Minot State University's new Arabic club hopes to promote better understanding of the Muslim community with a cultural event scheduled the anniverary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Scott Sigel, assistant professor of Spanish and adviser for the Fulbright Scholars program, said the program will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in the MSU Multicultural Center on the ground floor of the MSU Student Union.
Islam Farag, a Fulbright language teaching assistant from Egypt, and Dr. Badi Alakech, a Minot pathologist and leader of the Minot Mosque, will both speak briefly about the impact that 9/11 has had on relations between the Islamic and the United States.
The beginning Arabic language class at Minot State Univesrity will prepare Egyptian food which will be served during the event.
Minot State is the only university in North Dakota that has teaching assistants from the State Department's Fulbright Scholars program. Students who participate have completed their bachelor's degrees in their home countries and work as teaching assistants at a college campus. Farag is a teaching assistant in the Arabic language class. Sigel said Farag is also taking a couple of classes at Minot State and has a chance to get to know other people in the community while he is here. He eventually plans to return to his home country and continue his studies in English, said Sigel.
The Arabic Club is new this year but is committed to hosting cultural events and educating people about customs in Arabic-speaking countries. The group held a celebration a few weeks ago for Eid-ul-Fidr, a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan and is a day when Muslims celebrate unity. Muslims traditionally fast during Ramadan, which is the month when they believe the holy book, the Quran, was revealed.
Sigel said it is important for people to gain a better understanding of different cultures. Minot State University faculty and students and members of the community are invited to the event on Sept. 11.