The national team unites a scattered diaspora and provides a reason to cheer for war-torn Somalia.
For all of his adult life, Ahmed Mohamed Farah has only seen the country he represents in news footage of war, killings, and starvation. Now studying for a business degree at Carleton University in Ottawa, Mr. Farah says it was a strange feeling the first time he pulled on the national soccer jersey of his distant homeland: Somalia.
Fourteen years ago, Farah and his family fled the spiraling fighting in Somalia, heading to the Middle East before ending up in Canada. After being spotted by scouts at a Somali football tournament in Toronto last year, he was tapped to play for the national team – nicknamed the Ocean Stars – in a recent regional championship in Uganda. But he won't be heading back to Somalia anytime soon.