Muslim/Arab Student Union helps students feel welcome

Plank Article Klarenz Basco ’22

The Muslim/Arab Student Union is the newest Heritage Club at Jesuit High School Sacramento. Similar to the other heritage clubs on campus, the Arab/Muslim Student Union works to give students another place where they can feel welcomed.

As the club’s creator, Adam Sherif ’22 wanted to create this club to provide a place to help students find where they identify and belong.

“I decided to start the club for the Middle Easterners like me who struggled to find where they identified,” Adam said. “Middle Easterners come from Africa, Asia and beyond. Therefore they don’t know if they identify as Asian, African, white etc. I wanted this club to be a place where they can relate too instead of trying to fit in where they don’t identify.”

The faculty moderator for the club, Ms. Alvarez, chose to moderate because of her past experiences and culture. 

“I chose to moderate this club because I actually helped run a similar club when I was in college and loved what I got from it,” Ms. Alvarez said. “Being Arab myself, I felt like it would be a great fit!” 

Ms. Alvarez has high hopes that the club will be able to increase an understanding of Middle Eastern culture and that students turn out to the meetings. She also reminds students that club participation is not limited to only Middle Eastern and Muslim students; it’s open to anyone.

“Our hope is that this club will expand Jesuit’s understanding of Middle Eastern and Muslim culture,” Ms. Alvarez said. “We don’t want this club to only be open to Arab and/or Muslim students. We are always welcoming all students, whether they are allies or just interested in learning more about our culture.”

Club member Haydar Ezzeddine ’23 joined the Arab/Muslim Student Union due to love for his culture and religion, and he hopes that students are able to build an interest in his culture. 

“We hope the club can achieve widespread education and perhaps some interest in Arab culture or the Muslim religion,” Haydar said. 

Along with what Haydar evisions, Adam has many ideas for the club including interacting with other Arab clubs from different schools. He wants to be able to have fun activities and to create a safe environment for students to share their personal experiences. 

“I want our club to engage with other Arab student unions at different schools including high school ASUs and even college ASUs,” Adam said. “I would want to create a space where Middle Easterners can relate to one another and feel free to share the moments they experience. Also, I would want fun activities like possibly entering the World Cup”

Adam also hopes to create a club that can continue to grow even after he graduates at the end of this year.

“I just hope to lay the foundation for a successful, active club,” Adam said. “[He wants] to ignite a strong, well connected club that can run itself.”

The Arab/Muslim Student Union will hopefully continue to gain more members and be an outlet for students to learn more about and be open to being themselves for the years to come.