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Abdulahi was born in Beledwyne, Somalia. When he was 18, clan militia men killed his parents and came after him. He fled to South Africa, where he lived for ten years. He married and had a child, but his wife was killed during a xenophobic attack targeting immigrants like him. He remarried but was separated from his second wife in their journey to seek safety in the United States. Abdulahi spent five years in immigration detention while fighting his asylum case. He is one of two men whose story is told in SHACKLED.

Acacia tree in Somalia.
Map of Somalia showing Beledweyne.

Abdulahi's Trip to the U.S.

Abdulahi flew from South Africa to Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Over the next two months, he traveled 7,000 miles by foot, bus, and car across South America and through Central America and Mexico. He survived an 8-day jungle trek through the infamous Darien Gap, a route over unforgiving mountains between the border of Colombia and Panama.

Ali's route to the United States.
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