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Archive for March 2012

Welcoming Maine Dinner changes hearts and minds

On January 20 a new community group called Welcoming Maine launched its first Welcoming Maine Dinner at St. Mary’s Nutrition Center in Lewiston. Native Mainers and New Mainers gathered for a multi-ethnic meal and a film screening on the week of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

For many guests, this event sparked their first true interaction with a neighbor from a different culture.

Turnout greatly exceeded predicted numbers, with over 60 people filling the venue. Many important figures from both communities were present, as well as everyday Lewiston residents. Guests included Mayor Bob MacDonald (City of Lewiston), former mayor Larry Gilbert (City of Lewiston), Executive Director Abdifatah Ahmed (Atlantic Global Aid), Monsignor Marc Caron (Princes of Peace Catholic Church), Executive Director Fatuma Hussein (United Somali Women of Maine), City Administrator Ed Barrett (City of Lewiston), Case Manager Qamar Bashir (Catholic Charities Maine), Superintendent Bill Webster (Lewiston Public Schools), business owner Mohamed Mohamed (Three One Cafe) and business owners Jimmy and Linda Simones (Simones Restaurant).

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