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Syma Sheikh, the intercultural community advisor, encourages, develops, and guides the deepening of cultural and spiritual life through the experience and appreciation of crossing one's own identity or background and sharing with related communities; and facilitates an ecumenical worldview and ethic of caring through cross-cultural celebratory, communal, cultural, and spiritual experience.
Syma was born and raised in Pakistan, where she studied Islam from elementary school through college. She chose Islamic studies as one of her subjects at the University of Karachi, Pakistan, which inspired her deep and continuing interest in the subject. She settled in the United States in 1997. Prior to coming to this country, she was employed by the U.S. diplomatic mission in Karachi, Pakistan. She served as the executive secretary of the U.S. Information Agency, and received three awards for excellent performance during her six-year tenure.
Hampshire is just the right place for Syma to share her knowledge of and interest in the further study of faiths with students. She has co-facilitated with students on programs of Dhur prayers, Desi lunches, and celebrations of Eid al Adha, Ramadan, Diwali, and Holi. She advises students about the Baha'i, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian faiths. Syma is the mother of three precious children and has a wonderful husband. Besides serving Hampshire, she also works as an interpreter for state offices, schools, and two major medical centers in the area. She enjoys reading and travel.
Syma is honored to be at Hampshire College and to work with the wonderful staff of the spiritual life office and the community as a whole. All students, staff, faculty, and alumni are always welcome to talk with her.