Office of the University Chaplain

Columbia University in the City of New York

 Office of the University Chaplain

Street food vendors up in arms over possible EU kebab ban

BERLIN (AP) — The doner kebab, that grilled fast-food sandwich which is the gastronomic equivalent of an American hamburger in many European cities, is under fire.

The European Union’s legislature is moving to ban the phosphates used in the slabs of meat at the heart of the popular street snack that originated in Turkey. Up-in-arms kebab vendors in Germany have skewered the idea.

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KGF | Amman, Jordan

Check out the 2018 Kraft Global Fund Fellows here!

The ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’

These sites and monuments are popularly known as the “new Seven Wonders of the World,” modern additions to the ancient Seven Wonders laid out by Philo of Byzantium in 250 B.C., which included the hanging gardens of Babylon and the pyramids of Giza. (Of those ancient seven, only the pyramids remain.)

The new wonders were chosen in 2007 through an online contest put on by a Swiss company, the New 7 Wonders Foundation, in which more than tens of millions of people voted. All are Unesco World Heritage sites.

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Speeches and Pictures from the Egyptian Mosque Attack Vigil

Two speeches from yesterday’s vigil:

By Elektra Williams

Hello friends. My name is Elektra Williams and I speak to you all on behalf of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship and in solidarity with all the other groups represented here tonight. It is heartwarming to see so many gathered here in the embrace of community as we come together in the remembrance of the Muslim lives lost last weekend. I would also like to give voice to Coptic Christians that suffer from this sort of senseless violence. May we never stop supporting each other and may we never forget that we are family.

I am sure we are all experiencing a multitude of feelings – grief, confusion, rage, and hopelessness. However, I earnestly challenge you to embrace feelings of love, unity, hope, and gratitude. Love for those who adhere to our social contract of mutual respect and kindness. Unity with those that come together against injustice. Hope for a better and safer future. Gratitude for those who we are lucky enough to have in our lives.

I have two biblical passages that I would like to share with you all. The first is from the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 3, Verses 24-26: “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.” Additionally, the Second Epistle to Timothy, Chapter 1, Verse 7 proclaims: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Let us come out of this tragedy with more strength than we previously held, and let these candles remind us of the flames inside us that burn for true fellowship.

By Maryam Rostoum

Assalamu Alaikum – Peace be Upon You. Peace.

My name is Maryam Rostoum and I am the President of the Muslim Student Association here at Columbia. “Inna Lillah wa Inna Ilahi Rajioon” – truly we are from God and to him we will Return. This is a verse from the Qur’an that is often repeated when someone passes away. Today, we are lighting candles for the 305 Egyptian brothers and sisters whose lives were taken whilst praying their Friday prayers at the Mosque. The North Sinai province in Egypt experienced something last week that no community should ever have to know, unspeakable cruelty and violence perpetrated on hundreds of people who came together for the bonds of faith and community. We stand here today in solidarity and with heavy hearts. Our Prophet Muhamad (S) said that if we see injustice, we must act against it and if we cannot physically act against it we must speak out against it and if we cannot speak against it we must at the least make a supplication. So I am going to ask in these closing moments of the vigil, for everyone to just pray with me.

• May Allah (s.w.t) grant those who have passed with Janet al-Firdous (the highest level of heaven)
• May He heal those who were injured
• May He bring ease and patience in the hearts of those who have lost their loved ones
• May He bring justice to the wrongdoers.
• May He help us stop those who oppress, whether they be of our nation, race, religion or not.
• May He give us the strength to work for the good of all humanity and against what is harmful to all of us.
• May He make us all among those who struggle for what is just, good and beautiful
• And May He protect us from hate and intolerance.


A Vigil in Memory of Terror Victims in Egypt

Join the Office of University Chaplain, Office of University Life, ISSO, and the Columbia MSA for a memorial moment for those killed in Egypt this past weekend.

See the Facebook event here

Islamic State Raises Stakes With Egypt Mosque Attack

ISMAILIA, Egypt — The mosque was packed with hundreds of worshippers for Friday prayers in Egypt’s North Sinai when gunmen in military-style uniforms and masks appeared in a doorway and at windows.

The ease with which they mounted an attack – killing more than 300 people in the worst bloodshed of its kind in Egypt’s modern history – highlighted the threat militant groups pose in the most populous Arab country.

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Does Race Matter in America’s Most Diverse ZIP Codes?

At a time when race often still defines where people live and attend school, and the battles between alt-right and Antifa, nativist and immigrant, continue to rage, this Bay Area suburb of 120,000 can seem like a respite from the divided nation. Pick any two people out of this ZIP code, and there is a 76 percent chance they are a different race or ethnicity — and odds are they’ll be comfortable talking to each other.

“The gift about being in close proximity is that you’re desensitized to seeing a different culture and judging it right away,” said Lena Yee-Ross, a 17-year-old high school senior whose mother is Chinese-American and father is black.

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A Trip Through the Stunning, Rock-Hewed Churches of Ethiopia

King Lalibela wanted to construct these churches because Ethiopian Orthodox Christians wanted to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to see the birthplace of Jesus Christ. But many were unable to make or perished during the journey. When King Lalibela saw that, he envisioned a New Jerusalem to which the faithful could make the pilgrimage.

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A Holocaust Survivor Reunites with Newly Discovered Nephew

KFAR SABA, Israel (AP) — Eliahu Pietruszka shuffled his 102-year-old body through the lobby of his retirement home toward a stranger he had never met and collapsed into him in a teary embrace. Then he kissed both cheeks of his visitor and in a frail, squeaky voice began blurting out greetings in Russian, a language he hadn’t spoken in decades.

Only days earlier, the Holocaust survivor who fled Poland at the beginning of World War II and thought his entire family had perished learned that a younger brother had also survived, and his brother’s son, 66-year-old Alexandre, was flying in from a remote part of Russia to see him.

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On the Streets, the Eyes of the Homeless Reveal Many Stories

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s easy to walk past the homeless, to disregard the guy lying on the street or ignore the woman standing at an intersection holding a handwritten sign with a plea for help.

It’s harder to look away when you’ve seen their eyes.

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