DANBURY, Conn. -- A foreign exchange student at Wooster School in Danbury is one of five Sponsored Program student winners of the AFS International Education Week essay contest.
Imane Tourabi wrote an essay comparing an American education and a Moroccan education.
Imane is from Morocco and residing with a family in Brewster, N.Y. Her exchange is through AFS-USA, formerly American Field Service, a nonprofit that offers intercultural learning and international exchange programs in more than 40 countries around the world.
As a contest winner she has been awarded a scholarship to attend the Better Understanding for a Better World interfaith dialogue conference in Orlando, Fla., from Feb. 10 to 14.
Better Understanding for a Better World began in 2006 with an annual conference in Orlando, Fla. Civilizations Exchange & Cooperation Foundation expanded the opportunity in 2008 and included an annual conference in Baltimore.
Two years later, the opportunity expanded to include an annual conference in San Diego.
These conferences were developed to give American high school students and international exchange students currently studying in the United States the opportunity to meet students of diverse faiths and cultural backgrounds.
The conference objectives are:
- Facilitate mutual understanding and appreciation between students from diverse regional, economic, social, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
- Discuss stereotypes about the “other” and their impact.
- Learn about and discuss the practice of religion and faith in a pluralistic society with the objective of promoting tolerance, mutual respect, and an awareness of common values.
- Introduce various aspects of leadership, including those involving business and entrepreneurship.
- Forge ties of friendship between American high school students and students from around the world.
While the focus of the conference is principally on Judaism, Christianity and Islam, participation is open to students of all faiths, as well as those who may not be active in any particular faith tradition.
After the conference, students will be encouraged to maintain contact with each other and make a presentation at their schools or at their community centers on the issues discussed throughout the conference.
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