Rochester woman rescued from Somalia graduates from STEM Academy

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -A young woman rescued from war-torn Somalia has graduated from the Rochester STEM Academy.

Murayo Ali received her diploma during her commencement ceremony at the Kahler Grand Hotel Saturday morning.

When Ali was a child growing up in Somalia, she suffered severe injuries at the hands of guerilla fighters.

A Rochester man, Abdiaziz Maahaay, saw her on the news, then sponsored her to come to Mayo Clinic to get treatment.

That was a decade ago. Now, Murayo is healed and happy. And Maahaay is overjoyed to see her transformation.

“I cannot imagine the emotion I have today and how I’m feeling. I cannot express any word that I can think about,” said Maahaay while attending Ali’s graduation.

“But what I think about is to make sure I always say those guys who are after me, behind me, who have done this kind of work, and to say, ‘Thank you so much.’ And the generosity of American people.”

Murayo lives in Rochester with her father. She said she is still deciding what she wants to do next.

As for Maahaay, he is bringing other Somali children into the U.S. to get treatment for serious injuries through his organization, the American Somali Health Care Foundation.

Recently, he arranged for conjoined Somali twins to travel to Boston for surgery.

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