July 25, 2016- In the third week of Summer Student Program 2016, students had the opportunity to partake in a workshop at IIIT/TFI Headquarters, focused on countering Islamophobia, conducted by The Bridge Initiative, based at Georgetown University. The workshop was conducted by Director of The Bridge Initiative, Dr. John Esposito and Dr. Nazir Harb Michel, Senior Researcher & Social Media Director at The Bridge Initiative.
The Bridge Initiative “…brings together celebrated faculty, subject-matter experts, and seasoned researchers to examine attitudes and behaviors towards Muslims; dissect public discourses on Islam; and uncover the operational mechanisms of engineered Islamophobia in an effort to raise public awareness and enrich public discourse on this pernicious form of prejudice. Through its website, The Bridge Initiative disseminates original and accessible research, offers engaging commentary on contemporary news, and hosts a repository of high-caliber studies, polls, articles, and other informational resources. By wedding rigorous research and analysis with the accessibility and reach of the Internet, the Bridge Initiative seeks to fulfill Thomas Jefferson’s dream of a ‘well-informed citizenry.’”
The workshop provided students an avenue into applying academic jargon and the intellectual environment into an accessible and practical tool to combat Islamophobia. Dr. Esposito and Dr. Nazir Harb stressed the importance of refining organizational social media operators, and introduced tools and practical tips that help transmit information that otherwise does not reach the masses.
With academic backgrounds like International Relations, Conflict Resolution, Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic law, political science, and sociology, this workshop allowed students to see how research and data can be made into concise, yet effective vessels of information.
On Saturday, July 23, 2016, The Fairfax Institute hosted a leadership seminar for staff and board of the IMAAM Center from Silver Spring, Maryland. The all-day IMAAM Center Leadership Seminar was held at IIIT headquarters. The training modules included:
The day started with insights from Dr. Ermin Sinanovic, reflecting on the qualities and lessons of leadership throughout Muslim History. The program continued with Dr. Iqbal Unus’ session on the importance of strategic planning and vision. The issue of how Imams and mosque leadership can engage with Muslim youth was a topic that was facilitated by Abidah Ali, Youth Coordinator at the ADAMS Center (All Dulles Area Muslim Society). Later, Farhanahz Ellis, a decades-long veteran of the field of interfaith engagement, highlighted the importance and ways of interfaith engagement, and underlining the value of actively engaging local communities. Dr. Hisham AlTalib, President of the Board of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, discussed da’wah and the ethics of engagement, and Dr. Yaqub Mirza finished the seminar with a discussion of practical methods of wealth-building and fundraising. The leadership seminar concluded with certificate awards presented by Dr. Ermin Sinanovic and Dr. Yaqub Mirza.
The all-day seminar provided a wonderful opportunity for participants to reflect on workshop sessions and actively partake in discussions with speakers. The Fairfax Institute looks forward to pursue such fruitful connections as we move forward with our work. For more information on how your organization can receive leadership trainings, please call (703) 230-2843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Monday, July 11, 2016, The Fairfax Institute and the International Institute of Islamic Thought initiated Opening Day of the annual Summer Student in the Al-Faruqi Library. Students prepared for an intense 5-week program in Islamic Studies, with world-class faculty at their fingertips! The opening session included words by Dr. Hisham Altalib, Dr. Ermin Sinanovic, and Dr. John Voll. Dr. Younus Mirza participated in welcoming events, along with IIIT and TFI staffmembers, Obay Altalib (Director of Marketing). Saber AlKilany (Library Director), and Shazia Farook (TFI Program Manager).
The signature Summer Student Program invites graduate students annually from all over the United States and Canada to take part in this residential learning program. With courses like Approaching the Quran, Contemporary Islamic Thought, Approaching the Sunnah, Islam in America, and Muslim History and Civilizations, students are able to deeply explore research areas in the various aspects of theology, and engage with professors regularly on these issues.
Today's inaugural session was taught by Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina, on Methods in the Study of Islam. He stated, "Throughout your research experiences, there are always ways to combine interdisciplinary approaches. What matters is how you apply your approach as a scholar."
This program will be in session until August 13, 2016.
Monday July 11th, 2016 will mark the first day of the Summer Student Program (SSP) for 2016 at the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT). The Summer Student Program is a 5-week residential program in which students delve into Islamic studies in an environment that contributes to both their personal and professional development. This will serve as an opportunity for deeper engagement with Islamic text, discourse and the broader conversations in the upcoming field of Islamic studies.
The program will offer instruction in the Qur’an, Sunnah, Islamic Jurisprudence, Muslim History and Civilization, and other relevant courses. Distinguished faculty for the upcoming session includes Dr. Jonathan Brown (Georgetown University) Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina (George Mason University) and Dr. Dr. Jamillah Karim (Spellman College). Students will be conducting research in their areas of interest and study and will be guided through mentorship by SSP faculty members.
Students attending come from various universities across the United States and Canada. Students have been chosen based on their stellar academic records, deep interest in the area of Islamic studies, and a passion to enhance and contribute to the Islamic social sciences. Students will be encouraged to create a scholarly community by engaging in conversations outside of the academic environment with their colleagues.
IIIT hopes that SSP will serve as a launching pad for further research to be conducted by the students and is eager to support the students with their further endeavors after the August 14th end date.
By: Ammara Khursheed