BRISTOL — Have you ever wanted to talk to a Muslim? Someone who could be your co-worker or neighbor?
“Ask a Muslim Anything” is an opportunity for conversation on aspects of belief, identity, and practice, or whatever comes up. Nothing is off limits as long as it is respectfully presented.
Robert Azzi is an Arab-American Muslim who wants you to ask him anything about his faith. The Exeter-based photojournalist, columnist and public speaker, has put together this program in hopes that it will help reduce misunderstandings between people of different faiths. Born in New Hampshire, he has lived in Beirut, Cairo, Athens, Jeddah and New York.
Azzi said, “This is a program I’ve been developing with great success. I’ve found that most people, even those critical of Islam and Muslims, when engaged in small scale or in one-one-one conversation, are willing to listen and engage with Muslims if that engagement occurs in what is perceived to be safe places, houses of worship, libraries, schools, civic organizations etc, and I speak to them not as a scholar or academic but as a neighbor, fellow citizen, and person of faith. To that end I have been traveling, with increasing frequency, throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine at the invitation of local communities to speak about my life, what it is like to be a Muslim in America, how I came to convert to Islam, about the religion of Islam and its history-especially in America- and about the Middle East, terrorism, and associated political and social issues.”
The event takes place Thursday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m, at the Minot Sleeper Library in Bristol.