SHU community comes together, “United in Faith”


Attention was focused on the Syrian Civil War, a global issue since 2011, at the Arabic Speaking Club’s “United in Faith” event on March 11.

The Chancellor’s Suite event aimed to create an interfaith environment where attendees had the opportunity to learn more about the Syrian Civil War.

Faye Milus, Arabic Speaking Club public relations officer, said about 65 people attended the event.

Recently, the topic of Syrian refugees has been involved in political debates with remarks from Donald Trump suggesting that Syrian immigration to the United States may be a gateway for terrorists. Seton Hall alum, Governor Chris Christie (1987), endorsed Trump’s position.

The Arabic Speaking Club hosted the event to remind students and faculty to live with tolerance of one another. More than 3 million Muslims lived in the United States in 2015, according to the Pew Research Center.

The opening of the event included a message from Dean Andrea Bartoli of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations in which he told the audience, “We live in a time in which words seem to be irrelevant,” and urged those in attendance to “share words” in order to bring people together in solidarity.

Other speakers included Yousef Abdallah, zone manager of Islamic Relief USA, and Louis Charest, university engagement staff member for Catholic Relief Services. Both outlined the positive work their organizations provide for those in need.

The keynote speaker of the night was Mohamed T. Khairullah, mayor of Prospect Park, N.J. Khairullah took trips to war-torn Syria and shared images  and stories of his time there with the audience.

Speaking of the on-going war, Khairullah told the audience, “Syrians are suffering in something that should have ended a long time ago”. At the end of his speech, Khairullah reminded attendees to continue to give generously to organizations such as Islamic Relief and Catholic Relief Services.

When asked about the event Milus noted the importance of interfaith events like this at Seton Hall considering there is a 44 percent diversity rate for undergraduates on campus.

Monica Sowa, a sophomore finance and Catholic studies double major, attended the event.

“The event exemplified how people can put aside their differences and work toward a common goal of raising awareness and funds for Syrian refugees,” Sowa said.

Tricia Boccard, Arabic Speaking Club secretary, said proceeds from the event amount to more than $900. All proceeds went to Islamic Relief USA and Catholic Relief Services, with the donations being split evenly between both organizations.
Nicole Encalada can be reached at


Author: Staff Writer

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