Mark Zuckerberg meets with Muslim students at U-M Dearborn - WNEM TV 5

Mark Zuckerberg meets with Muslim students at U-M Dearborn

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Source: University of Michigan-Dearborn Source: University of Michigan-Dearborn

Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg brought his listening tour to Michigan.

On Friday, Zuckerberg had a conversation with Muslim students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Zuckerberg posted about the experience on his Facebook page.

"Most of the students I met were immigrants, including from war zones in Palestine, Jordan and Iraq," Zuckerberg wrote. "They told me stories of the violence they experienced, including an early memory of having her building bombed and jumping into her mother's arms even though she couldn't do anything to prevent it."

Zuckerberg said even in Dearborn, a city with a large and establish Muslim community, some students said they felt the need to self-monitor.

“One student told me about feeling like she has to be on her best behavior at the grocery store, letting white people cut in front of her in line to prove that Muslims are nice people. Over time, she said, ‘I've learned not to apologize for my identity. I'm Arab. I'm Muslim. This is who I am.’ But it's still a struggle,” Zuckerberg wrote. 

Zuckerberg said it was a feeling that was common among students, but lacked the necessary conversation to break barriers. 

"One of the students I met told me he knows a lot of white Americans feel marginalized and discriminated against, too. But even with that in common, it's still hard to start a conversation. 'I'll have my assumptions and they'll have theirs, and it's going to stop there,' he said. 'Communication could break those barriers.'"

The sit down was part of Zuckerberg’s tour of the country. He's meeting with people to learn about their unique struggles and way of life.

Zuckerberg's goal is to visit people in all 50 states this year and hear about their struggles.

The University commented on Zuckerberg’s post saying, “Thank you for taking the time to speak with our students! We agree, having conversations and finding common ground is a great step toward mutual understanding.” 

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