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Muslim Journeys: Bridging Cultures Bookshelf & Let's Talk About It: Spring 2014 Let's Talk About It

The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys is a collection of books, films, and other resources chosen with a view to familiarizing the American public with Islam and the cultural heritage of Islamic civilizations around the world.

Books Featured

Selected books in order of presentation

Arabian Nights, The

by Husain Haddawy, Translator, based on the fourteenth-century manuscript edited by Muhsin Mahdi

Conference of the Birds, The

by Farid Ud-Din Attar


by Orhan Pamuk


by Leila Aboulela

Let's Talk About It Muslim Journeys

Let's Talk About It:  Muslim Journeys is a series of book discussions that explore the Islamic culture.  Join us for a scholar-led book discussion or a thought-provoking documentary. 

Free Books are provided for participants!  Simply come to the Drake Library circulation desk and request the desired book(s).

All events will be held at Drake Library Quiet Study Room, Lower Level

The Arabian Nights Translated by Husain Haddawy

Friday, February 14th @ 3:30pm

Dr. Daniel Beaumont is a University of Rochester Associate Professor.   His areas of expertise are Arabic languages & literature, history of the blues and the music of delta blues man Son House.  Join us as Dr. Beaumont offers a brief lecture and leads a discussion exploring the many stories and the history of a beloved classic.

The Arabian Nights, also known as the One Thousand Nights and a Night, or Alf Layla wa-Layla in Arabic, is comprised of literally hundreds of stories, many contained within other stories, all dating back more than a thousand years. It is one of the most valuable treasures in literature. 

The Conference of the Birds by Farid Attar

 Rescheduled for Tuesday March 25th @ 5pm

Dr. Carl Davila, an Associate Professor here at SUNY Brockport , will introduce and lead a discussion of Farid Attar’s The Conference of the Birds

Attar's great mystical poem is among the most significant of all works of Persian literature.  By turns witty and profound, The Conference of the Birds transforms deep belief into magnificent poetry.

Snow by Orhan Pamuk

Friday, March 28th @ 3:30pm

Dr. Sevinç Türkkan is a Visiting Assistant Professor from the University of Illinois.  She is currently a faculty member of The College at Brockport English department.  A fan and scholar of Nobel Prize Laureate Orhan Pamuk, Dr. Türkkan will discuss Snow.

Snow was published in Turkish in 2002.  It was translated into English by Maureen Freely and published in 2004. The story encapsulates many of the political and cultural tensions of modern Turkey and successfully combines humor, social commentary, mysticism, and a deep sympathy with its characters.

Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi

Thursday, April 10th @ 5pm

Dr. Barbara LeSavoy, director of SUNY Brockport Women and Gender Studies Program, will present on the book Dreams of Trespass

Author Fatima Mernissi recounts her experiences and observations as a precocious young girl living in the harem, acutely aware of the many sacred frontiers she is forbidden to cross—the barriers between men and women and between Muslims and Christians, the threshold separating one room from another or the interior of the house from the street outside.

Minaret By Leila Aboulela

Wednesday, April 23rd @ 5pm

Dr. Pilapa Esara, Interim Chair of SUNY Brockport Anthropology Department, will offer a brief lecture and discussion of Minaret.  Dr. Esara's research and personal work with immigrants will add a unique insight into this moving tale.

Leila Aboulela’s novel Minaret follows the spiritual journey of a young woman exiled from her home in Sudan and forced to invent a new life in London, far from the comforts of her privileged childhood and secular education.

Movie & Lunch: Bring your lunch & enjoy a movie at Drake Library

In addition to the book discussions being offered Drake library is also hosting a selection of films that will be shown the last Friday of the month.  Everyone is welcome to bring their lunch and enjoy a film.  Screening will begin at 12:00pm @ the Quiet Study Room, late walk-ins welcome. 

The Muslims I Know

Friday, February 28th @ Noon

Enjoy the many scenes of the Rochester area, including Drake library, while watching this film quietly examine what it means to be Muslim in today's world. Caution: this well done film may cause you to desire to know more about the Muslim experience.

*Director of The Muslims I Know, Mara Ahmed, will join us for a post screening discussion.

Dissonance and Harmony: Arabic Music Goes West

Friday, March 28th @ Noon

*Encore Presentation Friday, April 11th @ 3:30pm

The film examines the struggles and successes of five very different Middle Eastern artists in their homelands and then tracks their experiences coming to the United States to collaborate with an equally eclectic group of accomplished Western musicians.   In the end, after much experimentation, there is common ground, and some great new Arab-American music.  Along the way the musicians discover that by exploring their cultural differences they find universal similarities

Stand Up: Muslim American Comics Come of Age

Friday, April 25th @ Noon

One path to understanding is to make people laugh. Now Muslim-Americans have come forward to help dismantle the stereotypes and hatred that have surged since September 11, 2001. STAND UP: Muslim American Comics Come of Age is the story of five comedians.  They chose to tell jokes when everyone else told them to lay low.