This Spring, universities across the United States, Canada, and Europe will conduct their respective Islam Awareness Weeks (IAW), an annual series of activities, competitions, and lectures designed to foster ties between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
Myself and the other six members of the IAW Committee ask for your help strengthening the University's environment of understanding and open dialogue for greater mutual progress. IAW events do not proselytize, they are designed only to inform about Muslim beliefs and culture.
On behalf of the IAW Committee and Muslim community in Minneapolis, we would very much appreciate any effort on your part to spread the word of IAW and heighten its importance. Whether you tell your classes about the events, turn it into an extra credit opportunity, or come up with an option you like better, we will be grateful.
Some information about the Committee:
It is composed of seven members, three from the Al-Madinah Cultural Center Board (the non-religious student group created to spread awareness of Muslim culture and provide Muslim students a place to pray), and three from the Muslim Student Association Board. I round out the committee as the first non-Muslim, non-religious member since the University IAW's inception a decade ago. I am a junior majoring in Global Studies.
IAW Events: March 4th to 8th
Bringing a taste of the great markets in the Muslim world - Istanbul, Damascus, Granada, Shiraz, and others. Local restaurants, craft shops, markets, and clothing retailers, in addition to any student who wants to sell their own goods, will be featured.
Tuesday: The Amazing Race: UofM IAW version
Students will go through a timed obstacle course for cash prizes. Each obstacle is a metaphor for a stage of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. 1st place gets $500, 2nd place $300, and 3rd place $200.
Wednesday: Film Fest
Any student can make a short film about an experience with Islam or their perception of Islam. 5 finalists will be shown in the Coffman Theater, and cash prizes will be awarded for the best ones. 1st place gets $500, 2nd place $300, and 3rd place $200.
Thursday: Dinner and Lecture
Come experience culture as Muslims do. Learn dinner etiquette, behavior with newborns, neighbors, and using the bathroom. Learn about modesty and interactions between men and women. Enjoy this interactive dinner in an informal and fun environment
Friday: Charity Walk
This is yours and our way to give back to the Minneapolis community. This walk will raise money for the Greater Twin Cities United Way.
If you have further questions don't hesitate to write back, and feel free to give out my email to any student who is interested in participating or volunteering for events.
Thank you again, and we will send out reminders as the week draws nearer.