Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Wednesday, July 3, 2013
CONTACT: Angela Fisher Hall                                 
Associate Director                                 
Birmingham Public Library                                    
Phone: (205) 226-3614                                          

Library Presents Journeys through Islamic History and Religion
One of several programs designed to familiarize public with faith and cultures of Muslims in the U.S. and around the world
Birmingham, Alabama—The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) presents Journeys through Islamic History and Religion, a free program for public audiences featuring 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 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The program is scheduled for Monday, July 8, 2013 at BPL’s Avondale Regional Branch Library located at 509 40th Street South beginning at 6:30 p.m.  This program is one of several designed 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.
Other programs scheduled include the screening of the documentary Prince Among Slaves on Sunday, July 7 at the Springville Road Regional Branch Library at 3 p.m.  The library is located at 1224 Springville Road.  Museum curators at the Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA) will present an Artbreak on Tuesday, July 9 at noon.  Curators will explore a variety of Islamic art pieces currently on exhibit at the BMA.  Visit the BMA’s website at for additional information on the Artbreak.
In January 2013, the Birmingham Public Library System was one of 953 libraries and state humanities councils awarded the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA).  The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is a collection of books, films, and other resources that will introduce the American public to the complex history and culture of Muslims in the United States and around the world. Major support for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf was provided by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.
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 AmitavGhosh
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 AfkhamDarbandi
Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi
Snow by OrhanPamuk, 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 HishamMatar
Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by MarjaneSatrapi
House of Stone by Anthony Shadid
Broken Verses by KamilaShamsie

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 by phone at 205-226-7342 or by e-mail at
For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.   The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment.  This system—with nineteen locations and serving the community for 126 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.
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