Standing on the stage in Hoff Theater, Hannibal Kokayi recounted a train ride in which a vagrant-looking man interrupted him while he was reading the Quran.
He’d been focusing on the book and avoiding eye contact with the stranger, but once the man stopped him to ask about the Quran’s teachings, Kokayi found himself regretting his own arrogance. Through his enlightening conversation with the man, he realized he still had much to learn from others, Kokayi said, reading from his poem and revealing a side of himself he normally keeps hidden.
“That’s the good thing about performing — you’re vulnerable,” said Kokayi, a University of Maryland University College student. “They get a greater understanding of who you are.”
Kokayi joined eight other Muslim students in Stamp Student Union on Friday afternoon to share their religious experiences through poetry and narratives in the Muslim Students Association’s first Muslim Monologues. Between decades of conflicts brewing in the Middle East and cultural stereotypes, it’s not easy being Muslim in the United States, students explained.