People often come to StoryCorps to interview someone they already know and love. But in this episode of the podcast, we’ll hear from two women who began the recording process as strangers and left as friends.

In October 2015, Asma was out for dinner at an Applebee’s in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. Asma, who is Somali American and Muslim, was wearing a hijab and speaking Swahili with her family when a woman seated at a nearby table started harassing her for not speaking English. The verbal assault quickly turned to violence when the woman struck Asma across the face with a beer mug.

After, Asma received tons of support from friends and family but she also received support from someone she wasn’t expecting: Dawn Sahr, the sister of her attacker.

Asma and Dawn met in person for the first time when they sat down together for StoryCorps. They then recorded another interview years later to talk about the wounds that linger, and the friendship they’ve formed since.

Top photo: Artwork by Lindsay Mound.
Bottom photo: Dawn Sahr and Asma Jama in Minneapolis, Minnesota at their StoryCorps recording in December of 2016. By Roselyn Almonte.

Released on November 19, 2019.

Like the music in this episode? Support the artists:
“Heat and Memory” by Jarrett Floyd
“Cast in Wicker” by Blue Dot Sessions from the album Aeronaut
“Grey Grey Joe” by Blue Dot Sessions from the album TinyTiny Trio
“Surly Bonds” by Blue Dot Sessions from the album Aeronaut

This podcast is brought to you by supporters of StoryCorps, an independently funded nonprofit organization, and is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.