Dear Professor Barlas,
While it’s only been a year and a half since I took your Understanding Islam course in Sophomore year, the class, and your teaching, have had great impacts on me. You took a religion that I had no context outside of the news and 9/11 and managed to break it out of that cage looking at it as a historical and political force since its inception, a religious text in the Qur’an, and the various roles/translations it continues to garner to this day. I’m still holding on to several texts from the course including your Believing Women in Islam which I plan on re-reading someday. Not only that, you were a great friend. I remember dinner at your house with the class and all the amazing food that was prepared for us. Even though we still sat around in a circle as in our everyday classroom, it still was a great experience to get to know you, and the others, not just as students and professor, but as people outside the classroom. My only regret is that I only took one of your classes, but I am very glad that I did take Understanding Islam and that we were able to meet. I look forward to any and all future encounters we may have.