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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

International Symposium Between Muslim and Non‐Muslim Youth

International Symposium of Intercultural Dialogue Between Muslim and Non‐Muslim Youth
By Denni Kurniawan

Nowadays many of Muslim comes to Taiwan for various purposes such as for do business, study, working, or da’wah. However, many of Taiwanese do not know and don’t really understand what Islam is. Peoples in Taiwan have their own religious and different culture. Taiwan location is quite far from Islamic country, makes this also as reason why Taiwanese hardly know about Islam and their culture.

This symposium aims to promote a mutual cultural understanding between international Muslim youth and Taiwanese young people both Muslims and non‐Muslims. This symposium cover three important issues, such as:
1. Briefing a general picture about a historical development of Chinese speaking Muslim community in Taiwan
2. Introducing bilateral culture and faith to each other
3. Building an international Muslim platform to bridge cooperation between local and international Muslim organization in Taiwan
This symposium also the first symposium dialog between Muslim and non Muslim in Taiwan. More hundreds participants come to this activity and different country, such as Taiwan, Ethiopia, Gambia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, Syria, Uzbekistan, Palestine, Jordan and other countries.

This symposium was open by professor Dawud Y. Sha, President of CHU and also known as the only Islam President University in Taiwan. Then in second session, keynote speaker (Prof Nabil C. Lin and Omar Ayash) gives speech about Islamic culture around the world and Taiwan. After tea break, Mr Osman Cubuk, Syuan‐Yuan Chiou, and Wei‐Ping Jia, gave their speech about Issues and challenges for Muslims living in Taiwan. Several issues about the obstacles for Muslim in Taiwan discussed, such as, halal food, difference in culture, etc. In lunch break, brother and sister Muslim used their time to do pray in Student Activity Center. Maybe this is the first time for many Taiwanese see how Muslim brothers do their pray. The third session was held after lunch break, and discuss about International experience of cultural life in and out Taiwan. Here, Mr. Ahmet Gurhanli, Agus Andria, Ishaq al‐Ibrahimi, and Yusupha Gye presented their experience, especially after they come to Taiwan. 
World café is the last session and also the most interacting activity for all participants. Here, all participants have to give their opinion about several issues, which was given by moderator. A group consists of six member and they have to change in to different group after 20 minutes. After three phases, all participants gathered to listen the key point and summarize of their discussion.

At the end of symposium, all ICA’s member perform Likok Pulo (Saman) traditional dance. This dance come from Aceh, Indonesia and gives the short story about Islamic activity in Aceh. Then this symposium was close by Prof. Chang‐Huan Gou from CHU and planned to be held every year in different locations in Taiwan. This symposium also fully support by CHU Student Activity Division and also another association club in CHU. Thank you very much for all of you, and we really appreciate all your help.

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