Lewiston Sun Journal
| by Lindsay Tice

When Safiya Khalid, an immigrant from Somalia, was elected to the Lewiston, Maine, city council with 70 percent of the vote Nov. 5, the Lewiston Sun Journal interviewed Catherine Besteman, Colby’s Bartlett Professor of Anthropology and author of a book about Somali Bantus who sought refuge and established a substantial community in Lewiston.

Khalid, 23, drew national attention as a candidate in part because of uncivil online comments by Internet trolls during her campaign. Besteman told the newspaper that Khalid’s victory, “happened for a political reason: She is the future of Lewiston and most people in Lewiston see that.” Somali refugees have stepped forward in the larger community, Besteman said, in part because Somali culture values participatory democracy.

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