For an opportunity to join in a public forum with Muslim exchange students, a Feb. 17 event at the University of Alaska Southeast Egan Lecture Hall provides just that opportunity.
The participating students hail from Turkey, Palestine, Kuwait and Egypt and look forward to participation in a healthy dialog with members of the Juneau community.
The students are attending Thunder Mountain High School on scholarships provided by the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Program (YES). They will talk about their culture, share some of their Juneau experiences, and discuss their role as student ambassadors for their countries.
Berçem is from Diyarkbakir, Turkey. She hopes to attend medical school and become a doctor of neurology. Her favorite sport is volleyball and she played on the THMS C-Team. Berçem is also participating in the Model UN program.
Nadeen is from Bethlehem, Palestine. She is interested in fashion, sports, and journalism and would like to attend college to pursue these interests. Nadeen participated on the TMHS cross country team and is currently trying out for the school soccer team.
Yazan is from Kuwait City, Kuwait. He would like to study IT and telecommunication engineering in college. Yazan is a cast member of the TMHS producon of “Much Ado About Will.” He also plans to play on the soccer team in the spring.
Omar is from Port Said, Egypt. His goals include attending a medical university to become a doctor of physiotherapy and becoming a member of the Egyptian national rowing team. While at TMHS Omar has played basketball on the C-Team and plans to try out for the school baseball team. He is also teaching Arabic to a few parents, elementary and high school students.
The YES program is funded by grants administered by the State Department and focuses on student diplomacy between the United States and 38 countries that have significant Muslim populations. It was created by congressional legislation following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. YES is intended to encourage participating youth, their teachers and classmates, parents and community leaders to engage in bridge building conversations that will promote increased understanding and tolerance between cultures.
Muslim Student Ambassadors in Juneau is co-sponsored by the Juneau People for Peace and Justice and the University of Alaska Southeast. The event will be moderated by David Noon, Professor of History at UAS. It begins at 7:00 pm.