Essay On Cultural Immersion

722 Words3 Pages
Cultural Immersion: Muslim Americans Part 2 Many Muslim families are labelled, judged, and in some cases feared by the American people. Many major cities have mosques, and it is important to acknowledge the presence and value this individuals have in our society. In effort to achieve a better understanding of the faith itself and the lifestyle of those that follow the faith, I visited a worship service and a community event held at one of the mosques in Iowa. In some ways this experience felt very foreign, yet in many ways it felt very comfortable. The people invited me in, and respected my own boundaries as an observer and learner. This immersion journey began with feelings of fear and hesitation, and concluded with feelings of respect and…show more content…
It started with the fourth daily prayer, and then the women had supper and activities downstairs, while then men ate supper upstairs. It was a potluck style gathering, the women were chatting with friends, the children were running around loud and crazy. The food seemed ethnic and authentic, and I loved every minute of it. Even though I was enjoying myself, I felt the tendency to just stick very close to the sister that I had connected with originally. During dinner I talked with others that were at the table. I saw women of many different ethnicities. Because it was all women, some decided to take off their hijab. After dinner, we went up to the large prayer room to watch the children recite parts of the Qur’an in the original Arabic translation. The men and women were both in the room, yet the women sat against the back wall. I observed proud parents, many of which got their phones out to record their child. There was laughter and lots of cheers. This continued until the final call for prayer of the day. The men and women split off into the different rooms. I observed some women not participating in prayer who had participated the week prayer. It was explained to me that women are considered unclean when there are menstruating, so they refrain from prayer for the week ((M. Syed, personal communication, February 13, 2016). During this community gathering there were many more people in attendance, and I felt I was able to have a better understanding of the community
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