Pious Ali, Portland, 2009

Courtesy of Jan Pieter Van Voorst Van Beest, an individual partner

Pious Ali, Portland, 2009

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Pious Ali has worked as a self-described “foot soldier” on behalf of immigrant youth in Portland. “I believe that young people who have faith—it doesn’t matter what kind, and it doesn’t have to be organized religion—will do better.” To that end, he started an organization called Maine Interfaith Youth Alliance.

For a former celebrity photographer once welcomed in the highest circles of Ghanaian society, this life of service to disadvantaged youth in his adopted homeland of Maine does not really seem so contradictory. “This has become home. So I might as well make this a good place for kids,” he says.

Pious Ali immigrated from Ghana to New York in 2000, moved to Maine in 2002, and as of 2017 is a member of Portland Public Schools Board and a community organizer. He was the first African-born Muslim elected to public office in Maine, and was elected to Portland's City Council in 2016.

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About This Item

  • Title: Pious Ali, Portland, 2009
  • Creator: Van Voorst Van Beest, Jan Pieter
  • Creation Date: 2009
  • Subject Date: 2017
  • Locations:
    • Ghana
    • Portland, Cumberland County, ME
  • Media: Digital photograph
  • Object Type: Image

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