Ahmed Abdullah started his job with the City of Socorro two months ago. He learned about the new job as he was filling out paperwork to get married, kicking off an exciting new chapter.
Cathy Cook | El Defensor Chieftain


Ahmed Ware Abdullah works in the City of Socorro’s transportation department and is the director of community outreach for the Islamic Center of Socorro.

How long have you been in Socorro?

I’ve been back and forth in Socorro for the last 10 years, but seriously since I started working here about two months ago starting in December with the city of Socorro. So, I’ve been here more consistently on a day-to-day basis now. I would say, two months on a consistent basis. I’ve been back and forth visiting friends around Tech and in the Islamic community around 10 years.

You’re working for the city, what are you doing?

I work in the transportation department. I also work, I’m the director of the community outreach programs, community invitation and networking with the Islamic Center of Socorro.

What’s your favorite part of doing that outreach?

I think you get a chance to help people have a new perspective in life. Sometimes you find ways to help people. When you talk to people, sometimes you get a chance to see where you could offer your experiences and your life experiences, helping people with a better life.

Is there anything you think people would be surprised to know about the Islamic Center?

That after Covid it was not as active, but now we have the five times prayers that have been established there on a consistent basis. Also Friday we have our Jum’ah, which is our sermon and our congregational prayer that we have at 1 o’clock, we have that consistently now on Fridays, and we have a community of more or less 20, 25 students and other professors and other local people who are here. The community’s small, maybe about 10 families or so and professors. I’d just say that we want to bring more light to the place, more light to the community by being involved, making the community shine and having some positive impact on the community.

What is your favorite part of your job with the city?

Driving is pretty easy. One exciting thing is meeting different people, different personalities, people from different walks of life. You may meet the professor, you may meet the guy or gal off the street, you may meet the old person, so it’s just a variety of people from Socorro that you meet and it’s exciting because you get a chance to really explore the city while you’re out and about at your work. That’s what makes it exciting, the explorational side of it. It’s never a boring moment because there’s always something different. You have a few clienteles that may be the same every day, but you always get those new people who make a little change in how your day goes.

Are there any moments since you’ve been driving for the city that really stand out?

I didn’t know they had an airport where sometimes people fly in, where they want to come in and go to Sofia’s and get a cup of coffee and a burrito and then go take the shuttle bus back to the airport and then go back to, whether they’re in Belen or Los Chavez, they have a little plane. And they say, hey, can you come pick me up for fifty cents, amazing. I think that’s amazing.

You said you have two sons?

Actually, I have a little basketball team. I have five sons, and two daughters and one grandson. I have a very wholesome family.

Are they all grown up now?

The youngest are in their teens. Two of them go to Valencia. The junior, Ali Abdullah, he’s playing varsity basketball for the last three years. He’s a junior now. My other daughter she’s a cheerleader, or I think it’s the dance team for Valencia. She’s a freshman. My oldest son, he’s in Bernalillo County. He’s a deputy sheriff now, he’s been sworn in for that. My other son has been accepted and this is his second semester at West Point. I just got married also. As a matter of fact, when I got the call to come for this job I was in Egypt, finishing all the marriage paperwork and stuff like that, so it was very exciting to be able to just get married and then get a job at the same time. I flew back. My wife is actually from Egypt. I’m born and raised here in a America, so it’s a nice combination, to be able to venture out sometimes, getting out of your elements and out of the box to be able to explore who you are rather than just be in the same box all the time.

How did you meet your wife?

I met her through her uncle, and we got along well and then he introduced me to her and then we went through the brother, go through all the Islamic proper procedures. There’s only so much that you can have with each other before, you have to keep it very respectable way of speaking with one another and then just took it from there.

A new wife and a new job at the same time is pretty exciting.

Yes, isn’t that amazing? And some new spiritual responsibilities that I have  with the Islamic Center of Socorro, so that’s always been a driving factor, a faith based community that’s reaching out to others  as well and lending a helping hand to anyone that needs it, whether it’s a kind word or food or anything they need. We like to be able to assist.

It sounds like faith is pretty central to your life

For sure, absolutely. It’s the center point.

What do you feel like that brings into your life?

The faith and conviction I think. I think from my mind and heart, I would say the peace, the tranquility of it, the success in knowing that whatever I do now is going to have some aftereffects in the hereafter. Just changing day by day to becoming a better human being, using Islam as a way to be a springboard to make those changes within myself.

Is there anything you’d like to change about Socorro?

Just when you drive in, I notice that maybe there’s some places that need some renovations. I would say more eatery places and it seems like you would have more things to do since it’s a college, Tech community, you would have more things that students can do in their leisure time. Those are two things I can see that maybe could need some improvements on, just renovations in the housing and some of the dilapidated buildings that you easily notice coming off the highway. More facilities for teenagers and things that grown people can also go find a place and eat in. I come from a big city, so it’s a little different. I’m originally from Indianapolis. There’s a lot of hidden gems here. The museum, I definitely want to get the opportunity to go to the museum. I’m a museum enthusiast. And I want to climb the mountain.

Cathy Cook, Editor, El Defensor Chieftain