How do you measure the distance from an African village to an American city? What does it mean to be refugee in today's global village? This hour on Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders, Jean Feraca talks with a filmmaker who documented two Somali families' effort to survice in America.
- Anne Makepeace, documentarian, maker of "Rain in a Dry Land"
- Mohamed Osman, a Somali native, founder of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota and the Somali-American Education Program, Minnesota
- Anne 12/13/07: "I had the pleasure of being on your show on November 26, and wanted to clarify something for your audience that may have confused them. Mohamed Hassan Osman, the Somali man who was interviewed in the last half of the hour, criticized my film, Rain in a Dry Land, as being 'dramatized' and therefore untrue. In fact, the film is pure documentary and tells the true, undramatized story of two Somali Bantu families who are now in America. Like many Somalis, Mr. Osman wants to deny the rampant oppression of the Bantu in Somalia. In fact the Bantu's third class social status, lack of access to education or enfranchisement, and their history as descendants of slaves are simply historical facts; the families in the film experienced these things in Somalia before fleeing from attacking militias during the 1991 civil war. Even in the refugee camps where the lucky ones managed to escaped, the Bantu were attacked and discriminated against by other Somalis. There are many Somalis in America who have been generous and helpful to the arriving Somali Bantu, but Mr. Osman's attitude of denial is neither helpful nor true."