Aden Batar had just completed law school when war broke out in Somalia 1990. He and his young family were forced to flee from place to place to escape violence.

Ultimately, Aden’s decision to leave Somalia resulted from a tragic accident. When his 2-year-old child, Mohamed, suffered injuries from a spilled pot of boiling water, Aden could not access medical care in the war-torn country. Mohamed died five days later. Determined that nobody else in his family would die, Aden and his wife chose to immigrate to the United States, with their two other children in tow.

In 1994, Aden and his family were among the first Somalis to be resettled in Utah. He and his son Jamal came to StoryCorps to talk about those early days.

Top photo: Jamal and Aden Batar at their StoryCorps interview in West Valley City, UT on March 17, 2017. By Mia Warren for StoryCorps.

Originally aired July 5, 2019 on NPR’s Morning Edition.