Special Report: Why He Chose To Leave This Good Land?

Posted November 17th, 2014 at 5:08 pm (UTC-5)
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Minnesota's ethnic Somali population has mushroomed in the last two decades from a small group to more than 50,000. On September 27, 2013, hundreds, including Ilhan Issa, gathered at a solidarity rally in Minneapolis to protest terrorist attacks by Al-Shabab. (AP)

Minnesota’s ethnic Somali population has mushroomed in the last two decades from a small group to more than 50,000. On September 27, 2013, hundreds, including Ilhan Issa, gathered at a solidarity rally in Minneapolis to protest terrorist attacks by Al-Shabab. (AP)

Dear Readers,

Our colleagues at VOA have recently produced Why He Chose To Leave This Good Land? a  special report on the radicalization of some young Somali-Americans.

This week, VOA Learning English will post some quotes and ask for your comments on the article. Each day we will focus on one section of the article, to allow for in-depth reading and analysis.

Please note that this report is not adapted to the Special English style, so it is more appropriate for advanced learners who use our site. Each day we will give you a representative quote from the report and ask for your response.

You can read the full report at http://projects.voanews.com/isis-recruit-somali-americans/ 

Todays’ quote is from the introduction to the report:

When Dayib Ahmed Abdi and his family arrived in the United States in 1996, his son Abdifatah already had an independent streak… Late last year, Abdifatah, 29, abruptly left his families, and traveled to Britain, then Syria, joining the radical militants of the Islamic State as they began sweeping across parts of Syria and Iraq…He was the second American to die there.

“I was very sad when I heard it. ‘Why he would go to an Arab land?’ I asked myself,” Abdi told VOA. “They [Arab countries] don’t help us; instead the United States helped us. ‘Why he chose to leave this good land?’ I asked.”

Our question for today is:

Have you heard about refugee youth in the US and other countries being radicalized? Why do they leave their home to fight in Syria?

Please give us your comment below, and come back tomorrow for another question.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Dr. Jill

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Words in This Story (these words are in the first section of the Special Report)

mushroom  – v. to increase or develop very quickly

solidarityn. a feeling of unity between people who have the same interests, goals, etc.

phenomenonn. something (such as an interesting fact or event) that can be observed and studied and that typically is unusual or difficult to understand or explain fully

counterv. to do something in defense or in response to something

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Confessions of an English Learner is a place for you to practice your writing and share the joys and pains of learning the language. We will post a weekly prompt, to give you a chance to practice your writing and to comment on others’ writing.

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