Wilkinson Public Library: Muslim Journeys

51td+-AsRJL._SL500_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-big,TopRight,35,-73_OU01_AA300_The Wilkinson Public Library is one of just 125 libraries and humanities councils in the U.S. to receive an American Library Association/National Endowment for the Humanities grant to present Muslim Journeys.

The scholar-led reading and discussion program is designed to foster opportunities for community conversations about the histories, faith and cultures of Muslims around the world and within the United States. The grant was announced in May and WPL’s program begins this month, January 2014.

Muslim Journeys is centered around five books with the theme Connected Histories.

Centuries before the dawn of the modern age, the world was already a surprisingly interconnected place. Readings for this theme introduces a way of understanding the past in which Islam and the West are seen as products of a shared, cosmopolitan, and inextricably intertwined past. These books (listed below) help us envision the world of our ancestors, which was as complex and dynamically interconnected as the world we live in today.

In addition to the monthly book discussions, led by local scholars Lawry de Bivort and Shoshanna Brower, the program will include Islamic themed films, Sufi poetry workshops, and of course, delicious Middle Eastern finger food. Anyone interested can participate in as much or as little as suits their interests and schedule. Copies of the books in the series, all available now at WPL, are free-of-charge and participants can keep them.

The kickoff celebration for Muslim Journeys is on Tuesday, January 14th at 6:00 and features Middle Eastern food from Caravan and a screening of the film “Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet.”

In addition to the kickoff celebrations, additional film nights are Tuesday,  January 21 & 28, with “Inside the Koran: A Journey Into the Heart of Islam” and “Koran By Heart: One Chance to Remember” respectively.

The books in the series are as follows:

“When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks Who Created the “Riches of the East” by Stewart Gordon. Meeting January 30, 6:00 p.m.

While European civilization stagnated in the Dark Ages, Asia flourished as the wellspring of science, philosophy, and religion. Linked by a web of spiritual, commercial, and intellectual connections, the distant regions of Asia’s vast civilization, from Arabia to China, hummed with trade, international diplomacy, and the exchange of ideas. Gordon has fashioned a compelling and unique look at Asia from AD 700 to 1500, a time when Asia was the world, by relating the personal journeys of Asia’s many travelers.

“The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance” by Jim Al-Khalili. Meeting February 27, 6:00 p.m.

“The Ornament of the World” by Maria Rosa Menocal. Meeting March 27, 6:00 p.m.

“Leo Africanus” by Amin Maalouf. Meeting April 24, 6:00 p.m.

“In an Antique Land” by Amitav Ghosh. Meeting May 29, 6:00 p.m.

For further information, contact Laura Colbert, Community Relations, 970-728-4519 X 16 or Elissa Dickson, Adult Programs Specialist, 970-728-4519 x 47.

For a preview of “Muhammad: Legacy of A Prophet,” watch this video:

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