Where Columbus’ Somali community shops, socializes

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The Global Mall in Northland is an attraction for the Somali community and is home to clothing stores, tech stores, a cafe and a barber shop.

Upon first glance, Global Market looks like any other grocery store in Columbus. 

Boxes of Cheerios, Froot Loops and pancake mix line the shelves of one aisle. Another features Colgate toothpaste and Dove soap. 

But there also are international brands sprinkled throughout — Al Khaleej dates, Baraka melon seeds and Jango mango juice. 

The market is part of the Global Mall in the Northland neighborhood, and it has become a destination for the city’s Somali and immigrant communities since opening in 2002. 

The 30 businesses that make up the mall offer a range of goods andservices — traditional Somali clothing, jewelry, travel planning and food and drink — and a majority are owned by Somalis. There’s also a prayer room.

A man walks down an aisle inside the Global Mall on Morse Road. The 30 businesses that make up the mall offer a range of goods and services and are mostly owned by Somalis.

The result is a place that has helped form community among the area’s new Americans.

Hassan Omar, president of the Somali Community Association of Ohio, said he visits the mall every other weekend to check in with various business owners or to meet people who are new to the region. 

“When I want to meet new people, I go there,” he said.  



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