The World In Fargo-Moorhead: Portraits Uncover The Diverse Cultures Around Us


Photos courtesy of The World in Fargo-Moorhead

The World in Fargo-Moorhead shows the immense diversity of foreign-born residents now living in the Red River Valley—one portrait and story at a time. Modeled after Humans of New York, the project features portraits and interviews of immigrants, refugees, students and/or workers on temporary visas who live in the Fargo-Moorhead area. The World in Fargo-Moorhead officially launched in September 2016 as an exhibit for Welcoming Week at the Main Public Library in downtown Fargo. It was created as a collaborative effort among photo enthusiasts to raise awareness about the range of cultures that define our area.

You can find more of The World in Fargo-Moorhead project at and

Anyone interested in participating in the project can email or send a message on the project’s Facebook page. Newcomers are welcome to attend the project’s monthly meetings every third Wednesday of the month from 7 – 8 p.m. in the Fercho conference room at the Fargo Public Library, 102 N 3rd St., Fargo.

Joseph Lewis Liberia

Joseph Lewis, Liberia

Photo by Meg Luther Lindholm

“I became a member of the Bahá’í religion when I was 20 years old. The purpose of the Bahá’í faith is to unite the world in one universal cause and one common faith. It was founded in 1844 in Persia, Iran, and the prophet founder is Bahá’u’lláh. In the mornings, we go to a center for worship. But the Fargo-Moorhead Bahá’í is a very small community so basically what the friends do is they meet at (each other’s) homes to carry on devotion.”

Abdulla Farok Iraq

Abdulla Farok, Iraq

Photo by Sean Coffman

“In Iraq, my family and I were the victims of a chemical attack. I was blinded, couldn’t see. I thought that I would die, but I was rescued and cared for and became healthy again. In 1992, I left Iraq and arrived in Fargo. For the last 24 years, I have been proud to call this my home.”

Julia Schott Dominican Republic

Julia Schott, Dominican Republic

Photo by Ann Arbor Miller

“The first time I came here to Fargo, everybody that would meet me would say, ‘What are you doing here? You come from paradise.’ I’m like are you kidding me? When the sun goes down, it stays there forever. I can sit down and enjoy it. You can sit down for one hour and watch the sun go down. It takes about 10 minutes at the most in the tropics for the sun to go down. The beauty of this place is a different kind of beauty, but it’s really beautiful. The sky is darker. The colors in the land are different. The color of the dirt is different. The smells coming from the land are different.”

Dejan Kekic Bosnia

Dejan Kekić, Bosnia

Photo by Tyler Schafer

“It was surreal to go outside whenever we wanted. … We were happy to be alive.”

Dejan moved to Fargo from Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia, in the summer of 1996 when he was 6 years old.

Sarajevo had been under siege since 1992. A total of 13,952 people were killed during the siege of Sarajevo. Of those killed, 5,434 were civilians. In Sarajevo, Dejan lived in a one-room apartment with his father, mother, sister, aunt, uncle and two cousins. His family had to escape the country to Rome. There, Dejan and his immediate family boarded a plane to New York. His aunt and uncle ended up on a plane bound for Australia.

Vaishali Mohite India

Vaishali Mohite, India

Photo by Meg Luther Lindholm

“This is a Warli painting, a folk art painting from Maharastara, India. This is tribal art done by tribal women on the walls of their houses which are made of mud. These paintings are done on special occasions like weddings and harvest festivals. I am volunteering in the Indian community here to cultivate this folk art and to present it.”