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Emma Thorpe

SNG Event Reflection #1


October 26, 2014
M100 Professionalism, Diversity, and Academic Success in Management
For the first SNG Event I attended the Islam Fair hosted by the Muslim
Students Association and the Womens Center. It was hosted in the Caldwell Lounge
on October 22, 2014 from 6pm to 8pm. I attended this even with Helen Shaw,
Edward Sloan, Michael Polzin, and Apoorva Thatavarty. The fair was a series of
stations that students circulated through in order to learn more about Islam in the
US and around the world. This event left me with a series of impressions, because
although I knew the basic facts about Islam, it is very different to learn about it from
people who practice the religion rather than a website.
At the event, the stations allowed the information being presented to be
broken down into manageable chunks. These included basic facts, Islam and current
events, marriage in Islam, gender and the Koran, Islam and Jesus, the hijab, henna
and calligraphy and clothing. I appreciated the format of the event because it
allowed me to absorb a lot of information without feeling overwhelmed. Although I
already knew that Muslims prayed five times a day, it was a unique experience
actually observing a prayer session. The topic that left the largest impact on me was
the discussion of identity within Islam. Currently the news is dominated by negative
stereotypes of Islam, and as a result Muslims in America are working to define
theyre identity as Muslim Americans. Additionally, I was fascinated by the
perspectives they provided about women in Islam. Each and every woman there felt
that Islam was empowering to women, which is the polar opposite of what I would
have expected. Their perspective allowed me to understand the decisions some of
my Muslim friends make. It is often hard to ask someone directly about a sensitive
subject like religion, and this experience allowed me to ask questions without
worrying about offending someone. I found the discussion on the hijab to be
interesting as well. Many people assume that the more covered a Muslim woman is
the more religious she is. At this event I found this is not the case. The hijab is a
personal choice about expression of religion. This was enlightening. Overall, I really
enjoyed this event. It allowed me to better understand Islam on a human level. This
will allow me to have stronger relationships with Muslim friends and better
understanding of future Muslim coworkers.
This event provided the opportunity to better my ability to make connections
with those who are different than myself. Although this even specifically focused on
Islam, it showed me that learning just a little more about the people around you can
have a profound effect on how well you understand them. This increases my ability
to efficiently network both socially and professionally. Ideally, I would like to attend
another event like this one in the future, but on a different subgroup of future. The
more I can learn about other people and expand my personal knowledge, the more
effective I can be in a global business community. It is imperative in todays
economy to be able to work with those that are different than yourself and this
comes through knowledge. Increasing your knowledge betters you as a person and
allows you to achieve your professional goals.