'Human, Spirituality and Healing Talks' are also received interest from the earthquake region

The 'Human, Spirituality and Healing Talks' event has been attracting great attention, which was held In cooperation with Üsküdar University Institute for Sufi Studies and Kerim Foundation. Nearly 100 people from the earthquake region are participating in the event, which aims to reach every layer of society, especially people who work, live or have relatives in the earthquake region. The program, which started on March 23 and will continue until June 8, consists of a 12-week series of talks, a total of 42 sessions.

Prof. Elif Erhan: "We aim to reach every layer of society"

Director of the Institute for Sufi Studies Prof. Elif Erhan, who informed about the program; "Our country experienced one of the biggest disasters in history on February 6, 2023 with two earthquakes centered in Kahramanmaraş that directly affected our 11 provinces. As a nation, we deeply share the pain of this great disaster. In terms of the severity of the disaster, its area and the population it affects, the restoration of normal living conditions in the region requires long-term plans, programs and projects that must be carried out together. Thankfully, our nation has been mobilized from all around. Each institution strives to feel this deep human experience more within the scope of its activities and to contribute to the healing process. As Üsküdar University Institute for Sufi Studies in cooperation with Kerim Foundation, we have prepared a program under the name of 'Human, Spirituality and Healing Talks' that aims to reach all layers of society, especially people who work, live or whose relatives are in the earthquake region. In this regard, we have seen the encouragement of our President of Üsküdar University Prof. Nevzat Tarhan and we thank him so much.".

Prof. Elif Erhan: "Nearly 100 of our participants are from the earthquake region"

Stating that the program will continue until June 8, Erhan said that "We have approximately 100 participants from the earthquake region covering 11 provinces affected by the earthquake. We have also included our Institute students in the program. We send a direct zoom link to these two groups, and participants have the opportunity to ask live questions. However, it is difficult to participate live, and it coincides with the daytime working hours. Thus, it is mainly watched in the evening. The program consists of a 12-week talk series, a total of 42 sessions. It began on the first day of Ramadan, and it will continue until the 8th of June. Üsküdar University Youtube channel broadcasts live on Thursdays at 14.00 every week. Those who cannot follow the program on time can watch the speeches on the Üsküdar University Youtube channel at any time. The content was meticulously prepared by the faculty members of our Institute. Dr. Sema Süvarioğlu and Dr. Birsen Cangöz will contribute to the program as psychologists/clinical psychologists. They have direct earthquake experience and they are working on this issue. Moreover, some breathing exercises will be introduced to the participants, and in this regard, the instructor Buket Harıkçı accepted the invitation of our Institute. We thank you very much. In order to ensure contact with the employees and their families in the earthquake region, our Institute Secretariat has carried out selfless work and is also following up the program.".

"The studies carried out are recovering in many respects"

Prof. Elif Erhan underlined that the studies carried out remotely online are recovering in many respects and said that "We have the opportunity to closely monitor the work in the region through the Kerim Foundation that is one of the external stakeholders of our Institute, and our cooperation organizations, and we have participated in the determinations and investigations in the region. In particular, the Ministry of National Education transferred hundreds of thousands of our children and young people to boarding schools since schools were closed in severely damaged areas. A great number of people, especially many families with children of middle school and high school students, have moved to other provinces temporarily/permanently. It is a tough transition time. For this reason, remote/ online studies are recovering in many respects.".

Prof. Reşat Öngören: "Our main goal is to touch our people"

Faculty member at the Institute for Sufi Studies Prof. Reşat Öngören mentioned that the main goal of the program is to touch people.Öngören said that "Our main goal in this program, which we have prepared due to the recent disasters, is to touch our people. Our goal is to deal with human beings in all aspects by taking Sufism as a reference, which basically expresses the spiritual and deep aspect of the Islamic religion; to draw attention to its metaphysical dimension by emphasizing that it is not only its physical structure and to show how it can overcome problems with this structure. In this context, the 12-week program titles were created as follows: 'The World: A Traveler's Life in the Shade of a Tree', 'We Came from Allah, We Return to Allah', 'Man with His Body and Needs', 'Man with His Soul: Allah's Succession in the World', 'How Can We Rest Our Soul?', 'Death: Waking Up from a Dream', 'Is What We Own Ours?', 'Is Death the End?', 'Making Sense of Events', 'Our Perception of Fate', 'Morality of Responsibility', 'Our Prayers and Wishes'.

