One year after U.S. withrawal, Maine organizations continue to support Afghan evacuees

Sean Stackhouse - August 23rd, 2022

PORTLAND, Maine — Just more than one year after the U.S. Military's withdrawal from Afghanistan, community organizations in Maine have continued to support those fleeing the violence.

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Maine Sens. King and Collins to travel abroad to support Ukrainian refugees

Sean Stackhouse - March 17th, 2022

The JCA's Refugee Resettlement Manager, Siobhan Whalen, was interviewed on NEWS CENTER Maine regarding the refugee crisis in Ukraine. "When and if it's decided that Ukrainians are destined for refugee resettlement, HIAS and our organization will be ready and willing to welcome them. That's one of the things I love most about this work. I know I can trust HIAS to keep us informed and ready for action."

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The experiences and challenges facing Afghan refugees arriving in Maine since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan

Aired December 20, 2021

In the months since the U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, some refugees have made their way to Maine. We’ll find out what challenges they have faced, what help is available and still needed, and what the outlook is for their new lives here.

Listen to the entire Maine Calling episode on Maine Public...

Abdul Rahman Qani is the newly elected president of the Afghan Community of Maine. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Maine agencies, Afghan community leaders respond to growing number of refugees


Naeem Walizada raised his arm and blocked the butt of the Kalashnikov assault rifle that was aimed at his head.

It was August, and Walizada and his family were on their way to Kabul’s airport – seven frightened people among thousands who were streaming across the capital city, hoping to get on an evacuation flight as U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan.

Walizada was on the ground, beaten down by Taliban fighters who were trying to stop the tidal wave of people attempting to flee before the Islamist military organization completed its takeover.

Read More from the Portland Press Herald article...

Department of State selects second Portland to group help resettle refugees in Maine

PORTLAND, MAINE -- 06/17/16 -- Muna Rached, originally from Iraq, smiles and holds her certificate for a photo after becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen at City Hall in Portland on Friday. A group of 22 refugees from around the world took part in the ceremony. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

2nd Portland group selected to help resettle refugees in Maine

Nick Schroeder October 31, 2021 - Updated 

PORTLAND, Maine — Afghans and other immigrant refugees arriving in Maine will soon have more options for help getting on their feet.

The Department of State has approved HIAS, an international refugee resettlement program, to mobilize a second Portland-based organization to help acclimate immigrant refugees to their new lives in and around Maine.

Portland’s Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine was selected by HIAS as one of seven new resettlement services centers in its network.

Read More from the Bangor Daily News article...

Jewish Community Alliance becomes second refugee resettlement agency in Maine

By Ari Snider Published November 3, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT

Maine has a new federally approved refugee resettlement agency. The Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine could begin working with refugees as soon as next month.

The JCA has been approved to work with up to 125 refugees over the next year, joining Catholic Charities Maine as the second resettlement agency in the state.

The JCA could welcome their first arrivals in December, but executive director Molly Curren Rowles said it may take some time to get up to speed.

Read More from the Maine Public article...