New Mainers Speak 04/13/2014


New Mainers Speak 04/13/2014


Kate Manahan



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Host Kate Manahan interviews Abdi Yousaf, a senior at Deering High School in Portland. Abdi was born in Dubai after his parents left Somalia; the family then moved to Pakistan, then to Maine when Abdi was 4. At the time of this interview, Abdi’s father, a businessman and taxi driver had retired and moved back to Somalia the previous year; Abdi’s mother, a housekeeper and babysitter, stayed in Maine with Abdi and some of his siblings. They discuss the values his parents have imparted to him and his relationships with his siblings. He and his brothers would often translate from English to Somali for their parents in school and with service people; his mother reciprocates by helping him speak Somali with his relatives.

They also discuss education: Abdi’s family values education highly, and have encouraged him to work hard and get good grades in school. He describes his experience at Deering High; his favorite subjects; learning in general; being black and Muslim in the Portland Public Schools; the growing diversity in the Portland Public School system.

In the summer of 2013, Abdi took his first trip to Somalia with his family, where they visited relatives in Mogadishu. He discusses culture shock; his increased understanding of his parents’ values and point of view; Somalia’s recent population growth; similarities and differences between himself and his Somali cousins; the beach; and signs of the civil war in Mogadishu.

Abdi’s plans after graduating high school include going to college and pharmacy school to become a pharmacist. He hopes to help his mother retire and follow in his father’s footsteps.

Publication Date



WMPG 90.9 FM


Portland, Maine


WMPG, community radio, college radio, New Mainers Speak, Kate Manahan, immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, Portland, New Mainers, Abdi Yousaf, Deering High School, Dubai, Somalia, Pakistan, translation, education, Portland Public Schools, Muslim, Islam, teachers, Mogadishu, travel, culture shock, diversity

New Mainers Speak 04/13/2014