Birmingham Public Library to Present Program Featuring Muslim Journeys Bookshelf Collection from NEH, ALA

Birmingham Public Library will present Journeys Through Islamic History and Religion, a free program for public audiences featuring some of the resources in the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys, a collection of materials from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA). Journeys Through Islamic History and Religion features Dr. Walter Ward, Assistant Professor of History, UAB. The program will be held on Monday, July 8, 6:30 p.m., at Avondale Library, 509 40th Street South. The program aims 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. The Springville Road Library will be screening one of the documentaries from the collection, Prince among Slaves, Sunday, July 7, at 3:00 p.m. The Springville Road Library is located at 1224 Springville Road. The Birmingham Museum of Art will present an Artbreak, Tuesday, July 9, at noon. Museum curators will explore a variety of Islamic art pieces currently on exhibit at the Museum. For more information about the Artbreak check the Birmingham Museum of Art website at

The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf includes the following titles, organized by theme:

American Stories
  •  A Quiet Revolution by Leila Ahmed
  •  Prince Among Slaves by Terry Alford
  • The Columbia Sourcebook of Muslims in the United States, edited by Edward E. Curtis IV
  • Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel
  • The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson

Connected Histories
  • The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance by Jim Al-Khalili
  • In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh
  • When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks Who Created the “Riches of the East” by Stewart Gordon
  • Leo Africanus by Amin Maalouf, translated by Peter Sluglett
  • The Ornament of the World by Maria Rosa Menocal

Literary Reflections
  • Minaret by Leila Aboulela
  • The Arabian Nights (anonymous), edited by Muhsin Mahdi, translated by Husain Haddawy
  • The Conference of the Birds by Farid al-Din Attar, translated by Dick Davis and Afkham Darbandi
  • Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi
  • Snow by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Maureen Freely

Pathways of Faith
  • Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan A. C. Brown
  • The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life by Ingrid Mattson
  • The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam by F. E. Peters
  • The Art of Hajj by Venetia Porter
  • Rumi: Poet and Mystic, edited and translated by Reynold A. Nicholson

Points of View
  • In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
  • Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi
  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
  • House of Stone by Anthony Shadid
  • Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie

Art Architecture and Film
  • The Art of Hajj by Venetia Porter
  • Islamic Arts by Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair
  • Islamic Art Spots (short films designed, written, and presented by D. Fairchild Ruggles, developed especially for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, to come in January 2013)
  • Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World (2011)
  • Prince Among Slaves (2007)
  • Koran by Heart (2011)

For information about these new materials, please visit or contact Sandi Lee, 205-226-7342 or

The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association. Major support for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.


Anonymous said…
Will the generous Quran be available? People need to have access to this "holy" book so they can see for themselves what Islam teaches.
Melinda Shelton said…
The Qur'an is available to the public at our Birmingham Public branches and at the Central location too. Thank you for your question and I hope we will see you at one of the programs.