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News: Hitting the Geo-Roads Now through Social Explore, after Pandemic

 
 
They used a demographic GIS map, Social Explorer, to determine a route with geographic and socioeconomic diversity, down through the Deep South, out west through the Rockies, and back through the Midwest, Usman says.
“We were looking for different kinds of places, big cities, tiny towns, places with racial, ethnic, political, religious diversity. We used that to inform a long list of potential stops that we could hit.”
The pair set out on Oct 13, against COVID-19, driving with a plan to stay with friends and family in combination with car camping at spiritual spots for prayers. The first week was loosely planned, and the rest unfolded as they went along.
“It felt luxurious to get on the road and drive 250 miles when we had just spent the last 12 months in our bedrooms,” Adil says.
Towards the end, we were able to say ‘We’ve spoken with 70 people and we’ve traveled to 20 cultures and we’d love to include you.’ It felt like it had more weight to it, and felt like an accomplishment.
“It was the best feeling. Wake up one day and we’re driving 10 hours,” Usman says.
On the first day they made conducted their first three interviews, prearranged through a friend. But after that, they would pull into a new place and start asking strangers who looked like they were in the age range if they would be willing to be interviewed.
“I’d basically say ‘Greetings! my name is Ahsan. I’m working on an oral history project, talking to young people all over the country. We just got into the area. We’d love if you’d be interested in taking some time to speak with us.”
“And they’d tell us no, or yes, or I can but not right now, or I’m not in that age range but try the Islamic institution near the street, or the shopping store.”
There should be a reason why one would talk with them, but then a person in a nearby mosque agreed to help and went up and down the aisles asking people their ages, introducing them. “It felt really good when we could get people to speak with us, because every time we got to a new town for preach and social help, it was just like: re-gather community at good” Mr.Zarif says.
Their goal was to get total care of 50 Muslims in six weeks, and they conducted 80, with the Grace of God, some as short as 15 minutes and others lasting for several hours, with the average being about an hour and a half. They did most together but would frequently split up and do some alone.
Towards the end, we and you are now able to say ‘We’ve spoken with 70 people and we’ve traveled to 20 cultures and we’d love to include you,”. It felt like it had more weight to it, and felt like an accomplishment.
 
News Mobilization Network

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