Indonesian students in Sydney establish discussion forum

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Several Indonesian students studying in Sydney, Australia, recently established a discussion forum that has become a medium to deliberate on various topics, including issues faced during their stay in the country.

“The discussion forum comprises Indonesian Muslim students from various universities in Sydney,” Desy F. Arief, chairman of the discussion forum named Ratifah Circle, stated in an interview via the WhatsApp service messenger here on Saturday.

Arief, who has resided in Sydney for decades, remarked that the Ratifah Circle discussion forum was originally a gathering activity for some Indonesian doctoral and masters students in Sydney.

“We discuss several issues, ranging from challenges in studying in Australia and fostering families in foreign countries to the problems commonly experienced by Indonesian Muslims living in Western countries,” she noted.

In a bid to strengthen relations among Indonesian students in Sydney, the discussion forum called Ratifah Circle was formed, Arief revealed.

She noted that the forum held a routine discussion that was open to all Indonesian students.

“This forum has a distinctive character that distinguishes it from other forums or discussion groups. Here, we discuss problems faced by Muslims in the western world and formulate the right solutions from an Islamic point of view. This activity is in line with the character of most participants who are students, so the intellectual aspect is highlighted,” Arief stated.

She further explained that the forums name “Ratifah” meant women, who are guided and mature, while circle is the early tradition followed during teaching and learning activities in Islam in which participants sit in a circular formation on the floor.

“The use of the word circle is deliberately not translated into Indonesian to depict the geographical identity where the forum is located, which is in Australia,” Arief added.

Source: ANTARA News