Mall walking with the cell phone
Mall of America

It’s Friday, October 12, and the Mall of America’s indoor amusement park is a colorful sea of headscarves and robes. Men sport their finest suits. At 2:00 p.m., the line for ride tickets is more than 100 people deep. The air is alive with the squeals of Somali kids riding the Screaming Yellow Eagle roller coaster or hanging upside down in the Mighty Axe.

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The day started with prayers and breakfast before they headed for the mall. “And we’re going to go to a movie afterwards,” she says. “I think it’s Game Plan or something like that. The Rock is in it. The kids want to see that.”

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Abdirahman Kahin came to the mall with his wife and three kids. “We have gone on some rides,” he says, keeping an eye on his children as they play with Legos. “Frog Hopper, Mighty X, the horses, too. Now Legos.” A native of Somalia, Kahin has been in this country for 11 years, the last nine in Minnesota. He says the reason for celebrating Eid at MOA is simple. “It’s the largest mall in America. We’re Americans.”

Shopping Mecca by Paul Demko

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