Happy 19th! Politicians join party to celebrate Somali community group

MORE than 100 people turned out to wish a society for exiled Somalians a happy birthday on Wednesday.

The Islington Somali-Banadir Association celebrated its 19th birthday in front of a bumper crowd which included Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, Islington mayor Richard Greening, Holloway councillor Rakhia Ismail – who is of Somali origin – and other leading councillors at the old fire station in Mayton Street, Holloway.

Founded in 1997 by Sharif Abdalla Abubakar Sangaaf, who is still its chairman, the group acts as an anchor for Islington’s sizeable Somali community, many of whom fled their home country, which has endured 20 years of civil war.

Paying tribute to the organisation, Labour leader Mr Corbyn said: “Out borough is made of people from all over the world and our strength is that we have a strong sense of community and identity. Community organisations play a big role in this.”

After a series of speeches, a number of members were given awards for their efforts within the association, after which guests tucked into plates of chicken and lamb, served with rice and salad.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Abdalla said: “The community is increasing every year, children are growing up and we are helping them with their education so they can get high marks in their A-Levels and go to university. We help people with housing issues, immigration and health. The Somali community is working very hard.”



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