On Friday, the US ambassador to Somalia, Stephen Schwartz, met with the country's new president, Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmaajo" Mohamed. He brought a gift:
The phrase on the hat, which was in the colors of Somalia's flag, says "Make Somalia Great Again," a not-so-complicated adaption of US President Donald Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again."
It was a confusing exchange for two reasons. First of all, Schwartz was appointed by Barack Obama, not Trump. And second, Trump, the originator of the slogan, just last month signed an executive order that heavily restricted immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Somalia, to the US. Farmaajo, as the Somali president is commonly known, recently spoke out about Trump's travel ban.
“It is part of my responsibility to talk about this issue with the U.S. government by conveying our message to the president and his government that the Somali people are really good, hard working people," Farmaajo said in an interview on Thursday. "They raise their families in the United States. So we will see if he can change that policy and exclude Somalis from that list."