Central Area People, Their Story

Mr. & Mrs. Filli & Yodit Abdulkdra in front of 'Amy's Merkato' store © 2013, photo by Madeline Crowley
Mr. & Mrs. Filli & Yodit Abdulkdra in front of 'Amy's Merkato' store © 2013, photo by Madeline Crowley

News from a 2013 Heritage Projects recipient

Earlier in the year, local writer and teacher, Madeline Crowley, was awarded $1,500 through 4Culture’s Heritage Projects program to conduct and publish oral histories of local residents in Seattle’s Central Area neighborhood. Since May, she has conducted 23 interviews with participants ranging in age from 99 to 26 years old, all who have a unique story to tell of what it is like to live in one of Seattle’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods.

Mr. & Mrs. Filli & Yodit Abdulkdra in front of 'Amy's Merkato' store © 2013, photo by Madeline Crowley

Interviewees, both male and female, are a mix of small business owners, local activists, artists, homemakers, and even clergy. All have a unique perspective on what it is like to live/work/and make a home in this neighborhood. One interviewee, Mr. Filli Abdulkdra, for example, came to the Pacific Northwest from Ethiopia, determined to build a successful life for himself and his small family. Six days a week, he can be found at his store and café, Amy’s Merkato, selling Ethiopian goods, including his famous and fresh Injera.

According to Crowley,

Mr. Abdulkdra is “an affable but serious man, comfortable in his own skin, fascinated with life, people, cultures and food. If you get to know him, you’ll hear his insightful impressions of the places he’s traveled and how business is done there.” In his words, “I came from Ethiopia. I have a daughter, [who] is the center of my life and my wife’s name is Yodit. Madrona is a beautiful place. There are so many friendly people nowadays. You have people of different races, different backgrounds, and different finances. It mixes people from all ways of life. I am glad to be here.”

To read more of his story and learn about others participating in the project, visit Crowley’s blog: centralareacomm.blogspot.com. Please note that this weblog is still under construction. Crowley will be adding the last of this first phase of  interviews, a project overview and goals, and information about her role in the project in November & December, 2013. So be sure to check back!

Image: Mr. & Mrs. Filli & Yodit Abdulkdra in front of ‘Amy’s Merkato’ store © 2013, photo by Madeline Crowley

Post updated November 1, 2013