Student's in English faculty Andrea Chase's Middle Eastern Literature class welcomed a special guest today. Melody Moezzi is an activist, attorney, visiting professor at UNC Wilmington, and an award-winning author. She self-identifies as a Iranian-American, Muslim woman.
"Melody was amazing!" shared Ms. Chase. She and the students had a legthy conversation about passages from her book, The Rumi Prescrption: How an Ancient Mystic Poet Changed My Modern Manic Life. The following passage is one the students found particularly engaging, and they asked the author specifically to discuss:
"Combined, it is this love, respect, and connection that best serves the pursuit of justice. Indeed, the safest and most effective way to overcome oppression is not out of revulsion for our enemies, but out of devotion for our friends. When we focus on our love and empathy for the oppressed -- instead of our anger and enmity for the oppressor -- we liberate ourselves from the pitfalls of ego and outrage. And in doing so, we pave the way for an enduring, inclusive, and accessible path towards justice... The greater and more deeply entrenched any injustice happens to be, the higher the likelihood that we'll have to convert some enemies to friends to uproot it." (pp 156-7)
"This comes from a woman who puts the "active" in "activist" (she has spent the past five nights out protesting)," adds Ms. Chase. The students were grateful for the opportunity to have such an open and honest discussion on a topic so relevant to what's taking place in our country today.