• Updated : 2022.1.3 월 13:37
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Muslim Students Studying at CNU
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승인 2015.05.11  10:44:20
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▲ Muslim community members at CNU

     How many Korean students have experienced talking to Muslim students? Probably, only a few students would have done that because it has been hard to see them on campus. As our university is becoming global, we need to understand the life of international students on campus. The Chonnam Tribune met some Muslim students and listened to their stories in this issue.
     At one o’clock every Friday, Muslim students gather themselves in the prayer room located on the first floor of the Student Union Building 2 to pray for their god. Muhammad Hillmy Alfaruqi (Indonesia, Material Science and Engineering) said, “Every Friday, we have Jumu’ah, a congregational prayer. About 40 male students visit here to pray for our god. It is only compulsory to Muslim men.” According to him, the previous prayer room established in 2011 was narrow, but last month a bigger room was provided for them. Not only for prayer, this room seemed to be a special space for Muslims. Ischan Mafrur (Indonesia, Computer Science) said, “I like this room because we can pray for our god together. I always want to come here and pray for our god everyday with others. In addition, whenever I come in here, I feel something special and good, because I can meet other students from different countries.”
     Living in Korea is not easy for most Muslim students. Eating food is the hardest thing for them to live in Korea. An exchange student Khan Ghazala Nawaz (Pakistan, Bioenergy Science and Technology) said, “Since Muslims should not eat most meats, I can eat only seafood and vegetables.” According to her, it is easy to find halal foods in other countries. In Korea, however, the situation is different. “Halal options are rare, and most of the food served in cafeterias contains pork, which Muslims are not allowed to eat.“ There is one halal store near our campus, but I cannot go there for every meal.”

▲ Female Muslim students studying at CNU

     Another problem that makes living difficult for them is the language barrier. Due to the lack of proficiency in either English or Korean, they are having a difficult time communicating with Korean and other foreign students. Regardless of all the hardship and difficulties living in Korea, they enjoy the life in Korea. Khan said, “Living as a woman, in particular, is wonderful. We just cannot imagine a woman strolling around the street late at night in our country. I do not have to worry about that here, for sure.”
     Toward the end of the interview, they were concerned about the misunderstood image of their religion. “We feel sad whenever our religion is misrepresented in the mass media. We hope students in Korea can understand Muslims properly, that is not a dangerous or bad religion.” Try to know international students from diverse countries better with an open mind is a necessary step to make our campus truly a global one.

By Kim Sun-woo, Guest Reporter

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