Islamic event aims to spark dialogue

Jun 11, 2015

Local residents will have a chance Thursday evening to eat ice cream, shop at the Bazaar, get a Henna tattoo, play some jeopardy and, most importantly, learn and share their thoughts about the Muslim culture.

The group Western New York Muslims is hosting its second "Studio Kalam" from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club at 4110 Bailey Avenue in Amherst. The event will culminate with an open mic session where participants can share anything from personal thoughts on conflicts in the Middle East to a poem or spoken word on Muslim culture.

Executive director Julie Algubani says the event allows Muslims and non-Muslims to come together.

“I truly believe that we are on the right path with trying to break down those barriers, and we really encourage other groups to join in with us to keep that momentum going,” she told WBFO.

The group says it is dedicated to using creative media to become a platform for people of all cultures. Algubani says the Muslim community still faces negative stereotypes, but continued dialogue will help to correct false impressions.

“I think that there are always going to be victories and there’s always going to be challenges.  I choose to believe that as long as we continue to move in a positive, peaceful manner, while working with other groups, that a lot of this negativity and hatred will disseminate,” Algubani added.