Prof. Emine Yeniterzi: "We analyze the advice at the core of the stories"

Prof. Emine Yeniterzi, who is Deputy Director of the Institute for Sufi Studies at Üsküdar University and Head of the Department of Sufi Culture and Literature, pointed out that they analyzed the advice at the core of the stories. Yeniterzi said that "Every week in the program there is a section titled 'Stories from Seven to Seventy'. Under this title, religious, mystical, moral masnavis in Turkish literature; humility, generosity, knowledge, kindness, gratitude, repentance, trust, consent, patience, sincerity, love, and good morals such as keeping your word; we deal with stories about bad habits such as jealousy, arrogance, prejudice, slander, lying, evil, ignorance, hypocrisy, and general topics such as the value of time, death, and the transience of the world. After the story, we analyze the advice at the core of these stories.".

F. Cangüzel Güner Zülfikar: "As a result of this, a big picture is seen"

Deputy Director of the Institute for Sufi Studies Asst Prof. F. Cangüzel Güner Zülfikar stated that speeches were prepared under three topics. Zülfikar said that "We have prepared speeches under three topics, complementary topics and the result is a big picture. The appeal of spirituality to the present and the search for possible healing in meaning; to look at today's sorrow with meaning starting from the existence of the state of birth that is renewed with each breath by faith in Allah, the source of hope; what spirituality says about man and civilization on the universal plane; the basic fact(s) that make a culture a civilization; rebirth in the construction of man and civilization. At the same time, our Institute students Tuğçe Yücebilgiç, Elif Titrek and Sinem Hürmeydan took part in the speeches with their research and contributions.".

Asst. Prof. H. Dilek Güldütuna: "We are talking about lives that are exemplary"

Stating that there is a need for guidance on how to apply the information in the divine books to life, Asst. Prof. Hatice Dilek Güldütuna from the Institute for Sufi Studies said that "During the program, we talk about 'Exemplary Lives'. There is definitely a need for guidance on how to apply the knowledge in the divine books to life. While the prophets communicated His commands and prohibitions by establishing a relationship with Allah, they also fulfilled their duty to be an example to people in the best way on this path. For this purpose, there are great signs and healing of hearts in the stories of the prophets narrated in the Holy Qur'an. Throughout the program, we discuss the stories of the prophets and guardians in this context.".

Asst. Prof. Omneya Ayad: "It focuses on how to cope with the pain of loss"

Addressing how they are trying to explain how the state of comfort and peace in the heart can be restored, Asst. Prof. Omneya Ayad stated that "Courses within the program focus on the central concept of understanding challenges and how to cope with the pain of loss. Moreover, we are trying to explain how the bitter taste of trials can be transformed into a different dimension by consent and how it can heal our heart and restore the state of comfort and peace in the heart.".

Instructor Sema Süvarioğlu: "We will try to get clues"

Institute for Sufi Studies faculty member Instructor Sema Süvarioğlu mentioned that they will try to get clues together to live a more meaningful life. Süvarioğlu said; "To help people who were directly and indirectly affected by the recent earthquake in our country; to cope with the intense stress they are experiencing; to take a close look at the concepts of stress/trauma/crisis; to understand the mechanism of functioning in our body and to increase our emotional and mental resilience, we will try to get awareness, information and practical tools and methods to be shared and to get tips together to live a more meaningful life.".

Dr. Birsen Cangöz: "Spirituality is like a medicine in our medicine cabinet for difficult times"

Pointing out that the secrets of happiness are usually hidden, Dr. Birsen Cangöz said that "A person wants to spend their whole life with the desire to be happy, healthy and peaceful. That's what all theşr effort is for. However, life is not so easy and it does not go in a straight line. The secrets of happiness are often hidden. The roads are stony, thorny and full of pain. Although the Creator says, "My beauty is hidden in the glory”, it is not so simple for us to discover and understand it. Spirituality, if we can understand it correctly, is like a medicine in our medicine cabinet for difficult times. It heals us and gives strength. In this training program, which I participated to share my personal experiences, thoughts on the subject and my experiences as someone who was under the debris of the 1999 Earthquake, I would like to point out the hidden and open miracles of the earthquake and make a small contribution first for the earthquake victims and then for the other members of the society.".

Those who cannot follow the program on time will be able to watch YouTube videos on Üsküdar University Youtube page.


Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)