Augusta, as Maine’s capital city, needs to be more welcoming and open to cultural diversity. I had the opportunity to meet some of the members of Augusta’s Muslim congregation, including Ather Mohammed, a few years ago when our family hosted an exchange student from Saudi Arabia.

Just 16 years old, young Nassar was homesick and missing his family and cultural traditions very much during the holy month of Ramadan.

In trying to support Nassar, I was delighted to find that Augusta has a small but active Muslim community. The congregation welcomed him with open arms and was an important resource in helping him adjust to life in Maine. The fact that this group is building a mosque should be embraced and celebrated by the city of Augusta as an important and necessary addition to the religious life of our community overall.

Deborah FahyHallowell

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