Wildcat Tales

Coexist Day brings cultures together

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Students gather at the pond for the celebration of Coexist day.

Students gather at the pond for the celebration of Coexist day.

Ashley Brockette

Ashley Brockette

Students gather at the pond for the celebration of Coexist day.

Lauren Girgis and Abigail Thomas, Editor-in-chief

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    The Muslim Student Association (MSA) organized the second annual Coexist Day in order to bridge the gap between students of different cultures and religions on Feb. 1.

    “Last year, my brother organized the first Hijab Day after Trump’s travel ban happened,” junior MSA leader Safiyya Jeenah said. “They made it about bringing everyone together and not hating a specific group of people, but this year I wanted to make it even more inclusive and celebrate everyone’s differences.”

    Safiyya Jeenah’s brother, Aadil Jeenah, who is currently a freshman in college, organized the first Coexist Day following President Trump’s travel ban, which was met with anger on social media, earning it the hashtag #muslimban.

    “My sister learned from my mistakes,” Aadil said. “She promoted the event a lot earlier and got a lot more donations.”

    Aadil Jeenah organized the first Coexist Day with another graduate, Muttauf Khan.

    “Last year we only had about two days to organize everything,” Khan said. “This year we pushed the kids to start early, so there has been more advertising, hijabs and buttons.”

    Cultural garments such as hijabs and topi hats, which Muslim men usually wear, were donated prior to the event and passed out to students by the pond. MSA members also designed buttons and pins that could be worn by students during the day, promoting different cultures coexisting on campus.

    “The kids have worked really hard this year to bring this together,” MSA sponsor Sabahat Gulam said. “They run ideas by me, and I help them get the money. The kids designed the logos, cut them out and put them in the buttons.”

    MSA members began preparation two weeks prior to National Hijab Day, which falls on Feb. 1. Jeenah said her intention was to make Coexist Day more inclusive and not as Islam-centered as it was last year.

     “I know that there’s been a lot of tension between different religious groups, and for some people even expressing their religion is something that they don’t always feel safe about,” junior Kim Ferrell said. “By making this a super open event, where we all get along and support each other, I think is really important.”

    Although Coexist Day is still a new idea, it has proven popular with the student body and administrators.

    “Plano is all about tradition, so if this is something that we can have keep going, I would be really proud,” Aadil Jeenah said.

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Coexist Day brings cultures together