Posted by on February 07, 2012 in Blog

By Dalal Hillou

By 2013, the first liberal arts Muslim college may be established in Berkeley, California. Zaytuna Institute - from which the proposed college stems - was founded in 1996. After its founding, Zaytuna quickly gained a reputation for providing leading educational programs and publications for the surrounding and national Muslim community. In 2009, Zaytuna College was created with the purpose of serving as an institution dedicated to higher learning with a curriculum in Islamic Studies and Arabic, as well as in the humanities and social sciences. Holding classes in rented buildings, the school has never had its own building or defined campus. Now, three years after its founding, the school is finally pursuing its goal of securing a permanent campus and solidifying its place in academia among other American institutions of higher learning.

In order to obtain its own building, Zaytuna College needs to fundraise. Their upcoming fundraising event, titled “Brick by Brick”, is focused on the concept of building the college one brick at a time. The fundraiser dinner features Imam Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, and Dr. Hatem Bazian, prominent American Muslim community leaders and co-founders of the Zaytuna Institute.  The fundraiser will take place February 18 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California and will begin at 6:30 P.M. The event is charging $45 per person or $350 for a table of 10. Donors may contribute to the building process by purchasing a brick for $1000, which will have their name engraved on it and be on display at the college. During “Brick by Brick”, the founders of Zaytuna will elaborate on the successes of the past year and announce the details of the school’s future location.

Zaytuna College offers Bachelor’s programs focusing on Islamic religious practices and theology as well as Arabic Language.  According to Zaytuna’s website, “the curriculum emphasizes key foundational texts; an in-depth examination of critical methodological issues; a solid command of the Arabic language; a familiarity with the most important Islamic sciences; and a firm grounding in the social sciences and the humanities. This curriculum also fulfills the requirements established by the most rigorous accrediting organizations of American higher education.” Zaytuna College is currently seeking accreditation from accrediting bodies in the U.S. as well as recognition from major Muslim educational institutions.

For more information, please visit Zaytuna College’s website or the event page for “Brick by Brick”.

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