With less than two weeks until SNHU’s first ever Enlightenment event, SNHU student Kafisa Ibrahim (’19) could not be more excited. Ibrahim is the coordinator of the event and was inspired after watching a video on Facebook last year of a family disrespecting Muslim mosques. Ibrahim was outraged and wanted to make a change. With the support and guidance from University Campus President Patricia Lynott, Kayla Page and Michael Reaves, this enormous idea was able to come to life. Through communication and acceptance, many clubs wanted to join in and support Ibrahim. Diversity Programs, Student Government Association, International Student Services, Office of Student Involvement, Muslim Student Association, International Student Affairs, Multicultural Student Union, Penmen Press, Women’s Center and the Academic Affairs are all of the co-sponsors for this event.
Enlightenment will be held on October 26 from 4-6 p.m. in the Upper Dining Hall. Tickets are free and will be available from October 12 until the day of the event. Ibrahim will start the event by giving a welcoming speech and then introducing special guest, Dr. Mariam Durrani. Durrani is an assistant professor at Hamilton College and has pulled together some research on Muslim communities and transitions. After her presentation, Ibrahim will be showing a PowerPoint she has put together. In this PowerPoint she and nine other students who identify as Muslim will share an instance where they have experienced Islamophobia. Next, she will have all of the attendees get up and enjoy the tabling activities hosted by each of the co-sponsors. Last, they will be served a delicious dinner filled with traditional foods to their religion. Biryani rice will be served with chicken and beef kabobs and a side caprese salad. They will also be serving dates, which signify good luck, with the option of olive or sesame oil.
Ibrahim hopes this event educates students with real facts about the Muslim religion to help open their mind to differences. She feels as though this event will be beneficial to students because globalization is increasing more and more. Inclusion is something everyone should keep practicing and this event is another step toward just that.