Acmad Toquero Macarimbang is a Filipino who recently finished a one-year International Peacemaking Program at the Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations at the Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut. He also took Islamic Studies at the Institute of Islamic Studies, University of the Philippines in Diliman. Acmad's academic interest is on Contemporary Muslim Society. Prior coming to the United States, he was a policy writer at the Philippine House of Representatives in the field of Human Rights, Health, Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Minority. Acmad came to IIIT to learn first-hand information from the respected Muslim scholars of today. While at IIIT, he is doing a research on Pop Music in Contemporary Islamic Thought. He sees the IIIT as an eye opener for Muslims on thinking critically for development of the Muslim society.
Anis Yussof is a Malaysian who graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2009 with a BA (Hons) Finance, Accounting, and Management. Anis is planning to pursue her Master degree and PhD in the near future and she is interested to learn current issues in Islamic Studies especially within the area of Islamic Finance, Waqf, and Islamic Economic System. Anis enjoys travelling and she has travelled to England, Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. As a participant in the IIIT summer program, Anis is glad that she has been given the opportunity to meet and learn from inspiring Islamic scholars and to learn more about Islam, the Muslim World, Islamic Civilization. Anis will be working on a research project about the role of waqf (endowment) institution in the twentieth century and its implications. She is happy that she gets to know other participants from different countries. Anis thinks this diversity helped her to know more about other countries and their people.
Lubna Safi is from Plainfield, Indiana and is an Indiana University senior studying English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in French. Besides writing, photography is one of her biggest passions and she hopes to pursue a career as a photojournalist. She is currently a reporter for the Indiana Daily Student and has worked as editor of a local magazine and as an assistant to a local photographer. Her hobbies include reading, writing, photography, blogging, biking, and geography. Coming to IIIT, she expected to learn about the issues facing Muslims living in America and while that aspect has been fulfilled, she has learned a lot more about Islamic Civilization, thinking, and movements. Her interest has developed in understanding Colonialism in the Middle East; its causes and effects on that region.
Carolyn Cleveland is originally from Sandwich, Massachusetts, but pursued her undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware. She graduated this past spring with a major in International Relations and two minors; one in French and the other in Islamic studies and Arabic. Traveling is one of Carolyn’s primary interests. She spent time in France, Tunisia, and Jordan, and was enrolled as a student at the American University in Cairo, Egypt last fall. She hopes to travel more in the future and perfect her French and Arabic. She spends much of her spare time writing flash fiction, poetry, and longer works, many of which integrate experiences from her travels. As a participant at IIIT Carolyn has most enjoyed the global perspective that the organization offers. Seeing people from all over the globe cooperating to create a safer, more peaceful, and better educated world is a truly inspiring sight. IIIT has expanded her interest in other Arab-American organizations, leading her to research North American Sufi organizations and the integration of Eastern religion and philosophies into Western society.
Dima Qassim is originally from Jordan and she graduated from the University of Delaware with a Master degree in public administration and a concentration in nonprofit leadership and community development in May 2010. Dima is interested in studying technology in both the nonprofit and public sectors. During the summer of 2009, Dima interned at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., doing research on cyber security and climate change policies. Dima found the classes at IIIT to be extremely interesting and the professors very knowledgeable and engaging. She finds the field trips to multiple Islamic nonprofit organizations very useful because it helps her understand how faith-based nonprofit organizations operate and understand the role of communities in the success of an organization. For her research paper, Dima wants to conduct a comparative study of technology use among four different Islamic nonprofit organizations.
Azzedine Azzimani is originally from Morocco (Tangier) and he is currently living in Columbus Ohio. He is PhD candidate in political science at Cadi Ayyad University (Morocco) and his dissertation analyzes the emergence of new public sphere in Muslim world dealing with the dynamic of social movement based on Jurgen Habermas’s approaches with case studies on Egypt, Morocco and Turkey. Azzedine received his MA in Political Science from the University Cadi Ayyad, Marrakech. Azzedine worked as a teacher of Philosophy and Islamic thought for high school’s level students and published many articles in Arabic language. As a participant in the IIIT internship program, Azzedine believes that the program is remarkable to allow one to work with the best Muslim’s Social Scientists of North America and exchange opinions with them about the importance of reform in Islamic countries. He discovered also that Muslims must engage in a “new era” of reform and Ijtihad to solve this incompatibility between Islam and modernity, tradition and reason, east and west, development and colonialism and so on. Finally, Azzedine believes that this work by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) which tries to transform theories into culture and knowledge to behavior produces great scientific, educational and cultural movement in the U.S., which is important not only for American Muslims but it is influencing the whole Muslim world.
Gulfishan Khadim > is a Pakistani student, currently enrolled at the University of Delaware. She is a Master’s student and aspires to work for an international development-related organization, helping with the coordination and planning of social development programs in developing countries. She is fond of building models of old battleships in her spare time. Her experience at IIIT has been a very positive one as she has interacted with progressive Islamic scholars who have dedicated themselves to research in order to help make a better future for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Outside of classes, she has discussed her research related ideas with the scholars at IIIT and received a lot of encouragement. Her research at IIIT is related to the causes behind and solutions for the lack of social responsibility in Muslim societies.
