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Cornette Library to Host Sixth Session in Muslim Journeys Series

March 11, 2014

COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

Cornette Library to Host Sixth Session in Muslim Journeys Series

CANYON, Texas—Cornette Library at West Texas A&M University will host the sixth session of its Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys series with a discussion on Amin Maalouf’s Leo Africanus beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 20 at the Southwest Branch of the Amarillo Public Library in Amarillo. Dr. Bryan Vizzini, WTAMU associate professor of history, will lead the discussion on the book.

Cornette Library is one of 125 libraries and state humanities councils across the country selected to participate in the project, which seeks to familiarize public audiences in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world. Funding for Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys is provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA). Cornette Library is hosting the free series in eight different reading/viewing and discussion sessions.

Maalouf’s book is a fictional account of the true-to-life Hasan al-Wassan, a 16th century traveler and writer. The book, full of adventure and history, tells the story of young al-Wassan’s exile from Granada to Morocco and his travels across North Africa to Cairo and beyond before being captured, sold into slavery and ending up as a prisoner of the pope in Rome. Maalouf, a native of Beirut, has traveled the world as a journalist. He settled in Paris and eventually became editor-in-chief of the weekly Jeune Afrique. He now dedicates his time to literature and is the author of novels, essays and opera librettos. His works, written in French and translated into more than 40 languages, include The Gardens of Light, The Rock of Tanios, Ports of Call, Love from Afar, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes and more.

The remaining programs in the series will look at one more DVD and one more book that explore the theme of connected histories. The library hosts one program per month through May. The next book is In an Antique Land: History in the Guise of a Traveler’s Tale on May 15. Copies of the book to be will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 25 participants at the meetings prior to each book discussion.

The remaining DVD to be viewed and discussed is Koran by Heart. The discussion will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 17 in Old Main, Room 220 on campus.

All of the books to be discussed in this series are part of the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys. The books and films comprising the Bookshelf were selected with the advice of librarians and cultural programming experts, as well as distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, world literature, Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies and Islamic studies.

The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf is a project of NEH, conducted in cooperation with the ALA Public Programs Office, with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components were provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts.

For information about Cornette Library and its resources and services, please visit the library’s website at wtamu.edu/library. For more information about the Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys series, contact Mary Jarvis at 806-651-2225 or at mjarvis@wtamu.edu.



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