Excerpt:

As a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Feras Ahmed doesn't get many opportunities to interact with other Muslims outside his family and a close circle of friends.

So when he heard that one of the largest Muslim organizations in the country was convening hundreds of Muslims from the eastern seaboard in South Florida this weekend, Ahmed joined his brother, mother, uncle and two cousins on a road trip to Fort Lauderdale.

"I'm here to try to get a sense of community, to get involved in what's going on with Muslims in America," the 20-year-old said.

He stood outside a booth selling Islamic books and DVDs at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center on Saturday as a diverse crowd of Muslim scholars, students and families mingled between panel discussions on subjects from Muslims and the media to youth empowerment and relationships.


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