Maine’s new table tennis champion is playing with some of the best this week in New York.

Fouad Abdullah, 20, who lives in Westbrook with his parents and younger brother and sister, is a guest of the Westchester Table Tennis Center, owned by Will Shortz, who is The New York Times’ crossword puzzle editor.

Abdullah, who arrived in Maine in August and doesn’t speak much English, was a member of the national table tennis team in his native Iraq. This fall he began playing with clubs in Maine thanks to help from Nancy Berrang, a volunteer with the Catholic Charities American Friends program who is helping Abudullah’s family transition to life in the United States.

Abdullah won the Maine state championship in November.

Berrang contacted Shortz this month and sent him a link to a Portland Press Herald video report on Abdullah, hoping to find an opportunity for Abdullah to play in a USA Table Tennis-ranked tournament.

Shortz, who says he was touched by Abdullah’s story, not only invited him to New York but arranged to have him stay with a host family and took him out to dinner Tuesday night.

“We have a very diverse club,” Shortz says. “Members come from 25 different countries, and I wanted to reach out to help Fouad, and I thought it would add to the club.”

Abdullah will play in a tournament at the Westchester Table Tennis Center this weekend.