Islam- Interfaith Series- Article #1

It’s Term 3 and we are nearing the half way point in our journey.  One thing about this program that I love is how we’ve all been able to learn from each on so many different aspects.  It’s not just when someone raises their hand in class to share something, but conversations at dinner or breakfast, or even a crazy taxi ride.  Some of those conversations relate to business or skills we’re learning in our MBA, and some just have to do with learning more about people.

In CCL we learn about economic, social, and political tensions in each region we visit.  Something I’ve noticed is that no matter where you go religion in a given region, or even lack of religion, plays a role in each of the three tensions.  Because of the unique framework of the CCMBA and the diverse class we have a wonderful opportunity to ask and answer questions about a topic that is often avoided in a business setting, but undoubtedly plays a role…religion.

Our classmate Andy Domenico hosts an Interfaith dinner at each residency, and I had the opportunity to join while we were in Dubai.  The dialogue and discourse of all the different faiths is amazing.  Just at our dinner table alone we had Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists.  I am firmly convinced that if 20 or more of the CCMBA class can sit around and share each other’s faiths calmly then there is some hope out there for the rest of the world to do the same.

With that in mind I reached out to some of our classmates to see if they would share some information about their religion with the class.  What I think we’ll all see with this series is that there is so much we all have in common.  No matter where you go, no matter what your beliefs, we can all learn a little bit from each other.

To start off we have Tarick Gamay sharing with us about Islam.

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Dubai: Capital of Kerala

During a visit to Dubai, it was hard to ignore the people from the state of Kerala in India. They were everywhere from the hotel lounge to the shops we visited – why our program has 3 people too (including me)! You turn on the radio, you hear at least 3 radio channels playing malayalam songs (malayalam is the language spoken by the people of Kerala).

The Touristy Stuff: To those who came in late, Kerala is in the southernmost part of India; it literally means the “Land of Coconut Trees” and when you land into Kochi (the most popular city in Kerala) you would not be surprised why it is called so – it’s almost like a carpet of coconut trees as far as the eye can see (see pic). The tropical conditions here are due to the relatively abundant rainfall (retative to the rest of India). Kerala is home to some very scenic spots like the Punnamada Lake in Alleppey to the Tea Gardens in hilly area of Munnar. Being a coastal state, it boasts of a lot of beaches – the best being Kovalam Beach. But a visit to Kerala is one of paradoxes – Temples, Churches, Mosques along side red communist flags and pictures of Marx, Lenin and Che Guevara.

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