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Program pierces Muslim culture veil

On Oct. 24, students will have the opportunity to experience a different culture without the cost of a plane ticket.

Central Oregon Community College’s multicultural department and Barber Library will be presenting the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys. This is a series of three events aimed at informing people about the culture and faith of Muslims.

These events will bring in speakers from different colleges and backgrounds, including Dr. Amy Harper, Associate Professor of Anthropology and chair of World Languages and Cultures at COCC.  For the second event, Harper will be showing the movie “Under One Sky,” and will lead a discussion after the film.

“I think that part of the intent of this grant was to increase the awareness of the diversity of what being Muslim means to make it more familiar to [the student body],” Harper said.

These events started to come together earlier this year when Tina Hovekamp, Interim Library Director, discovered a grant hosted through The National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant provided a collection of 25 books and three movies all centered on the Arab and Muslim culture, these are on display at Barber Library and can be checked out by students and community members interested in learning more.

In return for this collection, COCC had to be willing to provide some educational programs on the same subject manner, according to Karen Roth, director of multicultural activities.These events started spring 2013 and will continue through the fall term.The previous programs had a large turnout, and Hovekamp hopes to see attendance continue to increase.

These events give students a way to learn about and gain perspective of other cultures, according to Roth.

“Because of the stereotypes we as a society have, we have misconceptions about people from the Middle East and Arab world,” Roth said. “This is a way to try give ourselves a different perspective on Islam.”


Caroline Nash
The Broadside




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