The Conspiracy

Sammy’s Palestinian brother | Today in New Voices

Ibraheem Samirah | By Ana Santos for The Eagle

While researching my article about Jewish Greek life here at American University, one of the most Jewish private universities in the country (depending on who you ask), I ran into someone interesting.

Ibraheem Samirah is a normal college student. He’s a junior studying political science and pre-dentistry, he likes hanging out with friends, he ran for Student Government president last semester and he’s a brother in Sammy (Sigma Alpha Mu), a historically Jewish fraternity.

Now here’s the twist: Ibraheem Samirah is a Muslim Palestinian.

He was attracted to being involved in a Jewish fraternity precisely because it offered a new perspective, especially for a chapter of a Jewish fraternity that isn’t very Jewish (as my article found). He found that Sammy in particular was open not only to his political views, but also to his choice as a Muslim to not consume alcohol.

“There’s a lot of respect for diversity,” Samirah said.

Samirah isn’t alienated in Sammy either, he said. Sammy’s Jews at AU are “progressive” and they share a lot of his viewpoints when discussing contemporary issues.

To Samirah, that contrasted with Alpah Epsilon Pi, the other Jewish frat at AU. When Samirah was looking at AEPi as a potential brotherhood he’d like to join, he wasn’t as comfortable with the pro-Israel sentiments that were monolithic in the group, he said.

“I felt kind of left out in certain situations when I was talking to people just because they learned the fact that I was Palestinian, whereas in Sammy when they learned I was Palestinian, they were like, ‘Oh, wow, this is intriguing,’” Samirah said.

Intriguing, indeed.

You can read the full article here.

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