|L'ASSOCIATION DES MUSULMANS PROGRESSITES DU CANADA
ASSOCIATION OF PROGRESSIVE MUSLIMS OF CANADA
INTERNATIONAL VISITOR LEADERSHIP PROGRAM FOR CANADIAN MUSLIM YOUTH
July 4 through 11, 2012, eight young Muslims took part in the first IVLP in Washington and Philadelphia as winners of a contest held by the Association of Progressive Muslims of Canada in partnership with the Embassy of the United States of America, Ottawa.
Jasim Malik, Naima Sidow, Maryam Abdur-Razak,Iskandar Gadirzade,, Yumna Siddiqi, Fayez Patel, Dilzayn Panjwani, Sheraz Ali Khan participated. Each and everyone commented that their visit was very enjoyable and they learnt a lot.
The trip comprised of three elements: knowledge based briefings, networking with NGO’s and other local and international outreach programs, and the cultural experience. All participants were extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate and had positive experience.
For many of the participants, their knowledge of the American political system was limited. Naima Sidow said that "the knowledge-based briefings gave me a great overview of the American political system, and laid down the foundations for me to do further research on the subject, which I highly anticipate starting!”. Yumna Siddiqi agreed. For her, the federalism briefing by Dr. Rozol “was very informative because there is a lot about the American federal system I personally didn’t understand, and I really found it helpful to have the basics covered so early in the trip. They also took the opportunity to extend the conversation to relate it to current affairs, for example the upcoming elections".
scheduled meetings were styled more like conversations than lectures, which
participants appreciated as there was “room for bold questions and intelligent
responses from all sides”. The condensed nature of the meetings, however,
meant there was “limited time to learn and understand from each other”.
Meetings with Operation Understanding, which offers cross-cultural programs to
bridge gaps and connect people, and at the National Constitution Center, which
focuses on overseas projects and the implementation of foreign policy and civil
education, were of particular interest to participants.
Here are some photos of the trip.