August 16, 2016- On Monday, August 15, a group of undergraduates from across the United States gathered at the headquarters of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and The Fairfax Institute to participate in a week-long civic engagement retreat.
As the week progresses, students are participating in several panels and workshops designed to teach and empower young adults with tools to effectively participate in government from local to national levels. This year's sessions and panels include the following organizations:
FAITH Social Service Agency
Muslim Public Affairs Council
The Bridge Initiative at Georgetown University
All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS Center)
Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque
American Muslim Health Professionals
Muslim Justice League
Unity Productions Foundation
After taking part in sessions at IIIT, students will go on to visit select government agencies and congressional offices, ending with a closing ceremony on The Hill.
August 13, 2016- On a bright and sunny August day, students of the 5-week intensive Summer Student Program participated in the final step of the program: Graduation. Hosted by Dr. Tanveer and Dr. Yaqub Mirza, the graduation ceremony brought to culmination over a month of classes, workshops, presentations, papers and more. The graduating class was composed of 18 members, from places like University of Indiana, Vanderbilt, Syracuse, Columbia, University of Santa Barbara, and more. Students were joined by alumni and a network of IIIT scholars in the last week of the program, convening in the Summer Institute of Scholars. This gathering brought together scholars and researchers to discuss scholarly work under the theme of "Islam and Modernity."
The Graduation Master of Ceremonies was the Director of The Fairfax Institute, Dr. Ermin Sinanovic, with award presentations by IIIT Executive Director, Dr. Abubaker Al-Shingieti, and IIIT President Dr. Hisham AlTalib.
Special Guest Dr. Tracy Fitzsimmons, President of Shenandoah University, provided a keynote speech about the importance of an authentic education. The class speaker was Muhammad Rahman, a Fulbright Scholar completing his Ph.D. in International Studies at Old Dominion University.
The recipients of the prestigious IIIT Fellowship award were Brian Wright, Aysenur Sonmez Kara, and Muhammad Rahman.
The celebration included lunch and picnic.
August 4, 2016- On Thursday morning, Summer Program Students arrived at the Al-Faruqi Library at the International Institute of Islamic Thought to partake in a full-day presentation program, where each of the 18 students presented their paper topics and received comments from SSP faculty members and advisors.
Paper topics covered a diverse range of issues, from an analysis of offensive jihad and how ISIS has misinterpreted the notion, Islamophobia in the university setting, to the Islamic criminal code, the nuances of Sufi intellectual thought, and more. The presentations were a culmination of four weeks of courses ranging from Contemporary Islamic Thought, Islam in America, Maqasid in Public Policy, and Islamic Jurisprudence.
Esteemed faculty members included Dr. Ovamir Anjum, Dr. Hisham AlTalib, with moderation by Dr. Ermin Sinanovic, Director of The Fairfax Institute.