Trappist monks living in Tibhirine were popular among Muslims and Christians alike, having fostered strong ties with their neighbors in Algeria. The monks often wrote letters for the illiterate and had the monastery’s doctor heal the sick.
Eileen Jennings ’64, admits that she spent most of her life largely unaware of the specific teachings of the Muslim religion, and its many similarities with Christianity. But that changed dramatically in 2007, when she met an Afghan man named Israr who has since brought religious tolerance, sustaining friendship, and a new calling into Jennings’ life. Today, through the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations Jennings has reached out to share those gifts with the Merrimack community.