Maine Voices Live features 1:1 conversations between Portland Press Herald writers and notable Mainers. Audience members can experience a memorable night with a Q&A at the end. 

Reza Jalali and Morgan Rielly are the co-authors of “Dear Maine: The Trials and Triumphs of Maine’s 21st Century Immigrants,” a forthcoming book from Islandport Press that features 20 interviews compiled by Jalali and Rielly, as well as photos by Lilit Danielyan. Pre-order the book now.

An educator and human rights activist, Reza Jalali is an Iranian Kurd and former refugee who has lived in Maine since 1985. He has taught at the University of Southern Maine and Bangor Theological Seminary and founded Portland’s first immigrant advocacy center. Last year, he was named executive director of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center. As a member of Amnesty International USA’s board of directors, Jalali has led delegations to refugee camps in Turkey and Bosnia. His previous work includes “Moon Watchers: Shirin’s Ramadan Miracles,” a children’s book that received a Skipping Stones Honor Award for Multicultural Book.

Morgan Rielly is the state representative for House District 34, which includes part of his hometown of Westbrook, and is a member of the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee. A graduate of Bowdoin College where he double-majored in religion and government, Rielly is the author of “Neighborhood Heroes: Life Lessons from Maine’s Greatest Generation,” which profiles Maine World War II veterans. At Bowdoin, he received a fellowship to work alongside Syrian and Iraqi refugees at a non-governmental organization in Amman, Jordan.

They will be interviewed by Press Herald courts reporter Megan Gray.


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