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IB World Religions Religious and Cultural Experience

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IB World Religions Religious and Cultural Experience

IB World Religions at the Diyanet Center of America

IB World Religions at the Diyanet Center of America

Photo by Dr. Damon McGraw

IB World Religions at the Diyanet Center of America

Photo by Dr. Damon McGraw

Photo by Dr. Damon McGraw

IB World Religions at the Diyanet Center of America

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The IB World Religions class visited the Diyanet Center of America, a Turkish Islamic cultural center, on February 8. While there, the class attended the 12:30 Jumah prayer service and partook in a traditional Islamic prayer ceremony.

The IB World Religions class has been studying Islam and its culture. Damon McGraw, teacher of the class, established this field trip so that the “students have a cultural immersion experience that would give them a chance to observe actual members of the religion they are studying.” McGraw felt that this experience would “prepare students for entering the world and encountering new religions.”

The Diyanet Center is a “small community including guest houses, a playground, athletic and visitor center, cafe, mosque, and bath house,” as described by junior Alyssa Vetter. Vetter continued “The mosque was structural and interiorly based off of the Blue Mosque in Turkey.” Vetter elaborated, “Inside it was decorated with calligraphy and flowers as to signify paradise.”

Another class member, junior Rebecca Bisrat, discussed the setup of the prayer service. Bisrat explained the mosque,  “Separated by gender with women on one side and men on the other.”

The mosque, unlike Catholic churches, has no pews; instead it is adorned with bright blue carpeting. Junior Caitlin Bendit added, “There was a lack of interaction during the service, which contrasted to the Catholic tradition of interactions through receiving the Eucharist and giving the sign of peace.”

Both Bisrat and Vetter expressed that their favorite part of the field trip was the Turkish food provided at the Diyanet Center. Bendit was also fascinated by the architecture and ambiance of the mosque. The Tartans in IB World Religions appreciated this look at another religious culture and ceremony.

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IB World Religions Religious and Cultural Experience