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Arts and Culture

Why Lewiston? Colby Professor Details How Somali Refugees Found Maine

Brian Bechard
Lisbon Street in Lewiston, home to many Somali businesses.

In the last 15 years, about 12,000 Somali Bantu refugees have been resettled in the United States, and some ultimately found their way to Lewiston.

In her new book “Making Refuge: Somali Bantus and Lewiston, Maine,” Colby College anthropologist Catherine Besteman writes about the Somalis in Lewiston, and her surprising history with some of them. And she looks at how the influx of war refugees from the horn of Africa affected the former mill town.

In an interview, Besteman tells Nora Flaherty how it was that so many of these Somali refugees ended up in Lewiston.

Besteman will be reading from her book next Monday at the Portland Stage. For more information, click here.