Wednesday, December 8, 2021

A Maine city that's 90% White now has a Somali immigrant mayor


immigrant Catherine E. Shoichet for CNN reports on a "feel good" immigration story.

A Somali immigrant, Deqa Dhalac is the new Mayor of South Portland, Maine. Yesterday, she became the first Black mayor of the small city on Maine's Southern Coast. It also is believed that Dhalac is the first Somali American mayor in the United States.

Dhalac was a member of the South Portland City Council.  The other city councilors, who are all White, elected her in a unanimous vote, heaping praise on Dhalac for her dedication to the community and thoughtful consideration of issues.
According to CNN, "Dhalac, 53, says her election shows what can be accomplished when people find ways to connect with each other instead of putting up walls."
Click here for an interview with Mayor Dhalac.  In teh interview, she describes her journey to the United States:
"I left my country right before the Civil War in 1990 with the hope of getting somewhere that is safer, because at that time, we knew there was going to be a civil war. But we did not know when and my father, before he passed, he asked my uncles and brothers, and my cousin is to make sure that I'm out of the country before that thing happens, the civil war happens. So I was lucky enough to travel to Italy, and we asked for asylum in Italy. We were about I believe -oh, my goodness, it's been a while - maybe 18 people, and the Italian government did not know what to do with us, because they never seen anything like that. So they kept us in the airport for a few weeks, and said that, if you know anyone, we can release you to that person. So luckily for me, my cousin was there, so I was released to her. And after that, I traveled to United Kingdom and then Canada. And then I get married to my husband. And I ended up coming to United States, late 1992 in Atlanta, Georgia."

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For another story about the great work of Somali refugees in Maine, see "As Maine Goes, So Goes the Nation," at:

Posted by: Craig Mousin | Dec 9, 2021 9:22:28 AM

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