GEORGIA – Muslim students in Emory University, Georgia, have created a video to send a message of sympathy, support and love to victims of recent attacks committed by the so-called Islamic State.
“Reem [al-Atassi] and I saw this as a way to reach out to victims who have suffered from these tragedies,” Mashal Mirza, an Emory Muslim student, told Emory News Center on Monday, April 11.
The video, titled “And Love,” was directed and produced by Reem al-Atassi and Mirza.
It was posted on YouTube on March 26, just after terrorist attacks in Istanbul, Brussels and Iraq.
The project came to light through various communications outlets for Emory’s Muslim students, including the “Muslims of Emory” GroupMe and the Emory Muslim Students Association’s Facebook page.
“This video is about praying for humanity, empathizing with those who are suffering the most right now,” Mirza says.
“Rather than verbalizing what Islam is, we tried to demonstrate what our religion teaches us to be — caring, kind and concerned with those less fortunate than ourselves.”
Participating in the video production, al-Atassi said she “was in a low place” after learning about the bombings.
“There’s this quote that I love by Robert Ingersoll: ‘We rise by lifting others,'” she explains. “It’s amazing how much springing to service can do for your own pain.”
The students’ reaction to the video was “overwhelmingly positive. Students, both Muslim and non-Muslim, have shown support,” Mirza said.
“Muslims have been gratified to see something that actually represents their responses to the tragedies,” says Al-Atassi.
“Non-Muslims have also expressed delight and gratitude; we’ve gotten everything from, ‘The two of you are doing awesome things!’ to ‘This is amazing!’”
The two chose the video format because a video “unifies sight and sound to create a more individualistic message,” Mirza says.
“When you can see several Muslims verbalizing their hopes for peace and humanity, it takes the message further than written word.”