Maine’s first Arabic-language newspaper has published a new issue that reflects broadened support for the enterprise.

The front page of The Hanging Gardens features an article encouraging Arab Americans to vote in the upcoming presidential election, as well as a photo of a girl holding a U.S. flag and showing a two-fingered peace sign. It also includes a notice that texting while driving is illegal in Maine and a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

On the back page is a welcome column, written in English by Rosanne Graef, past president of the West End Neighborhood Association, who said she was excited to see the newspaper’s first issue when it was published in May. Graef was asked by Hanging Gardens publisher and editor Aqeel Mohialdeen to share information that would help immigrants adjust to life in Maine, including the expectations of some Americans.

The remainder of the 16-page paper includes information about how to vote in Maine, photos and statements of a variety of Mainers about World Refugee Day, an article about the importance of financial literacy, an opinion piece on freedom, interviews with members of the Iraqi Community Organization of Maine, and advertisements for an Iraqi math professor offering free lessons to people seeking a high school diploma and an Iraqi musician offering to teach people how to play the oud, a pear-shaped Middle Eastern stringed instrument.

The free newspaper is available at the Portland Public Library and several stores in the city.

When Mohialdeen published the first issue in May, it had no paid advertisements and he did not know how often he would be able to publish the newspaper. The second issue that is now circulating has two paid ads, one from Norway Savings and one from Ameera Bread, which made it possible to print 1,000 copies, Mohialdeen said.

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