“Alya and I have vastly different backgrounds — religiously, ethnically and socioeconomically. Yet, I couldn’t imagine my Princeton college experience without Alya. Our friendship primed us to lead a ‘Muslim Jewish dialogue camping trip’ to Arches National Park in Utah in Oct. 2019.
Alya (on the right in this photo from the trip) and I agreed it was a highlight of our #PrincetonU experience. Beyond learning more about each other, we connected through shared Muslim and Jewish experiences with the 10 students we led. Hiking and camping was the perfect way to form meaningful bonds. The first day, we made slightly awkward introductions. By the second day, we huddled together in a tent for warmth, laughing as if we had known each other for years. We hiked different trails and soaked up amazing views of enormous red rock arches and fins, with snow-capped mountains in the distance, while chatting away about our families, childhoods and religious backgrounds.
Those five days provided countless memories: icy wind whipping our tents at night; all of us lying on our backs, side by side, beneath the iconic Delicate Arch; singing while hiking on the edge of a picturesque canyon; stargazing at night. We’re so grateful for our trip sponsors: @outdooractionprinceton, @princeton_cjl & @princetonmlp.
I remember when Alya and I first met during spring semester our first year: she approached me and began talking about trees. In that moment, a seed was planted and our friendship has been growing ever since. Retrospectively, I don’t think either of us thought we’d click so well. Our differences did not manifest as barriers between our friendship, but rather avenues to learn and widen our perspectives of the world. Alya Ahmad is my buddy, my roommate, the person I always miss when she isn’t around. While we are each finishing the semester from home during #COVID19, we stay in touch through Snapchat or video calls.
What makes being apart so difficult is that we’re each other’s go-tos. We now realize that we took for granted each other’s steadfast company. Given how much we miss each other, it’s crazy to think we were ever strangers. ” — Olivia Meyers ’21 #Princetagram
Source : https://www.instagram.com/p/CALfoZGDh9s/