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According to Memory Alpha, Geordi LaForge was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. However, his parents (Silva and Edward LaForge) don't have Somali names (and Geordi isn't very Somali), Geordi culturally seems very American rather than Somali (unless you count his love of Italian food as related to the legacies of Italian colonialism on Somali cuisine, but that seems unlikely).

Is there anything to suggest in any canon or EU material that Geordi LaForge has any connection to Somalia other than being born there?

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    Wow. There are some eagle eyed people on Memory-Alpha to catch what was probably a half second shot in the show. I guess the HD remasters probably make it easier.
    – Xantec
    May 30 at 3:56
  • Isn't Uhura also from Somalia? May 30 at 4:23
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    @HamSandwich I believe she was born in Kenya. May 30 at 8:16
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    As someone who knows a lot of Somalis it's pretty obvious that LeVar Burton looks nothing like one, it seems that the writers' methodology in choosing his origin was basically sticking a pin at random in the African content.
    – Prometheus
    May 31 at 1:44

1 Answer 1

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Main canon

Nope. There are zero mentions of Somalia, Mogadishu or the African Confederation in any episode, aside from a single (blink and you'll miss it) shot in TNG: Cause and Effect that wasn't easily readable until the blu-ray was released.

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Extended Universe

Geordi goes to Mogadishu in the TNG novel Losing the Peace. We learn that he considers it his hometown and that he grew up there, before joining Starfleet.

Geordi La Forge turned his face up to the equatorial sun high overhead, letting its warmth wash over him. There were still a few weeks left until the rainy season came to this part of the African Confederation, and it was significantly warmer than he was used to on the Enterprise. But he couldn’t very well complain about that.

Because, after all…he was home.

From his vantage point atop the metal bleachers bordering the Zefram Cochrane High School athletic field, he could see the Mogadishu skyline to the southeast and—by virtue of his cybernetic optical implants—the Indian Ocean beyond. Old-fashioned sailboats drifted lazily on the blue waters that lapped against the pristine white beaches along the Somalian coast. It was hard to believe the city had been largely destroyed in the years between the second and third world wars, and abandoned to rival militias. The ancient port city experienced a renaissance in the late twenty-second century, and was rebuilt in a manner that reflected its long history as a major trade center, using the most modern architectural techniques. It may not have been Paris or San Francisco, but it was as pristine and perfect a city as any other on the paradisiacal world called Earth.

And on the field, he was watching the Cochrane Flyers face off against their crosstown rivals, the Mogadishu Central High Scorpions. The school band played as, all around him, the other spectators shouted encouragement to the players or chatted among themselves about nothing in particular. All of a sudden, the entire crowd jumped to its feet and exploded in a mighty roaring cheer. Geordi stood up a second later and saw the Flyers celebrating what must have been an impressive goal.

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    It's a bit disappointing that the novel's vision for a reconstructed Somalia is essentially as an idyllic American town complete with the high school football game (albeit they at least changed it to soccer), but it does explain why Geordi seems so American if Mogadishu is now Des Moines in the Horn of Africa... May 30 at 22:16
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    @scifiseuser Everything on Earth is supposed to be idyllic, that's well-established throughout TNG and DS9.
    – Cadence
    May 30 at 23:58
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    @Cadence Idyllic is one thing. Replicating a rural American town in Eastern Africa is entirely another, and honestly rather disappointing given that the views we get of Earth in TNG and DS9 generally show culturally appropriate development for the area. May 31 at 1:41
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    Odd that a medical record would spend over half the page on his Starfleet credentials instead of "medical" history. Like, why not mention he's blind with augmentation instead of that's he's chief engineer?
    – penguin359
    May 31 at 6:04
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    @penguin359 - The population of the Federation is close to a trillion. Making sure you've got the right file is probably quite a high priority
    – Valorum
    May 31 at 7:11

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