The Religious Studies Department at Long Beach State University in collaboration with Pacifica Institute organized a panel titled “Spirituality in the Age of Anxiety”. The panel was followed by the exhibition “What I brought in my luggage”- the stories of Turkish immigrants escaping from the political pressures caused by the Turkish government. Prof. Dr. Sophia Pandya, the department chair of the Religious Studies department, hosted the event, and Fountain magazine chief editor Hakan Yesilova presented the topic from the Islamic point of view.
A lot of students and professors from various departments participated in this event to listen and learn about the personal experiences of people who escaped from Turkey to start a new life here in the U.S. Afterwards, they walked through the highly impressive and heartbreaking stories displayed on the exhibition which portrayed the stories of ten different individuals and the “artifacts” they brought in their luggage while escaping- as the symbol of remembrance for what happened to them during their escape from Turkey.
In the panel, Fountain magazine editor explained the importance of unity and solidarity during a trauma. He stated that individuals from different backgrounds, ethnic groups and religions should support each other by building more bounds and sticking together.
The event was a wonderful connection between the Pacifica Institute and the Go Beach community which will hopefully lead to other co-hosted events.