Muslim Journeys Continues

muslim journeys

The Muslim Journeys program at the University of Redlands will feature several film screenings in February and March 2014 on campus.

“Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football” will be shown from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in Gregory 161. This 2011 documentary, directed and produced by Rashid Ghazi ’89, follows a high school football team in Michigan that is comprised primarily of Arab-American players practicing for the big game during the last 10 days of Ramadan. Dr. Bill Maury-Holmes will introduce the film and lead a discussion.

“The programs are discussion-based,” Melissa Cardenas-Dow, program director and outreach librarian for the Armacost Library, said. “It provides opportunities for participants to ask questions, to learn, and to further develop their own understanding about the topics discussed. Also, the Muslim Journeys programs are all instances that serve to build bridges, between opposing opinions, across generations, and towards common ground.”

The program started when the University applied to the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf grant in October 2012. An opening reception was held in February 2013, and Cardenas-Dow continued to work with other departments on campus to plan and coordinate events.

“We then solicited additional input to continue our efforts by applying for the Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys grant that focuses on discussions on five books within the Bookshelf,” Cardenas-Dow said. “We won this grant as well. All our Muslim Journeys events are scheduled to end in late March 2014, with our last film screening.”

The year-long program has exposed students and the community to a variety of films that otherwise might have been overlooked.

“The response has been pretty good,” Cardenas-Dow said. “We had chosen the theme ‘Points of View,’ which Dr. Patrick Wing had based a First Year Seminar on for the fall 2013 semester. Our film series has just started, but I think there is interest among faculty and students. I am very pleased to note that several faculty members have incorporated the films and texts into their curriculum. Attendance at the book discussions at A.K. Smiley Public Library has, at times, exceeded our modest expectations. With other events on campus, such as the faculty-led discussion on Syria and the guest lecture by Dr. Reza Aslan, that focus on current events in the Middle East, I think the events have provided different community members with means to learn, understand, and even question, opinions and assumptions about Islam, Muslims, and the depictions of both in American mass media.”

Cardenas-Dow is hoping to receive feedback to see if the community would like similar events to take place next year.

“All the Muslim Journeys programs are made possible by two grants provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association,” she said. “Local support is provided by University of Redlands Campus Diversity & Inclusion, Peace Academy, and A.K. Smiley Public Library. The NEH and ALA have generously offered all grant winners the opportunity to receive additional funding and continue programming work. I would be interested to hear from both the University community - faculty, students, staff, and administrators - and the Redlands community about continuing with the Muslim Journeys programs.”

Upcoming Muslim Journeys events:

• Thursday, Feb. 13, 7 to 9 p.m., Gregory 161. Screening of “Prince Among Slaves,” a 2007 narrative documentary about Abdul Rahman, based on a biography by Terry Alford of the same title. Dr. Patrick Wing will introduce the film and lead a discussion.
• Thursday, Feb 20, 7 to 9 p.m., Gregory 161. Screening of “Reel Bad Arabs,” a 2006 documentary about negative depictions of Arabs in American film. Dr. Patrick Wing will introduce and facilitate discussion at the event.
• Friday, March 21, 7 to 9 p.m., Casa Loma Room. Screening of an animated film based on Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel/memoir “Persepolis.” Leela MadhavaRau, associate dean of Campus Diversity & Inclusion, will introduce the film and facilitate discussion.
• Thursday, March 27, 7 to 9 p.m., Gregory 161. Screening of the 2011 documentary “5 Broken Cameras.” Chaplain John Walsh will introduce and lead a discussion on the film.

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Posted: Jan. 31, 2014

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