Building connections across difference in Dubuque
“Adib Kassas has been astonishingly generous with his time, a font of wisdom that has had a transformative effect on many, and has remained sympathetic to the challenges and excitement that interfaith engagement brings to young people in particular,” said Professor Eby. “He has had a deep and meaningful impact on the Loras College campus that extends well beyond his specific activities, because the exposure to Islam and Middle Eastern perspective that he shares with some is magnified by their changed perspectives and the awareness of the college community of such interfaith opportunities and especially by awareness of his outstanding personal character.”
A major reason Dr. Kassas and his family have chosen to remain in Dubuque has been this warm and welcoming environment. When asked whether recent events in the United States have made him feel less welcome, he said he has felt the opposite.
“I feel more empowered and grateful to be in Dubuque,” he said. “The route we have taken is important. Instead of confronting, we are getting to know each other. Other people’s experiences empower yours; they don’t make it less.”
Dr. Kassas said he was thrilled to recent the community partnership award because of the example it allows his work with Loras College to set with others.
“I really think it is important for people to talk to each other instead of being scared,” he said. “There is no way besides talking to solve the problems. Between Muslims and Christians, we are half the population of the world and we can set a great example and change the world working together and approaching each other in a different way.”