Where Kentucky Meets Somalia

Visit the Somali International Mall in Louisville, Kentucky, a shopping center that serves as a haven for the local Somali community.

Muslims in the United States feel the stings of xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment on a daily basis. For them, safe public spaces are essential.

As many lament the death of the American mall, the International Mall on 8th and York Streets in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, provides a lifeline to thousands of resettled refugees from Somalia.

But this mall is more than a place to buy food, or a place where teenagers hang out. From playing dominoes to watching soccer to catching up with community news the International Mall serves as a hub for Louisville’s Somali community.

RESOURCES AND CREDITS
Roxanne Scott, a reporter based in Louisville, KY, reported and produced today’s episode. She’s reported and produced pieces everywhere from The Bronx to the DR Congo for outlets such as the BBC, Roads & Kingdoms, and Public Radio International.

Music for this episode is by Shlohmo, Datapanik, fwimmygoat and Broke For Free.

Learn more about Basbaas sauces here.

Read more about 1991zine here.

Abdinoor Ismail, owner of the African Coffee Shop
Outside the International Mall
Mohamed Abbi Abdalla (right) and his mother in the kitchen of Imanka Restaurant

Top image: Ibrahim Ahmed re-stocking items in the World Food Market.