Former Somali Prime Minister Khaire to keynote 2024 Somali Week at National Press Club


Former Somali Prime Minister H.E. Hassan Ali Khaire will be the keynote speaker at the 2024 Somali Week Celebration. He will address the Town Hall and the Somali American Business Conference. The event, starting on June 26 at the National Press Club, aims to strengthen U.S.-Somali relations and celebrate the contributions of the Somali community in the United States.

“Our main goals for the 2024 Somali Week Celebration are to deepen cultural appreciation, empower Somali youth, and fortify U.S.-Somali relations,” said Mohamed Farah, Executive Director of Ka Joog, the organizing body of Somali Week. “This year, we’ve curated diverse events to achieve these objectives. Cultural exhibitions will showcase Somali art and history, while educational workshops and community discussions will address pertinent issues. Additionally, performances will highlight the richness of Somali traditions. These activities are designed to celebrate our heritage and foster intercultural understanding and youth empowerment.”

Khaire’s keynote address will emphasize the importance of U.S.-Somali ties and the role of the Somali diaspora in enriching American culture. “Having Former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire as our keynote speaker is incredibly significant. His presence underscores our commitment to bridging the Somali community with broader U.S. society. His experiences and insights will shed light on the critical role of the diaspora in both nations. We hope his speech will inspire our community, highlight the contributions of Somali Americans, and encourage stronger ties between Somalia and the U.S. His involvement is a powerful affirmation of our cultural and political connections, fostering a deeper understanding and collaboration,” Farah added.

Since its inception, Somali Week has grown to attract approximately 40,000 attendees each year, making it the largest cultural event for the Somali community in the diaspora.

The week-long festival celebrates Somali Independence Day, marking Somalia’s independence from Italy and England on July 1, 1960. Activities include art exhibitions, health awareness programs, civic engagement workshops, and entrepreneurship panels, promoting intercultural dialogue and community cohesion.

The Minneapolis City Council has recognized the significance of Somali Week by naming July 1 as Somali Culture Day. The Somali American Business Conference, part of the festivities, enhances economic opportunities for Somali Americans. Partnerships with organizations like SomaliSnaps highlight Somali cultural heritage through traditional arts and crafts.

Notable figures such as former U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Larry E. Andre Jr., who participated in the Town Hall in 2022, have been involved in Somali Week. Khaire was unable to attend the inaugural Somali American Business Conference last year.