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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Tuesday July 16th 2024

Shepherd boy learned how to be admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering


Ahmed Yusuf, a Phillips resident, is Co-Author of “A Crack in the Sky” performed at the History Theatre until March 4, 2018. It is a World Premiere Drama by Harrison David Rivers and Ahmed Ismail Yusuf .

Directed by Faye Price it portrays the journey from Somalia to the U.S.A. in 1984. A young shepherd boy stands in front of his mother to tell her of the decision he has made in the night. He has had enough of the nomadic life, of herding goats and sheep, and is leaving to seek out a better life. With that, he sets off on an adventure that takes him on the road less traveled from Somalia to Minnesota. It”'s the epic tale of Ahmed Ismail Yusuf who, inspired by Maya Angelou, discovers the power of the written word.

Ahmed has been a proud East Phillips resident since 1997 when he came to Minnesota.  Living in Phillips worked well from the beginning as he could walk to the Community University Health Care Clinic where he worked and so many other neighborhood places.  He loves living in the “heart of the city,” including being close to downtown and to South High School where he has been a teacher of Somali for the last four years.

Raised in a nomadic upbringing, Ahmed Ismail Yusuf is the author of three books: “Gorgorkii Yimi” a collection of short stories in Somali, “Lion”'s Binding Oath,” by Catalyst Press, a collection of short stories in English due to be released in June 2018 can now be pre-ordered at and many other book outlets) and “Somalis in Minnesota” by Minnesota Historical Society.  His short stories appeared in Bildhaan: an International Journal of Somali studies, Mizna: an Arab-American literary magazine.  His play “A CRACK IN THE SKY” will be in full production at the History Theatre in Saint Paul in February 2018.  His other plays were performed at Pangea as well as Mixed Blood theatre.  His mental health publications appeared in Journal of Muslim Mental Health; Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology; International Society for Traumatic-stress Studies, Psychiatry times. He has a B.S. in creative writing and psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut; and an MPA (Master of Public Affairs) from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs of the University of Minnesota.

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