The Start of Something New
Updated: Apr 8
The start of my interfaith internship
First full month of being an Interfaith intern, COMPLETE! Many more to go! This experience has been very interesting so far. I have met more people than I ever have in one month. From getting to know the intern cohort at a fun retreat, to meeting and interacting with new Elon staff members that I haven’t spoken with before. Balancing my internship with school and my social life has been a very interesting juggle, but I like to think this is all worth it. I know that I am gaining so much through my interactions with new (and not so new) people, working on our many TC events, and working on our personal projects.
So far, I have met with two Muslims; one being a staff member and the other being an African American first-year student. I learned that people who are a part of the same faith can go about how they show it very differently. Shane talked about how he lives life in a way that he is essentially always working on himself because he does not think he is perfect, nor does he think he is above anybody else. So, he looks at himself first before pointing a finger at anyone else. April told me about her journey into her Muslim faith. She grew up in a Muslim household, but then her family moved and converted to Christianity. She just couldn’t get jiggy with Christianity, so she chose to convert back and she is still learning and exploring more about this faith today.
Another fun task, I got the opportunity to do was helping out with our Eid Al Adha celebration. I had never heard of this before, so I was excited to learn and help out! Eid Al Adha is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. It celebrates the story of the Prophet Ibrahim. Allah/God told Ibrahim he had to sacrifice his son to prove his faith. As he was about to sacrifice his son, Allah replaced his son with a ram. Since Ibrahim had proven his devotion to Allah, his son was spared. Today, Muslims celebrate the last day of the Hajj to remember Ibrahim’s loyalty and obedience to Allah. At this event, I helped set up, serve, and clean up afterward. It was a super fun experience and I even got to eat some delicious Mediterranean food and I got some pretty cool henna!!
Overall, I learned so much and I had lots of fun doing it. Learning about Islam has made my first month of this internship an incredible one. Talking with new people about new experiences is something that I believe is a very important part of making this world a better place and making Elon a more welcoming and inclusive environment. People want to be heard. All you have to do is listen with an open mind. That is something that I pride myself on. I do my very best all of the time to be a good listener and to make everyone I talk to feel heard. In doing so, I am expanding my worldview and helping myself shape more opinions and thoughts about things that I may have never even known about had I not tried to listen, or even join this internship! So far, so good, and I am ready to dive into Spooky Szn with this new knowledge!