Uneducated. Uninformed. Unculterd.


Walking into Seattle Pacific University two years ago, I could not have predicted who I was going to become or all the knowledge I was going to gain. Although it may seem harsh I would describe myself being uneducated, uninformed and uncultured. I believed what I was told and accepted what the media had feed me. I never second guessed or looked or researched deeper into a topic. Growing up in a post 911 era I unfortunately received the Nationalistic American warped radical view of Islam. Fortunately however I am receiving my higher education at an institution that is committed to “Engaging the Culture and Changing the World.” Getting prepared to embark on this trans-national journey through the Morocco orientation course has not been the only thing educating and increasing my passion for discovering the world of Islam.

One point that I thought was so interesting and unfortunately true is how we have erased the Arabs Era of legacy. It seems to me that our history books are chalked full of what the West did and how powerful they were/are. It was so refreshing learning about the huge impact intellectually that Islam has had on society as a whole. I have come to the conclusion that we have and are creating are own versions of history. This creation of history is done through the act of omission and not recognizing the accomplishments of Islam, we take away their worth and value in one steady swoop.

A subject that we learned about in orientation that brought a bit of redemption to my American omitted history was learning about medieval Spain. This was a community in which Muslims, Christians and Jews alike inhabited the same corner of Western Europe. Here the three religious groups worked together collectively and built a lasting society that was both Christian European and Muslim Middle East. Learning about the abundant impact that Islamic civilizations have had and the community of medieval Spain I received a new perspective of Islam. I feel like I have always heard and learned how Christianity and Islam are pitted against each other, it was so refreshing to hear of this community of peace and progress.

Along with this new knowledge of a peaceful community of Muslims, Christians and Jews I also received a new perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that was birthed out of WW2. My perspectives changed through this orientation course and UCOR-the West and the World. Once again before this conflict the Jews and the Muslims lived as neighbors peacefully. It seems that we never hear that part of the story, another history book omission. For my UCOR class we read the Lemon Tree, which is a story of an Arab, a Jew, and the heart of the Middle East. I learned exponentially more about Islam through these two courses.

Finally a section of Islam that I have had misconceptions about is the veil. Luckily through this course I have learned that even though some countries do force woman to veil as political control, a majority choose to veil themselves. This veiling is not always a sign of oppression like it is usually portrayed in America, but a sign of honor and freedom. I am so grateful to attend a University that has Professors who are committed to breaking down the stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding Islam. I am ready to go to Morocco and learn even more and hopefully spread a more fitting and accurate picture of Islam to friends and family.


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