New Mainers Speak 03/30/2014


New Mainers Speak 03/30/2014


Kate Manahan



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Host Kate Manahan interviews Mohamed Mohamed, a USM senior double major in International Studies and Political Science. He was born in Somalia, and his family moved to Maine when he was a young child, becoming citizens when he was 10 years old. He discusses his hope that Mainers will understand the hardships and resiliency of immigrants; his admiration for his own parents, who left Somalia at the age of 20 with three young children; the day his family became US citizens. He also talks about being inspired by the song “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan, which Mohamed chose to start the radio program.

Mohamed’s family first moved to Portland, then to Biddeford. He describes his experience growing up in largely white Biddeford; how he was often seen as African-American rather than Somali; how he has had to serve as an “ambassador” for Somalia since childhood; combating negative generalizations about Somalia in American popular culture; and recent positive developments in Somalia, and his hopes for Somali unity. He also discusses his academic focuses at USM, and faculty members who have encouraged and inspired him, as well as his goals for after college.

They also discuss Mohamed’s internship with the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP), including the services offered; number of people served; funding sources; impact on Maine’s immigrant community; and ILAP’s annual fundraiser at USM’s Abromson Center. Mohamed mentions the impact of immigrants on USM and Maine more broadly, as well as a summer experience at the UN in Geneva, where he learned about human rights work and spent time with African diplomats.

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, Mohamed Mohamed, Somalia, citizenship, Biddeford, University of Southern Maine, International Studies, Political Science, Wavin’ Flag, K’naan, popular culture, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, fundraiser, United Nations, Geneva, human rights, Africa, diplomats

New Mainers Speak 03/30/2014