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The Somali Experience in Maine: Twenty Years of Community Building
April 15, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Thursday, April 15th 5-6 pm
Price: free, w/ suggested donation
Registration: required at my.historicnewengland.org (click to register)
Description: In other parts of the country, some may think of Maine as very white and very rural—an unlikely setting for a refugee community. Yet in the cities of Lewiston and Portland, the Somali refugee community has carved out a place where it has successfully maintained its traditional, tightknit community structure and assimilated with other Maine residents. This year, 2021, marks the twentieth anniversary of Somali refugee settlement in Maine. Somalis in Maine have faced challenges and racism, but their story is largely one of pride, hope, and success in their adopted home. In this virtual panel, hear from three leaders in the Somali community in Maine: Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed, principal at Deering High School in Portland; Safiya Khalid, newly elected Ward 1 city councilor in Lewiston; and Muhidin Libah, executive director of the Somali Bantu Community Association. Ahmed, Khalid, and Libah speak about their own personal journeys to and life in Maine as well as the history, setbacks, and successes of the larger community of which they are a part.