Westword: How Eyni Ali Found Her Voice in Colorado

2018 Hinkley High School graduate Eyni Ali

Story excerpt:

"On February 25, 2013, Eyni, her sisters Dunia and Istar and their mother boarded a plane that took them from Nairobi to Dubai. From there they flew to New York, where they spent the night in a hotel. Around 11 a.m. on February 28, they landed at Denver International Airport. A staff member from Lutheran Family Services, one of three organizations in the state that helps resettle refugees, picked up the family at the airport.

There was snow on the ground, left over from a storm that had passed through two days before. 'Mom was freezing,' remembers Eyni. 'I was fascinated by the snow, especially when touching it for the first time.' Mogadishu has moderate weather, alternating between rain and sunshine, she says. The refugee camp in Kenya was a bit hotter, but not unbearable. And while Nairobi can get cold, its lowest temperatures don’t come close to Colorado’s."