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by Michelle Salah
On Tuesday February 20th I participated in the 2017-2018 student and faculty colloquium at Montgomery College. The theme this year was “Building a Culture of Respect: Enriching Minds, Engaging Hearts, Creating Global Community.” I was notified about this event through Professor Razavi who sent an email that stated they were looking for middle eastern students to present. I was inspired to submit a project to this event due to the fact that I am half Palestinian. Students were to submit an essay or project of original work that demonstrated cultural elements that promoted respect. I found this topic to be extremely important due to the current state of our country. It was intriguing to listen to other students’ personal experiences pertaining to racial, cultural and identity issues. I have never been to an event like this and I enjoyed it very much so.
During each student’s presentation, I was able to learn something about them personally or about their culture that I did not know before. F0r example, I learned about the Jews and how they were expelled from Spain. I had always known about the horrors of the holocaust but I had never heard about what happened in Spain until now. Aside from learning more in depth about different cultures I was able to experience the political opinions of students and faculty. Even though I had different views then most, I believe it is important to expose myself to different opinions then mine. This contributes to being a well-rounded person, as well as staying clear of living in a personal bubble.
This event was important to me because with the information I learned and through the experience I gained, I know that I will be able to attend all events regardless of difference of opinion. Additionally, I gained valuable public speaking experience, which is useful in all aspects of life.  Overall I am glad that I participated in such a holistic and informative event.

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