Current Interns

Rebecca Stekol | Georgetown University, Foreign Service`21

Title of the Project:

Combating Prejudice from Inside and Outside our Communities: A Muslim-Jewish Young Adult Dialogue

Project Description: I am helping coordinate a Muslim-Jewish interfaith dialogue event for college students and young professionals in the DC area. This dialogue will center around combating antisemitism and Islamophobia from the outside while also addressing prejudice and misunderstanding within our own communities. We are hoping to bring Muslim and Jewish youth together to learn about one another’s faiths and experiences and to use this knowledge and empathy to become better allies united against hatred. Amidst rising antisemitism and Islamophobia throughout the U.S., we need to have these conversations and advance Muslim-Jewish solidarity. Our partners in carrying out this event will be Jewish and Muslim institutions across DC’s college campuses, faith organizations for young professionals, and interfaith institutions.

Mona Elsaai | Emory University, Political Science`19

Title of the Research:

Behind the Greatest Fortune and Misfortunes: The Aftermath of ISIL and Responses to the Destruction

Research Description: In the aftermath of one of- if not the most- brutal religiously homogenizing regimes of the twenty-first century international and homegrown efforts are springing up in Syria and Iraq to revive the multi-religious landscape in the Levant. The research aims to address the exclusivist and pluralist legal and academic interpretations of Islam and compare the historical conditions of sacred spaces and heritage sites in Syria and Iraq during regimes partial to a given interpretation. It will highlight local and international reconstruction initiatives of sacred spaces in former ISIS strongholds and comment on the nature, range, limitations, and future of such efforts. The author intends to combine analytical overtones with an opaquely opinionated undercurrent in the paper in a manner that manifests support for reconstruction projects and pluralist interpretations that endorse the free exercise of religion.

Testimonials from Past 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.”