Community News (V15-I19)

Three Muslims among 2013 list of Buckley Scholars


The three honored students, l-r, Mohamed Feliachi, Mouaz Haffar, and Sundus Lateef

West Virginia University has announced the newest class of Bucklew Scholars and there are three Muslim students among them.

The University has awarded 20 of the state’s top-performing high school seniors the esteemed Neil S. Bucklew Scholarship to attend WVU in the fall.

The scholarship, valued at $30,000, provides each student with more than $7,500 per year toward educational costs during his or her four years at WVU.

Neil S. Bucklew, the scholarship’s creator, served as WVU’s 20th president from 1986 to 1995. The scholarships are part of the University’s comprehensive awards program and are supported, in part, by the WVU Foundation, the private non-profit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit of WVU.

Mohamed Feliachi, a native of Morgantown, will graduate high school with more than 10 college courses completed. Feliachi is a member of the National Honor Society and a varsity player on the Morgantown High School soccer team.

In addition to his academic success, Feliachi is also an active member ofMHS’ Hi-Y Club. Hi-Y’s goal is to build character and prepare youth to be responsible citizens through community service and leadership.

“One of the most important leadership opportunities I had taken part in during my time in high school was my leadership position in the Cardboard City Project,” Feliachi said. “Fifty students spent the night in cardboard boxes on our school’s football field on a rainy Saturday night. Our goal in this venture was to mimic the plight of the homeless. I realized the difficulty of living homeless, and that was only after one day.”

During his time at WVU, Feliachi hopes to study abroad in France to participate in Doctors Without Borders. He hopes this experience will help him achieve his goal of becoming a doctor as well as becoming fluent in French.

He is the son of Ali and Fadhila Feliachi.
Mouaz Haffar, of Charleston, will enter WVU with 12 college-level courses already completed. Haffar was disturbed by violence in Syria and decided to make a difference. In collaboration with other Syrian classmates, the group raised more than $7,000 in humanitarian aid by establishing fundraisers in his high school.

“By inviting the local media to document our efforts, we hoped to lift the veil of ignorance about the genocide in Syria while contributing financially to help the countless innocents traumatized by this tragedy,” Haffar said. “In conjunction with local youth, I also volunteered at fundraising dinners in my hometown to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars by engaging local patrons and state politicians.”

Haffar, also a varsity soccer player at George Washington High School, hopes to go on to be a summer intern at the Center for Global Understanding in Washington, D.C. He hopes to interact with U.S. leaders and experience firsthand how public policies are cemented into the national framework.

He is the son of Mohamad Bassam Haffar and Rima Samman.

Sundus Lateef, of Bridgeport, is not only president of her Bridgeport High School’s National Honor Society but also a member of the Varsity Tennis Team. Lateef is a shining example of academic excellence who has been first in her class of 191 students for the entirety of high school. To help those who were excelling academically, Lateef implemented a program that matched qualified upperclassmen with struggling students in her school.

“This fruitful and entirely voluntary program has improved underclassmen’s grades and helped them avoid learned helplessness, serving as a source of pride for worthy upperclassmen,” Lateef said. “Throughout my four high school years, I have expanded these efforts from assisting a freshmen struggling in physical science to holding remedial AP calculus sessions.”

Sundus has taken classes in AP calculus, AP chemistry, AP English and AP history and is currently taking many others. She hopes to use her time atWVU to study abroad in France at the Institut Pasteur to explore emerging diseases and medical treatments.

She is the daughter of Khalid and Atiya Lateef.

New Haven students visit mosque

HAMDEN — Dozens of freshmen students from Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School recently  visited the Abdul-Majid Karim Hasan Islamic Center to learn more about the Islamic faith as part of their world religion field trip, the New Haven Register reported. The field trip is a full-day experience during which students visit places of worship that coincide with the religions they learn about in their world history class. It is the second year of the field trip, according to Suzannah Holsenback, arts director at Co-op.

Muslim leader Abdul-Majid Karim Hasan, resident imam of the Abdul-Majid Karim Hasan Islam Center, addressed common misconceptions of the Islamic faith during the visit.

“There is a common misconception of racism,” Hasan said. “Here, we look at people according to the content of their character. We have white, Spanish and African Muslims. We are all Muslims; we don’t look at color or nationalities.”

Hasan cited Imam W. Deen Mohammed as the Islamic thinker responsible for transforming the Islamic faith in the United States from the black nationalistic movement of the Nation of Islam to a more mainstream Islamic approach to interfaith cooperation. “We found that the leadership of him brought us into the universal religion of Islam that accepts all people, all kinds, all colors, everything,” Hasan said.

Muslimerican launches daily national radio segment

Huffington Post blogger and award-winning writer of the Muslim Writers Guild, Dr. Faheem Younus, has announced the launch of his daily Muslimerican talk radio segment.

“In light of the recent Boston Marathon bombing, and escalating American apprehension towards the over 1.2 billion practitioners of the Muslim faith, I feel it is time to set the record straight beyond our popular Muslimerican website forum. By entering talk radio show circles and focusing on the Muslim-American faith, beliefs and loyalty to the United States, listeners may be surprised at how the tenants of Islam comport with many American values,” said Younus.

Dr. Faheem Younus is a medical doctor and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland. Since the September 11th tragedy, Dr. Younus has been a vocal advocate for dialogue between Muslims and Americans. As a champion for peace and religious tolerance, Dr. Younus’ website promotes to his fellow Muslims in particular that “there should be no conflict between our allegiance to Qur’an and our allegiance to America.”

“I’m eager to expand the perspective in the conversations being held between Americans in our schools, forums, at dinner tables and now, most prolifically, on talk radio and T.V. forums,” said Younus.

“The opportunity to start the Muslimerican daily radio segment in Alaska – arguably the most conservative state in the Union, and on KOAN’s Tom Anderson Show which airs on a FOX News affiliate in Anchorage, is a victory for freedom of speech while affording a thoughtful, well-intended daily message emphasizing how and why the majority of Muslims support the United States,” added Younus.
Dr. Faheem Younus has published over 50 opinion editorials in various national newspapers. His daily radio segment entitled “Muslimerican” can be heard on the Tom Anderson Show on KOAN 95.5 FM and 1020 AM in Anchorage Alaska or streaming live at from 8 PM to 10 PM Eastern Standard Time.

“Alaskan radio show host Tom Anderson offered me the chance to explore the Muslim faith on air. In a brief daily segment I delineate the good from the bad of our members’ actions while interpreting the misunderstanding of Muslim beliefs prevalent in the United States. My segment is an opportunity for radio stations across America to broadcast the same daily message as in Alaska,” said Younus.

“We must collaborate to raise a new generation of Muslim Americans – those who see no conflict between their pledge of allegiance to Qur’an and their pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States. Under the banner of ‘Muslimerican’ online and now on radio, that remains my mission and for which I dedicate every fiber of my being,” added Younus.

Radio stations interested in airing the Muslimerican daily radio segment can contact Dr. Faheem Younus at talk(at)Muslimerican(dot)com or by calling 443-414-0931.


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