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Yemeni Refugee Champions the Voices of Immigrants

Zaynab Abdi is a youth ambassador for Green Card Voices, an organization that promotes the stories of immigrants. While she works to elevate voices of those throughout the nation, she spent some time to voice her own immigration story on Brad Show Live.

Way before Zaynab Abdi came to America, she was raised in Yemen by her grandmother. Her mother, a Somalian refugee, left Yemen years earlier for America after she had obtained a green card from the lottery system.

Despite Zaynab Abdi recalling fond memories of her youthful years in Yemen, a 2011 national revolution festered, and the chaos that ensued ultimately took the life of one of her dear childhood friends.

Needing to escape the danger that surrounded, Zaynab Abdi, her sister and Aunt fled to Egypt with the aid of the United Nations. The girls lived there without schooling for two years before they collided head on with yet another revolutionary wave, the Arab Spring.

Having been subjected to tear gas, violence and chaos, the girls finally applied to come to America through their mother’s sponsorship.

Reunited with their mother in Minneapolis, MN,  the girls continued their education where Zaynab Abdi fostered an interest in raising awareness on immigration issues.

Currently a second year student St. Catherine University, Zaynab Abdi now has dreams of pursuing a career in law, she said on Brad Show Live.

“I am also working as an advocate for immigrants and refugees to make sure that our voices are heard, and our stories are told by us, rather than how the media is telling it and framing it,” Zaynab Abdi said.  “I really want to present that this is who we are, we are part of the community, we are human; not dangerous like how media is portraying us.”

Some of us have left wars and horribles lives behind just to be at peace, she added.

To hear the rest of Zaynab Abdi’s accomplishments and story, watch the entire interview here.

To view more segments on Brad Show Live, tune in Monday through Friday from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. EST.