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The Athens Public Library located at 30 Home St. in Athens, Ohio. 

Children's math activities to highlight Islamic culture

On Saturday, the Ohio University Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the International Student Union (ISU) will co-host a celebration of math at the Athens Public Library, 30 Home St. 

“The theme of the event is Islamic Geometric Patterns (IGP), that was developed by a craftsman in the Muslim world, and used 8th to the 15th century,” Majed Zailaee, a PhD candidate studying math and the programming director of MSA, said in an email.

Buildings and holy places were adorned with these patterns, a tradition in which MSA hopes to share in greater depth with Athens. The group has hosted events called “math circles” for students and teachers at Athens elementary schools, as well as math nights for Athens residents and participated in the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival in Columbus. 

“We want to send the message that math can be enjoyable for students,” Zailaee said. “We will do this by engaging kids in activities that combine math and art. The kids will get to experience how people much older than them created these patterns.” 

There will be stations for younger kids to color the patterns, and older students and their parents can help create the intricate designs and learn the geometry behind the art. 

“The International Student Union (ISU) has supported the MSA with monetary resources to organize the event, and help them advertise the event to the community, while further spreading awareness of Islamic Geometry and culture,” Shiv Subedi, secretary of ISU, said in an email.

“It is free and open to the public, though the event is best suited for grades five and up,” said Sue Gallagher, the children’s librarian at the Athens Public Library. 


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