Last week Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerburg visited a group of Muslim students from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, listening to their experiences about their backgrounds, college life and their faith.
“Most of the students I met were immigrants, including from war zones in Palestine, Jordan and Iraq,” Zuckerberg recounted on his Facebook page. “They told me stories of the violence they experienced, including an early memory of having her building bombed and jumping into her mother’s arms even though she couldn’t do anything to prevent it.”
Zuckerberg said a number of students relayed their experiences of feeling marginalized, even in a town like Dearborn which has a large Muslim population. “One student told me about feeling like she has to be on her best behavior at the grocery store, letting white people cut in front of her in line to prove that Muslims are nice people,” Zuckerberg posted. Over time, she said, “I’ve learned not to apologize for my identity. I’m Arab. I’m Muslim. This is who I am. But it’s still a struggle.”
Zuckerberg’s visit was part of his New Year’s resolution to connect face-to-face with Americans, aiming to register the impact of technology and globalization on contemporary society.