Sun Journal chronicles Somali immigrant Asha Mohamud's path to Bates

Asha Mohamud '15 hugs a class adviser after receiving her Lewiston High School diploma on June 3 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. Photograph by Amber Waterman/Sun Journal.

Lewiston Sun Journal reporter Bonnie Washuk profiles Asha Mohamud ’15, a member of one of the first Somali families to settle in Lewiston after fleeing their war-torn homeland nearly a decade ago.

This fall, Mohamud, a recent Lewiston High School graduate, and Naima Qambi ’15, a graduate of Auburn’s Edward Little High School, will be the first members of the local Somali community to attend Bates.

Washuk uses Mohamud’s experiences growing up in Lewiston to illustrate the changing attitudes in Lewiston toward the immigrants.

The Somali community in Lewiston numbers approximately 3,000, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, making the city one of the most diverse in the state.

Washuk writes that Mohamud’s family “was among the first to move to Lewiston. Not long after they arrived in 2002, she and other immigrants encountered stares, rude questions about the way they dressed, who they were. Things have changed, she said. Today, Lewiston feels like home.”

Mohamud says, “I’m in love with the city now. It’s such a close-knit community. Everybody knows everybody. Everybody’s grown up with each other.” View story from the Sun Journal, June 4, 2011.

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