Ok so some crazy stuff has been happening here that has stirred up a lot of MESP memories and issues.
So Monday night we had this "ex-terrorist" who goes by the name Kamal Saleem come to speak at Calvin, sponsored by the Calvin College Republicans. Phil and I decided we had to go. Going in I had heard a lot of skeptical people talking about how his story didn't make historical sense, he was a fraud, etc.
So basically, he was the most exasperating speaker I have heard in my life!!! I was like jumping out of my seat for almost the whole time. He was making up crap about Islam, taking verses from the Qur'an out of context (and he couldn't even correctly pronounce Qur'an), and some that weren't even there, he was saying that Palestinians didn't live in refugee camps, Israelis didn't hurt anyone wheras Palestinians were just killing everyone, especially each other (and he supposedly used to work for the PLO!), that Muslims were out to get you and you better wake up and watch out because they wanted to kill the infidel (which is Americans and Jews). O and he showed a movie about how Arab children are all brainwashed to be violent wheras the Western media is so wholesome and unbiased. ARGH!!!
So some great good did come out of this though because a ton of Muslims from around Grand Rapids came to defend themselves. In the question and answer period, the "ex-terrorist" sounded like the idiot he was and the Muslims stayed afterwards to talk to us students (a good number of us stayed too). So anyway, Phil and I, and this Steve guy who did MESP the semester after us (who I finally met), and a few other students got some contact info for the Muslims and now we're working on setting up a panel of Muslims to come speak and an interfaith dialogue thing that would involve students going to a mosque and learning about Islam. Anyway, so even though this "ex-terrorist" tried so hard to ruin relationships between Christians and Muslims, it seems that bridges are being built anyway, thanks to the patience and understanding that is so little deserved from the Muslim community.
So anyway, I've been thinking about you all a lot lately because this was almost like MESP all over again, I hadn't been so worked up since MESP. Hehe.
And ya I just told Becca but I'll be in Cairo around mid June next year and staying at least a year, I would love company, especially roommates!