- The online workshops are part of the Exploring Challenging Conversations planning project funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., a private philanthropic foundation.
- The goal of the workshops is to enhance public awareness of cross-regional and intercultural religious understanding in Africa, the Middle East and their global diasporas.
- Workshop participants will be able to ask questions to the speakers and will also receive a list of library resources to further explore the topics.
Library of Congress Holds Online Workshops to Foster Understanding of Islam
Workshops Are Part of the Exploring Challenging Conversations Project Funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.
The Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division will host four workshops focusing on “Islam in Africa and the Middle East” beginning Friday, June 17, and continuing through November to foster a better understanding of Islamic culture. The online workshops are part of the Exploring Challenging Conversations planning project funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. to enhance public awareness of cross-regional and intercultural religious understanding in Africa, the Middle East and their global diasporas.
The planning project will roll out on Friday with a first virtual workshop featuring the screening and discussion of the film, “Prince Among Slaves,” focused on the true story of Abdul Rahman Ibrahima Sori, an African prince enslaved in the American south. Workshop participants will be able to ask questions to the speakers and will also receive a list of library resources to further explore the topics.
“The Lilly Endowment grant enables the library to mobilize its vast collection of Islamica to broaden public understanding about the history and contemporary relevance of an extraordinary religious culture and its influence on global humanity,” said Lanisa Kitchiner, chief of the African and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress.
The workshops will be livestreamed on Zoom and a shorter version of each one will be available for later online viewing.
June 17, 2022, 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Prince Among Slaves: The Amazing True Story of Abdul Rahman Ibrahima Sori, an African Prince Enslaved in the American South
Join the creators of “Prince Among Slaves” (Best Documentary American Black Film Festival, 2008) for a special Juneteenth screening and discussion.
Alex Kronemer, Executive Producer of Prince Among Slaves, along with Zaheer Ali, Executive Director of the Hutchins Institute for Social Justice at The Lawrenceville School; Fatimah Fanusie, Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Johns Hopkins University; and Prof. Michael Gomez, Silver Professor of History and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies at New York University will join the discussion following the screening.
Event link: https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1616731586
Sept. 22, 2022 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.
An Introduction to Islam in Africa
Educator and author Farhana Shah will introduce audiences to the history of Islam, how it began in Africa, and basic Muslim practices and culture.
Event link: https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1607883962
Oct. 20, 2022 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Contemporary Islamic Culture in Africa and the Middle East
This program will focus on literature, foods, music, and fashion in modern Muslim societies and their many influences.
Event link: https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1605827641
Nov. 10, 2022 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Islam in East Africa (Uganda, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania)
This program will focus on the history of Islam in East Africa and the evolution of Islamic culture in the region as seen in contemporary films and documentaries.
Event link: https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1606663375
Led by educators, researchers and historians, the four workshops are part of an Exploring Challenging Conversations planning project funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc., which also includes an online exhibition, symposia, and publications centered around the Library’s unparalleled international collections. A formal announcement on these will be made at a later date.
Africa and the Middle East comprise the birthplace of humankind, the origin point of Abrahamic religions and the cradle of ancient and modern civilizations. Despite their significance in humanity, these parts of the world remain among the most misunderstood. Through its collections, exhibitions, expertise and reference services, the African and Middle Eastern Division plays a vital role in advancing public understanding and academic scholarship in the religious histories, cultures and practices of 77 countries and regions in Africa and the Middle East.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.
Media Contact: María Peña, [email protected]