We are The Nomads of North Carolina. Like nomads, we’ll be wandering around the state, constantly moving from place to place, yet remaining completely chill in our overall state of mind. Our purpose is to find stories. To cast light on lives that are too often brushed over in our quest for education. Though there is, no doubt, much to learn from within the walls of a great university, we believe that we must not forget our connections to people outside the ivory towers. We want to enhance our links with others, exploring community through the voice of individual stories. Neither of us is completely sure where this trip will go, nor what we will learn by the end, yet we are all ready for an adventure and hope that you’ll take part in this by following our blog and sharing your feedback throughout. Thanks!

This project is a pilot MSA Alternative Fall Break program. The team of 8 undergraduate students were selected from within the Muslim Student Association at Duke University. We will be joined by Imam Abdullah Antepli, the Muslim Chaplain at Duke University for part of the trip.

Sponsored by the Duke Muslim Student Association (MSA), and Muslim Life at Duke.

Our team includes:

Rasheed Alhadi

My name is Rasheed Alhadi, and I come from Monterey, California. I am currently a Duke Freshman majoring in Biomedical Engineering. I am extremely blessed to be a part of this spiritual and educational journey around North Carolina.  My personal goal is to better understand the perspective of Muslims in North Carolina and gain a broader, more wholesome view of Islam in general.

Ahmed Alshareef

Salaams and hello! My name is Ahmed Alshareef, a 2nd year undergrad at Duke University. I am studying biomedical engineering (at the moment). I only study with engineers…aka the cool kids. I currently live in Columbia, South Carolina, but I am originally from Gaza, Palestine. My whole experience since coming to the US has been filled with meeting new people and exploring both Muslim and non-Muslim communities. I am really excited for this trip to discover places and people I have not met before. Since coming to Duke and North Carolina, I have not branched out to these communities, and hopefully, this experience will be an enriching one for both you all and myself.

Afsheen Ayaz

Salaam everyone! My name is Afsheen and I’m a junior majoring in public policy studies. I’m from Orlando, FL but I was born in Karachi, Pakistan. I enjoy watching movies of all sorts, trying out new kinds of food, and meeting interesting people. I’m really thrilled to be a part of NNC this year because I’m sure that we’ll all learn something. Personally, I would like to see what Islam means to different people and how religion plays into their daily lives.

Danish Husain

My name is Danish Husain and I have been living in Chicago ever since I moved from Karachi when I was three. I am a sophomore at Duke studying biomedical engineering and economics. I am looking forward to Fall Break 2011 because I want to meet people and hear their own unique stories. I want to understand how today’s society has been shaping the perspective of Muslims on their own religion. During the trip we will be traveling a lot which will also give me time to self-reflect and engage in great conversations with the MSA crew.

Ahmad Jitan

My name’s Ahmad Jitan. I’m a Duke student. I like to think, and I’m going to be thinking a lot during this trip. This is where all of you unfortunate souls will get to hear some of those thoughts.

Nusaibah Kofar-Naisa

Salam! I’m Nusaibah Kofar-Naisa, a senior Political Science student from Tallahassee, Florida (originally from Kano, Nigeria!). My passion for storytelling and connecting with people led me to envision this road trip. Inspired by the 30 Mosques project and a Duke interfaith trip I took throughout Turkey, I am hoping for a fruitful experience this fall break. I’m excited to learn from the people we meet and gain insight into their lives via the stories they tell us. Hopefully this will spark a bigger project where we are all more willing to share our own personal stories, promoting understanding based on individual connections rather than broad assumptions.

Maha Mourad

Salam! My name is Maha and I’m currently a senior at Duke, majoring in Neuroscience. In my spare time, you can find me at the gym, roaming around a bookstore, or indulging in a food craving. Born and raised in sunny Orlando, FL, I’m excited explore the diversity in how different communities practice Islam and develop a broader idea of what means to be a Muslim. I hope this trip challenges my own spirituality and allows me to become more familiar with the threads that make up the fabric of Islam in America.

Wahab Sheikh

Salaam! I’m Wahab Sheikh, a sophomore doing BME. I’m originally from Islamabad, Pakistan, but have spent most of my life right here in North Carolina. Growing up here has taught me a lot about the NC Muslim community, but only through one perspective. I hope that through the course of this trip, I can learn and pass on a few new perspectives.

Abdullah Antepli

As the Muslim chaplain at Duke University, he is one of only a handful of full-time Muslim chaplains at U.S. colleges and universities. His work at Duke focuses on three primary areas: religious leadership for Duke’s Muslim community; pastoral care and counseling for persons of any faith, or of no ascribed faith; and intra- and interfaith work. In addition to his pastoral duties, Imam Abdullah also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Divinity School for religious studies and teaches introductory courses on Islam. A proverbial presence on campus, he engages students, faculty, and staff through seminars, panels, and other avenues to provide an Islamic voice to discussions of faith, spirituality, social justice and other topics.

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