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Learning to live together

  • Published in Local

Jewish and Arab high school students learn the values of brotherhood

 

“Personally, I want to say to the world, Arabs and Jews can live together,” said Shadi Darawshi, an Arab Muslim, who spent 10 days visiting America’s East Coast with a small delegation of Jewish and Muslim Israeli high school students.

Before this trip, Darawshi, a high school senior, said she rarely spoke to any Jewish people.

Seven Israeli students, who said they have few chances to get to know one another in their home country, spent time in Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Baltimore and Philadelphia in an effort to promote coexistence and friendship, explained Roberta Bell-Kliger, head of the International School of Oranim College of Education, who led the delegation.

“In Israel, it’s pretty separate. They don’t go to school together,” Bell-Kliger said. Students attend either a Hebrew-speaking school or an Arabic-speaking school.

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Muslim center celebrates 40 years in the county

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SILVER SPRING – While anti-Islamic hate crimes have risen nationally in recent years, the members of the Muslim Community Center on New Hampshire Avenue say they feel as welcome in Montgomery County as they have since the center opened in 1976.

The center was the brainchild of several Montgomery County residents who, at the time, attended the Islamic Center of Washington on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C., and were interested in starting a community center to service the county. Sajjad Durrani, a founder of the center who still serves on its board of trustees, recalls that the center received support from the community during its construction. 

“When we applied for a permit, there was a public hearing with the County, of course,” Durrani said. “Many people around here came to the hearing to support us, which made a big impression on us. During construction, the church next door allowed us to use their power and brought water over to us.”

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Berliner supports local Muslim communities

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SILVER SPRING – Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D-1) came to the Muslim Community Center as part of MCC’s Community Education Series to address members’ concerns regarding hate crimes in the area after the MCC received a threatening letter in late February.           

“This is a time and a conversation that I never thought I’d have in my lifetime,” Berliner said.  “For those of us who believe in government and the goodness of our people, this has been a particularly challenging time … if you don’t feel welcome in Montgomery County, then we’ve failed you.”

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Muslim Community Center sponsors symposium on tolerance

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SILVER SPRING –The staff of the Muslim Community Center invited the public to a panel discussion held on the center grounds Tuesday night on “How to oppose hate in our communities.” The discussion focused on ways to respond to hate crimes, combat negative stereotypes of various groups as well as resistance to troubling policies, such as President Trump’s recently-overturned ban on traveling to seven Muslim majority countries and proposed mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.

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