prime Minister Barre addressed the audience and discussed Somalia’s ongoing fight against Al-Shabab, a terrorist organization that has held control over parts of the country for over 15 years.
Kahin described Barre’s speech as uplifting and remarked, “His call for Minnesotans to join the fight against terrorism was truly significant. This event was one of the first, if not the biggest, instances where the entire community came together to show their support.”