Katherine Booth grew up in Chicago, Illinois and is a rising senior at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She will graduate with a double major in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies with a concentration in Arabic and History with a concentration in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. She is also pursuing an Islamic Studies Certificate under the direction of Dr. Mbaye Lo, Dr. Bruce Lawrence, and Mohsen Kadivar. Other academic interests include French and the politics of memory. Katherine is a two-year co-captain and four-year member of the Duke Dancing Devils, Duke University’s official dance team, and she is also an active member in the Kappa Kappa Gamma fraternity. Katherine’s hobbies include dance and traveling throughout the world. The internship program at IIIT has provided invaluable exposure to topics in contemporary Islamic intellectual discourse, but also to enormous amounts of scholarship and to real-world examples of interfaith dialogue. She is excited to begin research on anti-Islamic movements in the United States and the resulting impact on policy, politics, and the efficacy of interfaith dialogue.
Marvin Whitaker spent half his life in California and Utah and is currently entering his second year as a PhD student in political science at the University of Delaware. Other academic interests include international relations theory, political philosophy/theory, Middle East politics, human rights, history, philosophy of science, and Islam. Marvin serves as the Graduate Student Senator representing the Department of Political Science and International Relations. He is also the Treasurer of the Global Governance Student Association at the University of Delaware and founded and serves as the President of The Socratic Club at the University of Delaware. Marvin's hobbies include chess, risk, soccer, and swimming. His impressions of IIIT have been very positive. The challenges that IIIT faces in the world of reforming Islamic thought are many and diverse. Yet Marvin is confident that IIIT is equal to such a task, thanks in no small part to its dedicated scholars and intellectuals. Marvin fully supports the cause of IIIT and can recommend this experience to everyone. Marvin's main research interest at IIIT is classic and modern Islamic Rationalism.
Meliani Endang Murtiningsih is an International Student from Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut. She is originally from Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority nation in the world. She is currently finishing up her Masters of Arts Program in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations. She received her Bachelor of Theology from Duta Wacana Christian University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Her interest has been in Islamic Studies since she joined with the Theology Faculty in the year of 2000. Her academic interests are about Christian and Islamic Theology, Islamic Jurisprudence and the history between Christians and Muslims in Indonesia. Back in Indonesia, she was an intern minister for few churches and served in the youth ministry at her own church. She was also an assistant of Congregational Relations Program at Hartford Seminary. She likes swimming and learning Arabic and German. As a participant in the IIIT internship program, she strongly believes that this program has contributed to her thesis and academic interests. IIIT has done wonderful works in educating and providing those who are interested in Islam.
Onur Tanay is a Fulbright grantee from Turkey and is currently entering his second year of PhD in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware. He has a BA in Social and Political Sciences and an MA in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Sabanci University, in Istanbul, Turkey. His academic interests include International Negotiations, International Migration, Transatlantic Relations and Western – Muslim World Relations. Onur is the current secretary of The Global Governance Student Association at the University of Delaware. Onur’s hobbies include traveling, basketball, photography and music. As a participant in the IIIT program, Onur believes that the cultural diversity of the students and interaction of the students and the professors as well as discussions on a number of topics have been an enriching experience.
Sara Chehab is a Lebanese PhD candidate in political science at the University of Delaware. She is currently writing her dissertation on Dubai’s development model. Sara also teaches undergraduate classes at UD and her classes tackle politics of developing nations, globalization, and governance in the Middle East. Sara has traveled extensively around the world and speaks four languages. Her research interests include the Middle East, women’s studies, Islamist movements, and development. In her spare time, she likes to read, write, travel, and cook. As a participant in the IIIT summer program, Sara has enjoyed meeting inspiring scholars and learning about Muslim reform movements, Islamic civilization, and Islamic finance. She believes that organizations such as IIIT create bridges of understanding and inter-faith dialogue across various religions groups and communities, an important task that can translate into effective policies and a more sustainable future. At IIIT, Sara will be focusing her research on the extent to which Dubai can be considered a beacon and model of moderate, liberal Islam.
Tom Ford is originally from Wilmington, Delaware and is currently entering his senior year of college at the University of Delaware. He will graduate with a degree in International Relations with a minor in Islamic Studies with Arabic. Other academic interests include U.S. History, Anthropology, and Spanish/Latin American Studies. Tom is currently working as a tutor for incoming international students in the English Language Institute at the University of Delaware. Tom diversifies himself by being involved as a member of the UD Track and Field team, Kappa Delta Rho fraternity, as well as a member of a multicultural competitive dance team on campus. Tom’s hobbies include playing and watching most all sports, particularly football and baseball, as well as traveling, experiencing new cultures, and learning new languages. As a participant in the IIIT internship program, Tom believes the engagement in the classroom between the students and the professors has been the most beneficial experiences thus far. IIIT has also provided him with the resources to carry out research he will present at the end of the program, which will be on the availability of shelters for physically and sexually abused women in Iraq and the UAE