BSU students rally behind creation of prayer center on campus

Posted at 7:23 PM, Apr 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-21 21:33:25-04

Finding space that can solely be dedicated to prayer is something Boise State University staff and students are currently working on.

Six On Your Side sat down with some of the students behind the effort.

International students at BSU who are of Islamic faith prayer five times a day to their god, Allah. Fridays for Muslims are comparable to Christian's worship day on Sunday.

However, the opportunity to reserve a space to pray on Fridays hasn't always worked out. They'd like it if there were one, dedicated location on campus where students of all faiths could go and pray or even meditate.

"Most of the Muslim students on campus," says Khalid Almjjri, an international student at BSU. "They prayer on campus maybe at the library or in the SUB."

Aisha Kayed is half Brazilian and half Palestinian. She grew up in Boise and is studying pre-med.

She also serves as a peer advisor for international students at the newly formed Center for Global Education.

Kayed believes the space could represent more than just an area for prayer. She hopes it could inspire others to learn more about the Islamic faith.

"They should be open-minded and be open to learn about new cultures, new languages and new religions," Kayed says. "That is what I can hope could happen here at BSU so we can have a room where everybody can learn about the different religions that exist because we all kind of believe in similar things, just in different ways."

"Hopefully, people will be more open about our religion and learn about it from us... not from people who don't know anything about it," says Saeed Alajmi, a BSU student from Kuwait. "They just heard from someone it's a religion of people who do crazy things to themselves, going extreme. We are not that way at all."

University officials are currently looking for a location but they don't have a time frame yet on when it will be made available.

"The university is always looking for opportunities to support students, whatever country they're from or whatever their needs are. So, that's why we have a health center and a recreation center," says Corrine Henke, the director for the Center for Global Education; Global Learning Opportunities and International Student Services. "I think it's just a part of the university supporting the students and making them successful in getting degrees."