Current Intern

Ruth Namatovu | Johns Hopkins University, SAIS DIA ‘23

Title of the Research: Peacekeepers as “Christian Crusaders” in South Central Somalia:

Al-Shabaab’s severe interpretation of Islamic law and the fight against “non-Muslim invading forces”

Research Description: The goal of this study is to investigate claims made by the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab that the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping forces and humanitarian actors are “Christian crusaders” and an invading force. Conversion from Islam to another faith is still considered unlawful and socially unacceptable by the terror group, and those suspected of conversion risk harassment from their peers (2020 Report on International Religious Freedom: Somalia, US Department of State, 2021). The Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC) expresses similar sentiments, stating that individuals have the right to practice their religion, that Islam is the state religion, that the propagation of any religion other than Islam is prohibited, and that all laws must follow the general principles of sharia. This research therefore, also aims to determine whether or not Islam is being forced on individuals of other faiths, given that a large portion of Somalia was under Italian administration (known for Catholicism) in the early 1900s.

Testimonials from Past Interns

Summer 2021

Bailey Haraburda | The Catholic University of America, Sociology BA`23, MA`24

My summer internship with the Rumi Forum allowed me to expand my research, writing, and editing skills. Although the experience was entirely virtual, the Rumi Forum team provided ongoing support and guidance for my research project. The internship afforded me an excellent opportunity to learn more about U.S. immigration and the vital role Faith-based organizations (FBOs) play in supporting asylum-seekers and refugees.”

Spring 2021

Mona Elsaai | Emory University, Political Science `19

In the Western World there is somewhat of an acquiescent fascination with Rumi. In my estimation this is because he represents the qualities we associate with methodological, rational thinking but in a way such that somehow anything is possible. Perhaps, among us is the next Rumi or perhaps there will never be another but it is my belief that there is a spark of Rumi every time I can look back and think to myself, “I am better for knowing this, and I am better for meeting this person,” which precisely encapsulates my experience at the Forum. These names may change in the next couple of years, but I am better for knowing Kubra, Ibrahim and Mehmet. The research intern position has made me a more nuanced scholar, if I can even call myself that, but more importantly it has and continues to make me a better person. I understand students consider a lot of factors when selecting an internship: location, reputation, compensation, and so on and so forth and each of these factors holds its own value but an internship is only as promising as the promise you put into it, and at Rumi anything is possible. To whomever is reading this, if you decide to pursue an internship with the Forum it may very well be a stepping stone but I encourage you to consider it a part of your life and allow yourself to engage with it as a student, member of society, and most importantly human being.
 

Yusuf Mirasyedi | River Hill High School `22

“Working with Rumi Forum was a great opportunity for me. I gained valuable workplace experience and had a great time working with Rumi Forum employees as well as the other interns.”

Fall 2020

Elena Freeman | South Dakota University, International Studies and French Studies`20

“Honestly, I am very impressed at the experience that I had interning at Rumi Forum. Being completely remote for a project related internship made me initially nervous because I had never created a large online event. I learned so much from the internship. As I reflect on the experience, I have realized that all of the lessons were made possible by one overarching factor: the amazing Rumi Forum team. Thank you so much for leading by example. You all showed dedication and passion for the job which motivated me to give my best effort. I appreciated how feedback was encouraged, which made me feel like my voice mattered. With your guidance, I gained the confidence to take initiative and I explored my creative side as we brainstormed ideas for the event. The freedom and responsibility that was given to us made me feel ownership over the final product, thus motivating me to work harder to show that the responsibility was not given in vain.”

Jared Fyfe | Virginia Tech, Psychology`22

“As a rising student, there is nothing more valuable than experience in the real world. I held worries that my online-learning semester (Fall 2020) would feel stunted, but having the opportunity to explore human rights among a world of professionals with Rumi Forum provided me a great outlet to keep my focus beyond my classes. I most appreciate the adaptability of Rumi in the face of a fully virtual internship, which is what made it able for our team to connect and work together from distant locations. I had a most enjoyable experience with Rumi Forum, and only wish that our team could have done more together in person.”