After attending 30 different mosques across the country during Ramadan, Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq will share their experiences at TCU today during their “30 Mosques, 30 Days” speaking series.
Jake Hofmeister, an associate chaplain at TCU, said the two put together an entertaining and insightful storytelling series about their 30-day journey that spanned 30 states.
The presentation will include anecdotes, photos and videos from the trip not documented on the website.
The journey sent the duo on a trip across the country to attend a different mosque in a different state everyday during the Muslim celebration of Ramadan. Their 13,000-mile trek began last August in New York City and finished in Dearborn, Mich., in mid-September.
“They’re really charismatic guys,” Hofmeister said. “I think they’ll have some really humorous stories, and some really interesting and compelling stories.”
Ali and Tariq filmed their journey and posted the clips on their website. The segments focused on the Muslims they met, the mosques they prayed in and other various experiences they encountered on the trip.
According to the pair’s press release, Ali is an advertising copywriter and filmmaker, and Tariq is a writer and stand-up comedian.
Ala Ahmad, a senior political science and history double major, worked with the Interfaith Community to help bring the speaking series to TCU.
“The goal is to realize that the American Muslim population is very diverse,” she said. “A lot of people like to have this certain stereotype of the introverted Muslim who only attends their mosque and is not connected with the outside American world, but it’s actually the exact opposite. Most American Muslims are very involved with their communities and you can see that through [Aman and Bassam’s] road trip.”
Ahmad said she first heard about the “30 Mosques” project on the front page of the CNN website. After reading about the project she began following the travels on the online blog, she said.
“I learned stuff about the American Muslim community [from following the project] and I am part of that community,” she said. “If I had stuff to learn than definitely everyone else has something to learn as well.”
Hofmeister said he hoped the event will give TCU students a more truthful idea about American Muslims and show TCU’s openness to different faiths.
“TCU is an accepting place where we explore different religions and listen to stories of people from diverse backgrounds,” he said. “That’s the experience we want here at TCU. That’s how you learn and grow.”
Ahmad said American Muslims are the largest growing demographic in America and that she felt that learning about Islam was current and pertinent to students from every background. She said she hoped the “30 Mosques, 30 Days event will help contrast recent negativity toward American Muslims.
“I really wanted to bring an event that would counter those feelings, especially because we do not necessarily have a large American Muslim population on TCU’s campus,” she said.
“30 Mosques, 30 Days” Speaking Series
When: 6 p.m. today
Where: Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom
The event is open to the public.