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Omar reads a special political issue of an Archie comic book as he takes a break from helping out at a Thursday tutoring session at the Jesse Epstein building. He identifies the most with his religion over American or Somali culture, but considers himself American. “Our faith is our culture,” he notes. Though he is in a unique schooling situation and chooses to dress more traditionally, he doesn’t feel much different from everyone else. His friends “like the same stuff as me. Basketball, or reading.“

Gurey says that “the best thing about America is the multiculturalism, mulitreligion—it’s the combination of the whole world. You have to know others and understand others.”

But the cultural transition has often been difficult for Gurey. “The way of life is different, the culture is different, the system is different. Raising children and educating them in Somalia is easy and cheap. Here it’s too hard. It’s way different. Somalia, there’s no class system at all, there’s no race issue, and here it’s upper class, middle class, low income.”