The Washington Semester in Contemporary Islam gives you an exciting, unique opportunity to experience the complex dynamics shaping the relationship between Islam and national and international politics.
Muslim communities and the role of Islam have long been important elements in national debates on cultural and religious diversity, civil rights, and American foreign policy. The Washington Semester Program offers you an exceptional opportunity to articulate community interests at the national policy level.
The Contemporary Islam semester combines a rigorous and in-depth investigation of Islamic resources, contributions, and insights with hands-on experience to allow you to develop expertise on Islamic perspectives along with professional skills and political experience.
Seminars and guest lectures by leading experts on Islam in a variety of fields from history, politics, theology, and spirituality to gender issues and culture provide you with a Muslim perspective. While analyzing the current challenges and issues of concern to the Muslim community, you learn distinctly Islamic approaches to:
• peace building, human rights, and conflict resolution
• development, economics, and social justice
• interfaith coexistence, pluralism, and spirituality
• philosophy, science, and art
The Contemporary Islam semester also gives you the opportunity to explore policy-making processes through exchanges and discussions with front-line civil society leaders, think tank experts, and government policy makers. An internship at a key institution gives you a greater insight into the complexities, challenges, and ongoing contributions of the Muslim community to American policy formulation. You will emerge with practical knowledge about effective communication, outreach organization, and policy making.
The Contemporary Islam semester includes an extraordinary three-week academic field excursion to two predominantly Muslim countries, Egypt and Jordan. While in Egypt you stay in Cairo, one of the world’s most fascinating cities.
Through seminars with government officials and scholars at the American University of Cairo, you examine the impact of Islam on the culture and policy making of the Middle East’s most populous country. Particular emphasis focuses on Egypt’s diverse forms of Islam.
Your class also gives you the opportunity to explore the Great Pyramid of Giza and marvel at the beauty and wonder of the Great Sphinx. Later, you can bargain in the Khan-el Khalili bazaar, considered one of the most interesting and important shopping areas in Egypt.
In Jordan, several of your classes are in Amman, the capital, a modern city with an old world touch. You study the Palestinian issue as part of your academic program in Jordan along with the divide between modernization and traditional religion and culture.
The ancient city Petra, considered one of the eight wonders of the world, is also on your itinerary in Jordan. Carved from sheer rock, it served as an important junction for trade routes linking the Middle East with other areas of the world 2,000 years ago.
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, Contemporary Islam