PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The executive editor of Maine's first Arabic newspaper hopes the periodical will foster coherence between Americans and immigrants to America.
Aqeel Mohialdeen immigrated to the United States from Iraq in 2010. He moved to Maine three years ago and put out the first issue of "The Hanging Gardens of Babylon" newspaper in May 2016.
The goal of the paper is to educate immigrants about the customs of the United States, as well as laws and responsibilities of American citizens. It also encourages immigrants not to abandon the culture, art, music and food of their homeland.
Mohialdeen hopes it will make Maine become a role model in the integration process for immigrants.
"Moving to the U.S. is not changing just a place or location — it's a new life," he said. "It's a completely different system. It takes time to learn all these [customs] and experience that."
Mohialdeen published the second issue in November. The front page encouraged immigrants to vote in the presidential election. Mohialdeen said that is another way for immigrants to adapt to American life, especially since the democratic process is so different from Iraq.
He hopes to increase the paper's frequency of publishing in the future.