On Friday, UNC students traveled to Apex Mosque to get experience with Muslim culture outside the classroom.
The trip included a guided tour of the facility and services provided at the Apex Mosque, an exhibition of Arabic art and calligraphy, a showing of the video “Muslims in America” and a speech and prayer.
The tour was organized and led by Khalid Shahu, an Arabic lecturer within the Department of Asian Studies at UNC.
Shahu said this was the fourth year he and other faculty members have organized this trip to the Apex Mosque.
“We believe that learning the language can be a great opportunity for students to be exposed to other cultures and the building of their understanding of the community,” he said. “There is a lot of misunderstanding, so we just thought that taking students to the mosque may be a good opportunity for them to learn about the Muslim community and the traditions, the culture and how they contribute to the well-being of the at-large community.”
First-year Samer Alasmar came on the tour as a part of his Arabic class taught by Shahu.
"I thought the tour was interesting,” he said. “I've been to different mosques but never the Apex Mosque."
Alasmar said his biggest takeaway from the tour was a greater understanding of American Muslims. He said he liked how the tour went further than just discussing Islam in general.
Mollie Sullivan, a first-year global studies and peace, war and defense major said she heard about the tour from Alasmar, a classmate.