Ursuline's Arabic I students took an invaluable trip to a mosque this week to better understand the Islamic culture and religion.
They went on a guided tour of the Islamic Center of Irving. They also listened to a presentation about Islam, followed by an informative question-and-answer session.
"Our girls were extremely engaged and asked many interesting questions," said Camelia Benhayda, who teaches Arabic I, Arabic IV, and French IV. "They loved seeing all parts of the mosque and interacting with Muslim people."
Many students' perspectives about Islam changed after the visit. Benhayda, who is Muslim, said it's extremely important to erase the confusion between Arabic, Islam, and terrorism.
"Students always ask me about Islam and it's connection to terrorism," she said. "I wanted to address this topic through a project to maintain a distance between the language, culture, and religion."
Peacemaking, one of Ursuline's core values, was the key takeaway.
"The visit to the mosque showed our students how the Muslim community is welcoming and open-minded," Benhayda said. "They are now ambassadors for what they learned, and they realize Islam is all about peace."