LEWISTONA holiday greeting from the Somali Bantu Community Organization appeared in many email inboxes on Dec. 22.

The group, which is run by and for Muslim immigrants from Somalia, offered a Christmas wish to supporters.

As the organization prepares for the holiday, the email said, Christmas is the best time “to stop and give our Happy Christmas thanks from the heart.”

Somali Bantu leaders said they are grateful for the funding that makes it possible for them to do their work and help immigrants transition to life in their new world.

“We would like to take this golden opportunity to thank the people of the United States of America who helped us through last year,” the email said. “We are especially happy to wish the people of Maine, and the people of USA, a (merry) Christmas and Happy New Year.”
They wished Maine a prosperous 2017.
When asked how Somali families — who are traditionally Muslim — observe the Christian holiday, Muhidin Libah, executive director of organization, said Christmas for them is a time of reflection, coming together and giving thanks.
On Christmas, many Somalis stay home, have all the family members come together and prepare the best meal,” Libah said. 
“We discuss how the year went,” he said.
Some also return to their original point-of-entry state when they arrived in America, Libah said, “a tradition for many Somali Bantus.”
— Bonnie Washuk
LEWISTON — In a recent interview with Lewiston High School student Mackenzie Richard, who played Anne in the school play, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” another student in the school’s drama club introduced herself.

“Hi! I’m Hailey Martlock,” the student said. “The publicist.”

I smiled, thinking it was cool that the high school drama club has a publicist. I joked that I should have arranged my interview through her.

The interview ended abruptly when a teacher showed up to talk about how her students reacted to the play. I was lost in conversation with the teacher when Martlock reappeared. She said she wanted to formally say “thank you” and “goodbye.”

An impressive gesture. She’s getting good experience — so young — in public relations.

— Bonnie Washuk


One of the many news releases recently sent to the Sun Journal made me chuckle.

It was from a public relations firm promoting Kungs, a Finnish producer of car products tested in the Arctic.

It surveyed Americans, including Mainers, about how prepared they are for snow and ice on their vehicles. Key findings were that “the winter struggle is real.”

I would agree.

Many Mainers aren’t prepared to handle ice and snow removal from their car. The survey asked Mainers to list tools they use to remove snow.

Ice scrapers were the No. 1 choice, followed by windshield wipers and defrosters, followed by hands or arms.

The fourth choice? Credit cards.

— Bonnie Washuk

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