Khamis, Ogos 11, 2011
A Conversation with Farah Pandith, US Special Representative
On August 4, the U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur hosted a discussion between U.S. Department of State Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith and 80 students and faculty at the ADNI Islamic School. An additional 25 students and three journalists gathered at the Lincoln Corner in Sabah State Library to participate in the conversation via the U.S. Embassy Malaysia CO.NX chat room as well as a global virtual audience of 40 from Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, Sarawak, Hungary, Benin, Tajikistan, New Delhi, Mongolia, Nepal, Singapore, Quezon (Philippines), Melbourne, Birmingham, Olney, Essex, Bel Air South and Washington D.C. CO.NX, being compatible across many platforms, enabled one online guest to participate via the iPad.
Ms. Pandith spoke about her role and experiences meeting with Muslims around the world and how social media is transforming communications between communities to bring the world closer together. The vibrant conversation included questions from the audience such as, "so far, how is the response from other Muslim countries toward President Obama’s interest to engage the U.S. with Muslim countries", and "how can we prepare ourselves to be good future Muslim leaders?"
Of special note was a comment from a community coordinator with PAX Academic Exchange: "I just attended the re-entry orientation in Washington DC with the Malaysian students from the Kennedy Lugar YES program, and went to the Malaysian Embassy with them. I was so impressed by this group of students - the Malaysian students were EXCELLENT student ambassadors - they were so impressive… I encourage these students to take advantage of all of these opportunities to engage in dialogues such as this."
Jufitri Joha, Vice President International of Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) asked, "How could Malaysians follow the idea of assimilation in America whereby all races could live together as an American regardless of whether they are African or Asian, etc? In Malaysia we are a multicultural society; we only integrate, not assimilate"
MP Bumanglag said, "I am very grateful to have joined in this conversation. Indeed, I can also share the information that I have learned from this conversation with information users at our American Corner. Thank you very much and I hope to join again in your future events and programs."