What will Ramadan be like for a newlywed couple in the US?
Kickiing off the Ramadan guest blog post series ...
I had the unique opportunity of sitting down, one on one, with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Please enjoy this our conversation:
“Islam and the West: Clashing Beliefs or Common Values?” seeks to deconstruct both the Middle East’s and America’s conceptions of the “Other” by finding common ground to stand on. Samuel Huntington’s theory of the clash of civilizations has dominated our perceptions of the other side of the world, but we must ask ourselves, is it with good reason? Crossing Borders uses the shared experiences of four American and four Moroccan students to bridge the supposedly vast gap between the Muslim world and the West. During their journey through Morocco, these students find that they are not so different after all.
As an educator, I believe that intercultural experiences have an important role to play in a world situation that is – to say the least – very confusing. This year, 2011, marks a decade since the tragic events of September 11. Today's undergraduate college students were eight to twelve years old in 2001 and consequently have spent their intellectually formative years with post-9/11 media coverage, little of which addressed the need for intercultural understanding.
A press release from Park 51 announced that Imam Fiesal Abdul Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, will no longer be speaking on the organization's behalf. Imam Fiesal will begin his personal speaking tour next week. He and Ms. Khan will also not be raising funds for the project on this speaking tour.
Moving words by Imam Fiesal Abdul Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, regarding the goals of Park 51, New York City's proposed Islamic Center.
During IEW, Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq gave their 2 hour presentation about their “Ramadan Roadtrip: 30 mosques/30 days/30 states” at several colleges. I received terrific feedback about how they created meaningful dialogue about Muslims in the US. (You can read more of my postings about their project and can watch the interview I did with them.)
Aman and Bassam sent this video “shout out” while on the road last week. (I thought it was particularly appropriate that they’re driving while filming – a big part of their 30 mosques adventure.)
During Ramadan 2011, the guys will be visiting the 20 states that they didn’t visit during this past Ramadan Roadtrip. That primarily means they’ll be in the midwest, west coast and Alaska/Hawaii!
If you are interested in booking Aman and Bassam to speak about their experiences traveling across the US to learn about other Muslims in America, please feel free to contact me. They are available from February – July 2011 and during the week of September 11th, 2011, then again beginning in October 2011. They can also speak outside of the US; In fact they just returned from a speaking engagement at the US Department of State’s Youth Leadership Conference in Prague, Czech Republic.
Melibee Global has been assisting them with bookings at no additional cost (beyond their standard speaking fee) to the universities/conferences. I speak with Aman/Bassam regularly, so am happy to facilitate getting them to your campus or conference…and even you’re commencement!
Please share this posting with others in your life who may be interested in their 2 hour multimedia presentation (which includes Q&A.) And make sure you mention that you heard about this wonderful project through Melibee Global, especially after their shout out!
I have previously written about the unique challenges of flying as a Muslim. This week, I heard a fantastic interview with the musician “The Narcicyst” aka Yassin Alsalman, a Canadian hip hop artist whose family’s originated in Iraq. Alsalman was detained for 5 hours US border patrol at the airport in Toronto. You may be thinking – ok, so what, lots of people are stopped at the border? But this particular Canadian is a popular musician who wrote a song called “Phatwa” and made a music video ABOUT being stopped at the US border.
I heard an interesting interview with Michel Abboud, the architect for the proposed Islamic cultural center known at Park 51. (I suppose we could also call it "the Islamic cultural center formerly known as the Cordoba House and incorrectly called the World Trade Center mosque.)