Humans of Minneapolis: Hassan, Bethune Park

June 23, 2016 by Chee Xiong

In 2016, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation teamed up with Humans of Minneapolis street documentarian Stephanie Glaros to produce a series of 15 portraits of visitors to Minneapolis neighborhood parks.

Here, we’re re-posting Stephanie’s series of portraits of parks visitors from her Humans of Minneapolis blog. Look for all portraits in the series on this blog – 2016 and, coming soon, 2017 – by clicking on the Humans of Minneapolis category.

Hassan, at Bethune Park

“We’re a Somali soccer team. We’ve been practicing here. I’m a coach. We’re making them run and do drills to get ready for a big soccer tournament. It’s for the Somali Independence Day festival. Usually it’s July 1st, but now it’s Ramadan and we’re fasting for thirty days. They’re not drinking water, nothing. During Ramadan it’s tough, but we still manage to practice. The tournament starts July 8th and ends July 16th at Augsburg College. Eight teams from different states are coming here and there’s six teams from Minnesota. All Somali teams. It’s exciting to have the community come together to have fun and get to know new friends. It makes me happy to play the game. I’m very passionate about it.

I’ve played soccer all my life, since I was ten years old back in Egypt. That’s where I grew up. I’m originally from Somalia, but I left there when I was two or three years old because of the civil war. I’ve been here close to seventeen years. It’s pretty much my hometown here in Minnesota. I love it.

A lot of teenagers here are doing bad things. Smoking, being in gangs, all that stuff. Soccer is something that will keep you away from that. Soccer is a sport, but at the same time it will keep you with the community.”

Listen to Hassan’s story:

Images and content are reposted with permission from Stephanie Glaros/Humans of Minneapolis.

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