This past May, I was part of a group of 10 students from Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg and Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., that travelled to Iran to observe the sixth Shi’i Islam-Mennonite Christian dialogue.
This ongoing interfaith dialogue between Mennonite and Muslim scholars provides a safe place for academics and theologians to speak about their respective beliefs and build relationships with each other.
We spent 10 days in the city of Qom, a holy site for Shi’i Muslims and a significant centre for Shi’i study and scholarship, attending the dialogue as well as an academic conference and an introductory course on Islam. The remaining 10 days were spent in the cities of Isfahan, Shiraz and Tehran, travelling to significant sites to learn more about Iran’s history, people, beliefs and culture.
Cecilly Hildebrand, 26, graduated from CMU in 2012 with a degree in psychology. She lives in Winnipeg, where she works part-time as a photographer along with her husband, Matthew Dueck.