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Muslim Journeys Discussion Series Begins in Knoxville

Muslim Journeys: Points of View is a five-part discussion series focused on literature by/about individuals of Muslim-majority nations, and is partially supported by a grant from the American Library Association. The series begins Monday, January 13, 6-8pm at the Cedar Bluff Branch Library in Knoxville with a discussion of In the Country of Men, by Hisham Matar.  This first book is a prize-winning novel narrated by a young boy growing up in Libya under Qaddafi, depicting the sinister forces splintering a family through the bleak simplicity of a child’s eyes.

The goal of the “points of view” theme is to counteract the one-dimensional views of Muslims depicted in the mass media by introducing public audiences to the individual experiences of Muslims as parents and children, as friends and neighbors, as colleagues and citizens.In Nashville this past fall, the series drew nearly sixty people, who felt the series educated them about parts of the world unknown to them, about Muslim history and culture, and about the new cultures making up local neighborhoods. Some even began making a greater effort to interact with individuals from Muslim-majority nations that they encounter locally.  Additional feedback includes:

 “Thank you very much for offering this [series]. It has greatly expanded my awareness and understanding of Muslim culture from both the male and female perspectives.”

 “The series has been objective, realistic, and opened my awareness of Muslim history and culture. It has caused a change in my perceptions of Muslims from objects to people.”

Cedar Bluff Branch Library, 9045 Cross Park Drive, will host the entire series on Mondays, 6-8pm, on the following schedule:

January 27, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi (graphic memoir, Iran)

February 10, House of Stone, by Anthony Shahid (memoir, Lebanon)

February 24, Broken Verses, by Kamila Shamise (novel, Pakistan)

March 10, Dreams of Trespass, by Fatima Mernissi (memoir, Morocco)

Dr. Douja Mamelouk, Assistant Professor of Arabic & French, UTK, will facilitate each discussion. Participation is free, but space is limited--contact 865-215-8767 or mclaiborne@knoxlib.org to reserve your spot.  Books are available for check-out at the library.

Visit our web page for links to information on the entire Muslim Journeys project natioanlly: http://www.humanitiestennessee.org/content/muslim-journeys-points-view