People Of All Faiths Come Together For The Library’s Muslim Journeys


Date posted: September 10, 2013

Ben Burdick 

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” —Rumi

This fall, the Lakewood Public Library will be hosting a series of programs that will bring to light the cultural, historical and spiritual lives of Muslims in America and around the world. Topics range from Western perspectives on Muslim history to the loving and universal poetry of Rumi to the rise of the Islam-inspired Hizmet social reform movement. There will be documentaries about the life of Muhammad, the majesty of Islamic art and a conservative Muslim woman’s struggle to educate young Pakistani women. A charming, fictional film will provide a glimpse of everyday life in Turkey and an animated film will illustrate the story of a headstrong young girl growing up in the middle of the Iranian revolution. Children’s programs will focus on arts and crafts of henna design, calligraphy, mosaics and ebru (water marbling). An ensemble of Sufi musicians will present a glorious concert of openhearted music that welcomes all faiths. And a masterpiece of Persian poetry will be brought to life by actors and musicians reading selections from The Conference of the Birds. The series begins on Saturday, September 7 with a documentary film, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, introduced and moderated by Dr. Zeki Saritoprak of John Caroll University. A complete schedule with program descriptions and more can be found at www.lakewoodpubliclibrary.org/muslimjourneys.

People Of All Faiths Come TogetherMuslim Journeys is a part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Bridging Cultures initiative, which engages the power of the humanities to promote understanding and mutual respect for people with diverse histories, cultures and perspectives within the United States and abroad. The grant came with the gift of the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, a collection of books selected by the American Library Association to help audiences become more familiar with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims around the world and within the United States. The five themes—American Stories, Connected Histories, Literary Reflections, Pathways of Faith and Points of view provide trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations. The books (with handy links to the Library’s catalog) can also be found at www.lakewoodpubliclibrary.org/muslimjourneys.

In addition to support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library has received invaluable help from the Turkish American Society of Ohio—Cleveland (TASO) whose newest Turkish American Cultural Center stands at 13303 Madison Avenue next door to the Library’s Madison Branch. Two of the programs in October will take place at the Cultural Center. Tours of the facility, along with light refreshments, will be provided afterwards. Murat Gurer of TASO said, “We are excited to be working with Lakewood Public Library on these outreach programs. It’s a wonderful opportunity to clear up misconceptions and share beautiful ideas.”

Source: The Lakewood Observer , September 5, 2013


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