Lucy Ash (BBC): Hello this is Lucy Ash with Outlook from the BBC World Service. Today, why does a tranquil corner of New England need Middle East-style conflict resolution … Just over a decade ago, the state of Maine on the East Coast was labeled the whitest state in America.
But in the last 12 years, refugees from dozens of countries have settled in the New England state. This change in the population has created tensions, as the so-called “New Mainers” try to establish themselves. There are additional tensions within immigrant families as the younger generations struggle to reconcile an American way of life with the traditions and customs of their parents.
I’ve been speaking to two high school students, Melissa who’s 16, born and raised in Maine, and 17-year-old Abukar, whose family is originally from Ethiopia. They’ve just been taking part in a summer camp run by Seeds of Peace, a group which tackles conflict resolution by bringing young people together on neutral ground. The organization normally operates int he most volatile parts of the world, like Israel and Palestine. But Melissa said its work is also needed in Maine.