LEWISTON — Lewiston High School students are hosting an International Fashion Show Thursday night, featuring student models Djamal Maldoum from central Africa and Hana Mougin from Djibouti, and School Superintendent Bill Webster.

Webster won’t be strolling down the catwalk, however. He’ll be more of an accessory.

“I’ll be walking someone down the aisle,” Webster said Monday. “I’ll see if I can fit into my 30-year-old tuxedo.”

The public is invited to the show, which will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Chase Hall at Bates College. Students from Bates College Africana Club will also participate.

The fashion show is part of International Week Celebration at Lewiston High School, headed up by students of English Language Learner teacher Patty MacKinnon.

The number of Lewiston students from immigrant families continues to grow. Of the high school’s population, 30 percent are from immigrant families that represent 42 countries.

Last year, students hosted an International Day. This year the event has morphed into a week.

“Day one of this school year, students started asking about it,” MacKinnon said. “They started knocking down my door asking, ‘When are we doing this?’ They said the International Day was the best day of their entire school life.”

Students were budding with ideas on how to expand the celebration.

OK, McKinnon said. “But we need some kind of club.”

In September, students founded the International Club and have met weekly to plan International Week Celebration.

“I have two outstanding student officers, Djamal Maldoum, a native of Chad, and Hana Mougin from Djibouti,” MacKinnon said. Both will model in the show, which will represent styles from about 15 countries in Africa and Asia, and Cuba.

The International Club designed a “Celebrate Diversity” shirt that’s been worn by students and staff all year. It says “Hello!” on the front and different languages on the back, MacKinnon said.

The week started Monday with a workshop on how to play the djembe, a drum originally from West Africa.

On Tuesday, student workshops on Chinese writing and theater mask-making are scheduled.

Thursday is a panel discussion exploring religions, particularly what Christianity, Islam and Judaism have in common.

The celebration concludes Friday with the International Lunch Festival during the four student lunch periods. Students have made posters and signs on how to say hello and goodbye in Swahili, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean, Arabic, French and Somali.

Students have also made promotion videos posted on social media.

On Friday, there’ll be singers, drummers, musicians and dancers, along with food samples from the United States, Canada, the British Isles, India, France, Italy, South Korea, Jamaica, Latin American, Africa, Japan and Thailand.

Some students will wear traditional clothing or “Celebrate Diversity” shirts.

Besides having fun, the event is “to let the community know we celebrate diversity in our school,” MacKinnon said. “The goal is to celebrate and honor how diversity brings people together. We have a rich community here.”

Djamal Maldoum, left, and Chirine Omar model clothing for classmates at Lewiston High School on Monday. The two seniors will participate in the International Fashion show at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bates College. The show is part of International Week Celebration at Lewiston High School, where 30 percent of students are from immigrant families.

Lewiston High School students Djamal Maldoum, left, Hana Mougin and Chirine Omar will participate in the International Fashion show at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bates College. The show is part of International Week Celebration at Lewiston High School, where 30 percent of students are from immigrant families.


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