Ruman Project (RP) is a research and advocacy organization working to foster interfaith relations and counter Islamophobia.
RP envisions a future where Western nations are no longer afraid of Islam and the Muslim communities living in the West and around the globe.
We work to ensure Islam is tolerated within civil societies and Muslim communities are supported within policy making decisions in order to achieve interfaith harmony on a global level.
Ruman Project publishes urgent advocacy briefs to draw awareness to the xenophobic and Islamophobic human rights violations occurring globally. Our briefs provide insight on how to help address these issues and prevent such atrocities from occurring. All information produced by RP is made available to the public and sent to policy makers, religious leaders, and activists.
RP also organizes interfaith and integration events, campaigns, and programs for Muslim, Christian, and refugee women. As we believe in open and intersectional urban societies, as well as the active participation of refugees in cultural and social life, we aim to empower and educate refugee and local women through connection, action, and integration.
"we have a human duty to open our hearts, minds, and doors to those in need. imagine how beautiful and peaceful our world would be, if we didn't let seeds of fear and hate grow in our gardens and feed our souls. will you help us dig up those weeds before it's too late?"
Whitney Buchanan, Founder and Managing Director of Ruman Project
Ruman Project, formerly the Middle East Collective, was founded by Whitney Buchanan in 2016 as a result of the increased levels of Islamophobia in America, partially due to U.S. presidential candidates’ political debates and the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels.
Whitney obtained her Master of Global Affairs in Global Affairs and International Cooperation from the American University in Cairo. She has lived in Turkey, Egypt, Germany, and Uganda since 2009, which has shaped her worldview and love for the MENA region. Born in Tennessee, Whitney spent her adolescent years below the Mason-Dixon line, where she began advocating for women’s empowerment and religious tolerance.
Meaning of "Ruman"
We named our organization after the Arabic word "ruman", which means "pomegranate". The pomegranate originated in the region extending from modern-day Iran through Afghanistan and Pakistan to northern India, and it has been grown since ancient times. Today it is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and has become more common in shops throughout North America and Europe.
The pomegranate is mentioned in the Bible and the Qur'an. Some Christians believe the ancient fruit is a symbol that represents eternal life and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Islam the pomegranate is believed to be a fruit of Jannah (Paradise) and some Muslims associate it with prosperity, wellness, and wealth.