Dear First-Years, Assalamu’alaikum!

Author name
Imam Adeel J. Zeb, Muslim Chaplain
Body

by Imam Adeel J. Zeb, Muslim Chaplain

Welcome to Duke University and the Center for Muslim Life! We are so excited that you decided to come be part of our Duke family. My name is Adeel Zeb, and I serve as the Muslim Chaplain/Director of Muslim Life. Our intention for the Center for Muslim Life is to create an “inclusive and accepting on campus home.” You will find Duke’s Muslim Life like no other in the nation. We have a staff and a Center for Muslim Life (CML) 406 Swift Ave on Central campus that’s open for the students to study, socialize, dine, and of course obtain spiritual nourishment. You can get to and from the CML by utilizing the Duke bus system (C1), which will drop you off at the intersection of Campus Drive and Swift Avenue and you can walk up Swift Avenue and the Center will be on the left. The CML is one of only a hand full of university Muslim centers in the nation. We offer spiritual programming in the way of: weekly halaqah (Islamic study circles) at the CML with a focus on how the tradition relates to you as a Muslim Duke student; weekly Jummah prayers (with free pizza) at the York Room in the Divinity School from 12:45 pm-1:45pm during the academic calendar. We also have a full Ramadan and Eid program/dinner as well. This year the Center will be introducing new dialogue series entitled “CML Safe Spaces,” during which we will tackle and discuss real and relevant topics that are on your minds.  Furthermore, we will have Qiyaam (late night religious sessions) programs.

College is an enriching experience. At the same time, there are many life-changes that occur and sometimes you may want to speak with someone in a private and confidential manner. As the Imam, whatever you share with me will always remain confidential. My job is not to judge you or critique your decisions, but rather to be a caring and supportive listener.

I also believe in a “ministry of presence” so spending time with the students socially, which is something that I enjoy doing. Our communications are not only limited to Islamic advice or counseling needs, I enjoy meeting with students and discussing your hobbies and aspirations. I look forward to spending time with you on the basketball court, grabbing chai/coffee, playing video games, etc. Please note that you can reach out to me on email at Adeel.Zeb@Duke.edu if you need me.

We understand that halāl meat may be important to you and we continuously strive to offer more options. Currently, halāl meat is available at the first-year dining hall at the “Pacific Rim” station on East Campus, where you will be residing. Alternatively, Penn Pavilion and the Divinity Café on West Campus also offer halāl meat on specific days.

This year, we have an exciting lineup for your Muslim Life Orientation:
·       Religious Life Activities Fair:  8.20.15 @ 12pm-2pm at the Statue Quad (in front of the chapel)
·       Jummah: 8.21.15 @ 12:45-1:30 PM, York Room, Divinity School Library
·       Ice Cream Social: 8.22.15 @ 12:30pm-1:30pm on the East Campus Gazebo (1332 Campus Dr.) Durham, NC
·       Fajr in the Gardens: 8.23.15 @ 5:30am at Duke Gardens Koi Pond. Meet at the East Campus bus stop for car pooling at 5:20am.
·       Halal BBQ & Open House: 8.23.15 @ 1:30pm-3pm at the Center for Muslim Life (406 Swift Ave) Durham, NC
·       First-Year Meet & Greet Dinner with the Imam: 8.30.15 @ 6pm at Center for Muslim Life (406 Swift Ave) Durham, NC

We also have a very active MSA that strives to be inclusive and non-judgmental. I am including the following message from the Muslim Student Association, affectionately called “Duke MSA”:
The Muslim Students Association (MSA) at Duke University strives to represent Muslim students, and works to foster an engaged community. We are comprised of a diverse group of students – undergraduate and graduate, international and American, united by each student’s common belief or interest in Islam. Students come to MSA events to pray together, learn more about Islam, or simply to hang out with friends and get to know more people. The MSA has many community-building signature events, such as the weekly Friday meetings, fall and spring retreats, and Eid Banquet. We encourage you to join the Duke MSA Facebook group “Duke Muslim Students Association (MSA)” and like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DukeMSA); we rely heavily on Facebook for updating the community and keeping in communication.
Very truly yours, Muslim Student Association.

In closing, on behalf of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Center for Muslim Life, I am honored to welcome you to Duke University.

Sincerely,


Imam Adeel J. Zeb                                   Muslim Student Association
Muslim Chaplain                                   Duke University
Duke University

Date
Department