An expert on Central Asian conflict spoke about his travels in the region and reactions to his observant Judaism in predominantly Muslim countries during a speech in the Marvin Center Monday night.
Elie Krakowski discussed his professional work in Pakistan, Iran and other Asian countries as the guest speaker for a kick-off event for Mesorah D.C., a District-wide youth Jewish group. Krakowski has advised U.S. defense officials on the strategy for the war on terror.
The kick-off event was the first gathering this semester of The Buzz, a discussion forum on Jewish religious issues hosted by Mesorah D.C.
Krakowski spoke to the group about his experiences as a practicing Jew traveling in Afghanistan from 2000 to 2004. While in countries surrounding Afghanistan, Krakowski joked about the danger of being caught.
“I have a tight schedule,” he said. “I can’t be a guest of the Taliban for three or four months.”
Krakowski said he took time to observe his religion in every country he visited. He said that when his hosts in Islamic countries were very accepting of his beliefs.
Junior Andrea Kovalsky found Krakowski’s message important.
“If you have principles and you respect those principles, people will respect you no matter where you come from,” she said.
Josh Hollander, one of the organizers of the event, took away a similar message. “If you are 100 percent confident in your beliefs, people will respect you.”
Aliza Hollander, one of the coordinator’s of The Buzz, said she was pleased with the turnout of about 40 people.
“I was very inspired to see how many students attended the kick-off event, and we’re excited for the weekly event to grow.”