"We see more Somali females marrying outside of the Somali culture, compared to the Somali men marrying outside of the culture," Mohamud said.Somali women like Idil Mohamed are breaking the social norms of marriage and cultural traditions in their community.
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When Idil Mohamed walks down the street with her husband, they often attract stares, and sometimes rude comments.
"Just the other day we were walking together and this guy yelled out the window and he said, 'interracial,'" Mohamed said.
"Yeah, obviously, you can see that." Idil Mohamed is Somali, and wears the Muslim headscarf. He converted to Islam before they met on a Muslim dating website.
Chippendale agrees that he and his wife attract attention when they're in public.
"We get very strange looks any time we are together," Chippendale said.
"Often times, I myself wouldn't feel necessarily as uncomfortable, but my wife often does not even want to be seen holding my hand, because it's awkward because of all the looks." Idil Mohamed came to America when she was 12 years old.She said culture and race were not factors for her in choosing a husband, but her family did not feel the same way."My family were shocked, because I was the first person to actually marry outside of my race," Mohamed said. My aunt was very supportive of me marrying him, but everyone else was totally opposed to it." After she married Chippendale, Idil Mohamed's relationship with some of her family members frayed.Some close family members started to distance themselves from her."They really want this to work out but they don't fully accept it.It sometimes makes me feel uncomfortable," Mohamed said.