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Somali refugees take up new roots in Greeley
by Bruce Finley
Somali refugees who flocked to jobs in U.S. slaughterhouses — including plants in Greeley and Fort Morgan — are moving beyond cutting floors to Main Street.
"We want to become Americans," said Mohamed Egal, director of the Somali Aid self-help group in Greeley, where more than 700 Somalis live.
They've established shops offering imported items. An unmarked mosque in central Greeley offers a place for Muslim worship.
Informal "hawala" money-transfer services help reach relatives stranded in war-torn Somalia and refugee camps in neighboring Kenya. A former burrito restaurant now sells plates of rice, lamb and goat.
And community leaders say dozens more hopeful Somalis arrive each week in Greeley from larger cities such as Minneapolis and Seattle, where federal contractors initially resettle refugees.
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