This column serves as a spotlight, highlighting the everyday people who work and live in Callaway County. The Fulton Sun takes a moment with someone who is not usually featured in the news, but is just as instrumental in making our community the strong and beautiful place we all know and love.
Sayidcali Ahmed is a freshman at Westminster College from Hargeisa, Somaliland. Ahmed is currently studying political science and works as a library assistant at Westminster.
Q. What was your first job?
A. My first job back home was as the assistant headmaster at the high school where I graduated when I was 18 years old. It was a lot of work, but it was great experience. It prepared me to get ready for real life work. The actual work was helping out the two headmasters of the two different schools, the lower school and the upper school. I helped out with the lower school and most of the teachers were American, so I was able to connect those who didn't speak the language with the students and parents.
Q. Who most inspires you (living or dead)?
A. Nelson Mandela. He believed he could bring change, regardless of differences. He'd talk to people and have conversations so that as a community they could figure out what their problem is. He'd find what people's similarities were rather than focus on the differences. I have a big interest in politics, and I admire the philosophy of Nelson Mandela. I also have big admiration for Muhammad Ali, as well.
Q. What have you done in life that was most fulfilling?
A. One of the things that I have done in my life was back at home where I was running this program called "Hargeisa Orphanage Program," where we teach orphaned kids who never get the chance to go to school because of finances or lack of parents. My friends and I started this program at my high school where we help those orphaned kids do basic math, basic English and other things. There was a kid in our program that was able to come to the U.S. on a full scholarship to a private school in Pennsylvania, and he's doing well.
Q. What is something that you are proud of that you have been recognized for?
A. Being here on my full scholarship on behalf of the scholarship foundation has been a great honor. Being from Africa in the U.S. on a full scholarship has given me the opportunity to spend more time here.
Q. What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
A. As I said before, I'm more into politics, and any professional work I'd want to do would have to do something with leadership so in the next 30 years I am shooting to be the chairman of the United Nations to help bring the world together.
Q. What profession would you not like to do?
A. I am not a science person so any kind of science work wouldn't be fun for me. I just love being surrounded by people so I would want to do a job that would have me dealing with people rather than the academic stuff.
Q. What is something that nobody would be able to assume about you?
A. When it comes to athletics, I am one of those people that can pick up any athletics easily, even sports I've never played before. For example, basketball is something I didn't use to play before, but right now, I could say — I'm not the best — but I have some great handles here.
Q. What is your favorite thing about Callaway County?
A. I have to say, Fulton, compared to where I grew up. I am a big fan of quiet and calm places because I grew up in a big city. I love the people here. I have been to New York City in the summer, and when I came here, I said, "Man, I like how easygoing this all is." The nature, the parks, I love it all.