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UW Celebrates Islam Awareness Week

March 27, 2013 — A panel discussion, movie and dinner are among activities celebrating Islam Awareness Week April 1-6 at the University of Wyoming.

Organized by the UW Muslim Student Association (MSA), the event culminates with a dinner and talk Saturday, April 6, from 6-9 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Ballroom. The event is free, but tickets must be obtained in advance. They will be available April 3-4 at 11 a.m. at the Wyoming Union information desk.

Jerald Dirks, a graduate of Harvard and former minister of the United Methodist Church who rejected Christianity and embraced Islam, will be the speaker. He will discuss “The Role and Status of Women in Islam.”

Islam Awareness Week is intended to raise awareness of different Muslim cultures, says Adil Bentahar of Morocco, MSA president and a doctoral student in the UW College of Education.

“This is a major opportunity to help educate students and the community about traditions and customs typical of Muslim cultures, such as food, clothing, beliefs and festivities,” he says.

The schedule:

Monday, April 1, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Henna tattoos, Wyoming Union breezeway.

Tuesday, April 2, 6:30-8 p.m. -- Panel discussion, “Misconceptions of Islam," Wyoming Union Center Ballroom.

Wednesday, April 3, 6-8 p.m. -- “Movie Night,” Room 133 of the Classroom Building.

Thursday, April 4, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Cultural displays in the Wyoming Union breezeway; 5-6:30 p.m., “Arab-American Night,” Cheney International Center.

Friday, April 5, 12:30-1:30 p.m. -- “Jummah Friday Prayer,” Washakie Center Rendezvous Room.

Saturday, April 6, 6-9 p.m. -- Dinner and keynote talk by Jerald Dirks.

For more information, email Bentahar at

Jerald Dirks will be the keynote speaker at Saturday’s Islam Awareness Week dinner at the University of Wyoming.

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