Community News (V15-I24)

The Muslim Observer

Community News (V15-I24)

Feryal Salem named faculty member at Hartford

Hartford Seminary announced the appointment of Ms. Feryal Salem as the new Assistant Professor of Islamic Scriptures and Law, starting in August 2013.  Ms. Salem has extensive experience in both Islamic Scriptures and Islamic law acquired through her studies and research at the University of Chicago, from which she will receive her PhD this summer, as well as from her study of Islam traditionally.  She has studied abroad in Syria where she received certification to teach Qur’anic recitation and subjects relating to Islamic law, according to a number of schools of practice, and has completed a degree in hadith sciences at the Nuriyya Hadith Institute of Damascus.  Furthermore, she has been an instructor at various academic institutions in the Chicago area for the past three years.

In addition to her teaching and research responsibilities at Hartford Seminary, Ms. Salem will be assisting with the Seminary’s Islamic Chaplaincy Program as well as the Imam Training Program, which is being co-sponsored by the International Institute of Islamic Thought.

President Heidi Hadsell commented, “We are delighted to welcome such an accomplished young scholar to Hartford Seminary.  It is clear that she is already a highly regarded teacher from the reviews of her students.  We note that Ms. Salem has a clear personal commitment to Islam and has many experiences and accomplishments that demonstrate her achievements not only as a scholar but also as a practicing Muslim.  Her achievements in becoming qualified to teach Qur’anic recitation and Islamic law and methodology are highly unusual for a woman, and they present a clear model for our female students.”

Ms. Salem was born in Canada raised in the United States and holds a B.A. in anthropology from Wayne State University.  Her academic career includes an anticipated PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, from which she also received a master’s degree.  Her research focuses on the formative period of Sunni Islamic thought as embodied in the foundational role of Ibn al-Mubarak, as well as related topics such as the development of Islamic theology, law, prophetic traditions (hadith) and Sufism as part of the Islamic scholarly tradition.

Committed to furthering Islamic scholarship, since 2010 Ms. Salem has been actively working within the Muslim American community to establish the Nur Foundation for Sacred Sciences, which focuses on providing opportunities for education in the Islamic sciences for Muslims living in the West.

Muslims and Jews Inspiring Change Awarded

Muslims and Jews Inspiring Change (MAJIC), a high school leadership council convened by NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change and led by HUC-JIR alumna Rabbi Sarah Bassin (pictured, right), has just been named “California’s Faith-Based Organization of the Year” by California Governor Jerry Brown.

This award is one of the Governor’s Volunteering and Service Awards, all of which serve to inspire Californians by honoring amazing individuals, organizations, and companies who are making an impact in their local communities through volunteering and service.  “California’s Faith-based Organization of the Year” honors an outstanding faith-based organization which actively engages volunteers in addressing community needs.

MAJIC offers a select group of Muslim and Jewish high school students the opportunity to build their leadership skills, create lasting relationships across faith boundaries, and have an impact on important social issues in Los Angeles.

Rabbi Bassin states, “When NewGround set out to create a teen leadership program last year in response to the call of our community leaders, we knew that the program had the potential to be a game-changer for interfaith relations. “  Rabbi Bassin, student leaders of MAJIC, and representatives of the MAJIC Advisory Board will visit the State Capitol Building in Sacramento to receive their award.

Under the leadership of Rabbi Bassin of NewGround and Soha Yassine of the Islamic Center of Southern California, an Advisory Board of Muslim and Jewish communal professionals have built a partnership to provide this opportunity for a cadre of teen leaders in Los Angeles and each year, a select cadre of teens is chosen to participate.  After a fall retreat, students meet 1-2 times per month to learn about how organizations in their communities respond to major social issues.  During the spring semester, students develop their own joint Muslim-Jewish response to a social issue they deem most important.

Shad Khan’s company honored

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s company Flex-N-Gate received two high honors from the Ford Motor Company, according to a press release.

The awards are Recognition of Achievement for superiority in Aligned Business Framework Principles and a gold-level World Excellence Award saluting suppliers who bring diverse cultures, values and ideas to Ford.

“To be honored by Ford with the ABF recognition and Gold in the World Excellence Awards is a tribute to our employees at all Flex-N-Gate plants,” Khan said. “Excellence begins with your people, and I am continually impressed at the passion our associates have to make Flex-N-Gate one of the best automotive suppliers in the world. It’s always an honor to be recognized for your work, but especially so by a global leader like Ford. At Flex-N-Gate, we are all very grateful.”

Flex-N-Gate was one of only two suppliers worldwide to receive honors.

Zain Alvi, Saher Syed receive awards in writing contest

MILFORD, CT–The General Federation of Women’s Clubs-Milford Young Women’s Club received more than 250 entries for its 17th Annual Milford Youth Creative Writing Contest. Among the contest winners are Zain Alvi and Saher Syed.

Zain Alvi, a sixth grader achieved second position for his poem “The Unknown and Unwanted Black.”

Grade two student Saher Syed received an award for short story “A lesson learned.”


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