Growing Up Somali in San Diego

A fellow Somali teenager is threatening two Somali teens' quests for success

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two Somali teens are on a track for success. Another Somali teen, on a different track, could threaten that.

    Two families moved across San Diego, to shield their daughters from neighborhood crime. But a recent, unexpected chain of bad events that they were not a part of, may change their lives forever.

    Growing Up Somali in San Diego

    [DGO] Growing Up Somali in San Diego
    Two families moved across San Diego, to shield their daughters from neighborhood crime. But a recent, unexpected chain of bad events that they were not a part of, may change their lives forever. (Published Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012)

    Two teenage girls talked exclusively with NBCSanDiego, about what it was like to grow up Somali in San Diego, and how a life of crime, that they've stayed out of, is now affecting them in a big way

    Somalia's civil war in the early 1990's, eventually brought the families of Farhiya and Adna Mohamed, to San Diego.

    They're friends, who happen to have the same last name.

    "Growing up, it was extremely fun being surrounded by your people, people your age, your culture," Farhiya Mohamed said. She's talking about a time in her life that she affectionately refers to as the "the Bayview days", in reference to the apartments on Bayview Heights in the Oak Park community.

    "Occasionally there were murders, I think in 3rd grade there was a hostage situation, there were just really crazy things that my mom did not want us growing up around," Farhiya Mohamed said.

    In fact, Adna Mohamed said her family felt the same way. They both moved to a safer area in San Diego, where Farhiya Mohamed said, "basically [I] saw no Somali people anymore, unless I came down to the east. And I mean it was kind of sad losing that connection with your culture, just always being surrounded by your people."

    But Farhiya and her friend said they had no idea that nearly a decade later they'd be pulled right back here, to a childhood they long ago left behind.

    Farhiya's identity was recently stolen. By a fellow Somali teen, who she grew up with in "Bayview".
    A Deputy District Attorney said Maryan Hussein is being charged with false impersonation, and other theft crimes, that are still all under Farhiya's name.

    "The consequences for me are grave because of what she did. It's not that she just stole my identity and I have to get this cleared up. I'm at risk of getting kicked out of school," Farhiya Mohamed said.

    But Farhiya and Adna say they want to graduate in four years and become nurses.

    Adna says she's also in the middle of legal issues with Maryan Hussein, that also relate to theft.
    Maryan Hussein's preliminary hearing, for false impersonation of Farhiya and other theft crimes, is scheduled for Feb. 23.