Somali Minnesotans star in Apple TV+ show

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sahanjournal.comAn episode of “Little America” chronicles chef Jamal Hashi’s attempt to introduce camel-on-a-stick at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. It’s believed to be the first major Hollywood studio production to portray Somali life in Minnesota or the United States.

The days leading up to introducing Somali food at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010 were hectic for chef Jamal Hashi: his restaurant flooded, he broke a rib, and he fainted from exhaustion.

But in the end, his camel-on-a-stick booth at the fair was a massive success, selling out within four days and propelling Jamal’s restaurant career to greater heights. More than a decade later, the drama of that summer is being recreated in an episode of the Apple TV+ series, “Little America,” which first debuted earlier this month.

“When I was watching it, it all came back to me,” Jamal said, “because I never sat down to process it.”

The “Little America” episode, “Camel on a Stick,” is considered the first major Hollywood studio production to portray Somali life in Minnesota or the United States. It also features multiple Somali actors and a Somali screenwriter, some of whom are from Minnesota.

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