University students of different faiths paired up with Muslim students last week to try to understand what it’s like to walk on campus in their shoes.

The University’s Muslim Students’ Association invited students to participate in last week’s three-day event titled “A Walk in my Shoes,” which sought to enhance campus exposure to Muslim culture and the Islamic religion. Participants attended an Islamic prayer session and learned about cultural practices, among other activities.

Over the course of three days, each participant was paired with a “buddy” from MSA with whom they discussed cultural and religious backgrounds.

“In that pairing up, people make friends and at the same time learn that we’re just like any other college student on campus,” said Public Policy junior Ayesha Usmani, MSA Islamic relations chair.

The pairs later reconvened into the large group, and participants had the opportunity to expand on their one-on-one conversations.

Previously known as “A Day in a Life,” MSA started the event five years ago to raise awareness about the Muslim community, especially in the wake of 9/11.

According to Usmani, the event is intended to be a tool for outreach.

“We’re not teaching about Islam or converting anybody, but just reaching out to different communities on campus and clarifying misconceptions about Islam,” Usmani said.

Rackham student Emily Archambeault said the conversations helped highlight cultural similarities she wasn’t aware of.

“In talking about the things that I perceived would be very different from our upbringing, I found similar themes, even if the ways in which it played out was different,” Archambeault said.

LSA freshman Philip Gilmore said the discussions helped him become better informed about Muslim culture.

“I definitely feel more comfortable talking about the faith (of) Islam,” Gilmore said.

Another upcoming collaboration with different student groups is the Good Will Tour in December, in which MSA members collaborate with Christian and Jewish organizations on campus and attend each group’s religious services.

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