Current Interns

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

Title of the Research:

“I was a stranger and you welcomed me”: The role of Faith-Based Organizations in Immigration

Research Description: This research extends a paper I wrote entitled “Barriers to Mental Health Care Utilization Among American Latinos.” For my research with the Rumi Forum, I plan to focus specifically on immigrants and Faith-Based Organizations (FBO) in the Washington metropolitan area (DMV). Immigrants to the United States face cultural stress, social marginalization, and discrimination that may increase their risk of mental illness. Immigrants also confront numerous barriers to seeking mental health treatment, including financial costs, language differences, cultural values, and religious beliefs. Research has shown that services provided by FBOs can significantly complement traditional mental health care and decrease barriers to treatment. In addition, numerous FBOs in the DMV area focus on assisting immigrants of diverse faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. This research will also allow me to understand better how FBOs work with immigrants to aid with acculturation and well-being. Finally, I plan to use this research to investigate opportunities and programs for an interfaith dialogue focusing on immigrants’ human rights and welfare.

Julia Lynn | George Washington University, BA in Political science with a Public Policy focus `23

Title of the Research: Scopes of Subtlety: aa Analysis of Islamophobic Policy in the United States and France.

Research Description: The research seeks to identify the ways in which Islamophobia is present in the United States and France and provide a comparative analysis of the spheres it has influence over. I will contextualize these phenomena in relation to both country’s histories regarding secularism and their respective Muslim populations. This research will examine many mechanisms that perpetuate Islamophobia but will focus on the presence of anti-Muslim policy in both countries. Through examining the nuances of the policies and the public’s reaction to them, I hope to create a conversation centering around the presence of subtlety in Islamophobic policy and how that interacts with the climate each country creates for their Muslim populations.

Meghan Peters | American University, International Studies`23

Project Description: I am helping to coordinate the digital marketing calendar and media content for upcoming events at Rumi Forum in 2021. This media seeks to engage the community in international days of recognition and various interfaith celebrations throughout the year. We hope to involve the community in intercultural and interfaith days of celebration through media interactions and various programs hosted at Rumi Forum. In addition, my work with Rumi Forum also extends to fundraising and special events. Through fundraising assistance, my position contributes to the development of the non-profit and activities for the 2021-2022 year to continue the mission of interfaith engagement and intercultural dialogue.

Testimonials from Past Interns

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.”