“Tonight you could have been anywhere you liked, but you chose to be here,” said Abdi Roble to a roomful of people at Solay Bistro last night. An endlessly charismatic Columbus resident and photographer who runs the Somali Documentary Project, he addressed a group of us that gathered at the northside restaurant for a fundraiser benefiting individuals in Somalia suffering from the East Africa drought. Roble and Solay Bistro owner Nadira Abdirahman graciously welcomed every attendee of the event, which was promoted by Columbus Food Adventures. I made new friends, learned about local Somali culture*, and sampled such utterly delectable dishes as Sabaya (bread), Cadriyad (sweet noodles), Soor (cornmeal), and Fata Muus (banana bread). It was an evening that, above all else, reminded me about the strength and compassion of community. A second benefit will be held next Wednesday. Proceeds from each dinner will be donated to the American Refugee Committee. Click here to learn more.
*Columbus has the second largest Somali population in the country.