Sarah Madhi arrived in Maine a year and a half ago with a bachelors degree in Information Technology from her university in Baghdad. Currently she is working as an Arabic/English translator with House of Languages, volunteering with Partners for World Health, and preparing for a pre-med certification in the fall at USM. Her dream is to become a physician and be helpful to others.
Reza Jalali is Coordinator of Multicultural Student Affairs at the University of Southern Maine. He is also an esteemed teacher, writer, community organizer, and Muslim scholar. Originally from Iran, then educated in India, he has called Maine home for over twenty years now. During this interview he reads from his latest book Homesick Mosque about how subtly and profoundly relationships changed after 9/11 for Muslim members of our community. This book and his others, Moon Watchers: Shirin's Ramadan Miracle and New Mainers (author of the forward), are available at local bookstores as well as from booksellers on the web.
Mohamed Mohamed is a senior at USM with a double major in International Studies and Political Science. His family moved to Maine when he was a young child and he grew up in Biddeford. He shares what that experience was like and tells about his internship at ILAP, also explaining what ILAP does in the state of Maine.
In celebration of National Women's History month, WMPG (90.9 FM) hosted a special day of women's programming on Saturday, March 29th. Four young women from the University of Southern Maine's Muslim Student Association comprised a panel to discuss women's issues for an hour long radio show. Salma Hassan, Hani Ali, Hawo Mohamed and Hawa shared their perspectives on three major points: "Woman" vs. "Girl", the impact of recent budget cuts on women at the University of Southern Maine, and the role of Islam in their daily lives.
Their bright and lively commentary was broadcasted live as they shared openly from their life experiences as first generation immigrants of Somali and Afghan descent.
Ina is from Semarang, Middle Java, Indonesia and arrived in Maine in 1974. She was a teacher by trade, but because of her Chinese ancestry was not allowed to be hired as a teacher in Indonesia. She came to the US, got her Bachelors, teaching certification and Masters degree from USM, and has been an educator since. She currently works in the Portland Public Schools as an Education Technician III, teaching English in an ELL classroom (English Language Learning). She is also active in the union to advocate for Ed Techs in the Portland Schools.
Ina has a passion for service and supports many programs including the Multi-Cultural/Multi-Lingual Center, The Center for Grieving Children, and runs a drop-in English Conversation program for adult learners, hosted at Whole Foods conference room in Portland.
Sunday March 24th at noon on WMPG.org (90.FM in Southern Maine) Stela Markova-Kanin will join me to talk about her life in Bulgaria and her transition to Maine.