Muslim students, faculty talk benefits of meditation room

Katia Rodriguez

In 2017, Kent State opened a meditation room on the second floor of the Student Center for the interfaith and nonreligious students, faculty, staff and community members.

In Islam, prayer is carried out five times a day. Some Muslims use the meditation room for prayer during their time on Kent’s campus.

Yousuf Abu-Amara, a Muslim student and sophomore computer science major, has gone to the meditation room to pray. He prays two to three times a day depending how long he is on campus.

“Different religious people come there. Christians are reading the bible. There’s people meditating. Even yoga happens,” Abu-Amara said.

Mahbobeh Vezvaei, a mathematical science professor and member of the Muslim community, believes there needs to be improvements in the meditation room, specifically a “closed area with no distractions” because “any religion should feel comfortable and respected” in the meditation room.

Sehar Shaikh, the president of the Muslim Students’ Association, understands the meditation room contributes to the Muslim community by making praying on campus more convenient.

“The fact that there is an actual designated meditation room in the student center says that there is enough demand from the students for the space,” said Shaikh. “It also shows the administration’s willingness to accommodate the different needs of the students and faculty. Is there a need for more meditation rooms? Perhaps for individuals on the other ends of the campus, but there are spaces in White Hall and Oscar Ritchie.”

Vezvaei believes in the importance of the meditation room and that people of all backgrounds should treat one another with respect.

“As a human being we should appreciate each other,” Vezvaei said. “We should respect each other, and everyone should study and go on their own. Not just religion, but everything should not be discriminated. If we do that, our world would be much more peaceful.”

Katia Rodriguez is the international student issues reporter. Contact her at [email protected].