Hundreds of Somali refugees call East Texas home - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Hundreds of Somali refugees call East Texas home

A Somali woman living in Nacogdoches displays the native dress worn by many of the women.  (Source: KTRE Staff) A Somali woman living in Nacogdoches displays the native dress worn by many of the women. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Abdirahman Guled, a Somali U.S. citizen came to the U.S. after his country was torn by civil war. (Source: KTRE Staff) Abdirahman Guled, a Somali U.S. citizen came to the U.S. after his country was torn by civil war. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Rahmo Mohomo kisses her baby as she prepares to leave for work to work the line at Pilgrim’s Pride.  (Source: KTRE Staff) Rahmo Mohomo kisses her baby as she prepares to leave for work to work the line at Pilgrim’s Pride. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

Nacogdoches, Center, and Lufkin are home to about 150 Somalis refugees.

Some have lived here for over five years, learned English, and even obtained their US citizenships.

Others are struggling to learn American ways.

Somalis are seen in and around Nacogdoches. The women are recognized by their brightly colored native dresses. A distinct accent is heard from the men.

They're here to learn American ways.

Abdirahman Guled wants East Texans to learn his people's ways.

“America is our second country since our country was being enraged by war,” Guled said.

The former principal of an agriculture school in Somalia was forced by civil war to Kenya in 1991. The refugee came to the US two years later. Now a US citizen, Abdee, as he asks Americans to call him, has a job working the night shift line at Pilgrim's Pride.

Guled said he misses teaching. However, he fills the void by reaching out to his community. He helps a co-worker, a former Somali University student, with her dream of becoming a clinical nurse.

“I hope to go to school in Nacogdoches or Lufkin,” said Fehima Osman, a Somali living in Nacogdoches.

"Some of them are trying to adjust to this life and go to school,” Guled said.

The dreams take time. Rahmo Mohomo has lived in Nacogdoches for five years.

“I love Nacogdoches,” Mohomo said.

Mohomo also works nights at Pilgrim's. Her American-born children go to daycare. The Somali community is her family.

“You see them over here, and they're really nice and we come over here to work and to help each other,” Mohomo said.

“We live together,” Guled said. “We are united in community."

They are also united in faith. An apartment serves as a mosque, or masala, a place of worship for Muslims.

According to the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, more international refugees were living in Texas in 2012 than in any other state.

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