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Understanding Islam

Humanitites Tennessee and the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities are pleased to present this special track of sessions at the 27th annual Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word, October 9-11, 2015. "Understanding Islam" explores Islamic history and culture through art, memoirs, fiction, history, and dance. We are pleased to partner with the Family of Abraham, the Faith and Culture Center, and Nashville Ballet in presenting these sessions. Over the course of the weekend, readers will hear from writers and scholars from across the globe- from California to Pakistan.
Following each session, the authors will be signing books at the Author Signing Colonnade on Legislative Plaza. All of the authors' books are sold onsite by Parnassus Books of Nashville. All sessions are free and open to the public with no reservations required. 
Friday
NASHVILLE BALLET PRESENTS
"LAYLA AND MAJNUN" - CANCELLED
 
1:00-2:00 pm, Nashville Public Library Auditorium
 
THE POLITICAL IS PERSONAL:
MEMOIRS OF IRAN AND PAKISTAN
 
3:30-4:30 pm, Nashville Public Library Conference Room 1AB
(*CSPAN coverage)
 
Rahimeh Andalibian was born in the city of Mashhad, Iran.  When she was nine years old, in the wake of the Iranian Revolution and in the midst of the Iran-Iraq war, her family moved first to London, then immigrated to the United States in 1986. Andalibian attained her Doctorate in Psychology at the age of 24 and has since been a systemic psychologist practicing in California and now in New York City specializing in trauma with nearly two decades of work with families, couples, children, and groups. Current book: The Rose Hotel: A Memoir of Secrets, Loss, and Love from Iran to America. 
 
Rafia Zakaria is an author, attorney, and human rights activist who has worked on behalf of victims of domestic violence around the world. She is a columnist for Al Jazeera America, Ms., Dissent and DAWN, Pakistan's largest English-language newspaper. Zakaria was born and raised in Karachi and now lives in Pakistan and the United States, where she serves on the board of directors of Amnesty International USA. Current book: The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan
Saturday
THE NAME AND THE WORD:
UNDERSTANDING ISLAMIC FAITH
 
10:00-11:00 am Nashville Public Library Commons Room
 
Bruce Lawrence a leading scholar of Islam, is the author or editor of many books, inluding The Qur'an: A biography and Messges to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin Laden. He is Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Islamic Studies Emeritus at Duke University. Current book: Who is Allah?
 
John Kaltner is Virginia Ballou McGehee Professor of Muslim-Christian Relations at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Among his other works is Islam: What Non-Muslims Should Know. He is coauthor of What Do Our neighbors believe? Questions and Answers on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Current Book: Introducing the Qu'ran: For Today's Reader. 
 
YOUR FATWA DOES NOT APPLY HERE
 
1:00-2:00 pm, Legislative Plaza, War Memorial Auditorium
 
Karima Bennoune is a professor of international law at the University of California-Davis School of Law. She grew up in Algeria and the United States and now lives in northern California. Current book: Your Fatwat Does Not Apply Here
*presented in partnership with Family of and Faith and Culture Center
 
SCHOLARLY VIEWS ON MODERN ISLAM
 
2:00-3:00 pm, Legislative Plaza Room 16
 
miriam cooke is Braxton Craven Distinguished Professorr of Arab Cultures at Duke University and author of several books, most recently Dissident Syria: Making Oppositional Arts Official and Nazira Zeineddine: Biography of an Islamic Feminist Pioneer. Current book: Tribal Modern: Branding New Nations in the Arab Gulf.
 
Joesph Massad is a professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. He has written many books, including Desiring Arabs, published by the University of Chicago Press. Current book: Islam in Liberalism
 
PERSPECTIVES: BEING MUSLIM IN TENNESSEE
A conversation in cooperation with the Faith and Culture Center
 
*The "Perspectives" panel provides a unique forum for
community-based organizations to gather and disucss
topics of social relevance and broad public appeal.
 
3:30-4:30 pm, Library Auditorium Room
 
Fozia Ahmed, Multicultural Organizer for Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. Ahmed moved from Somalia to Pakistan at thirteen, where she earned a Bachelor's in development Studies and worked as a Somali interpreter and translator for the United Nations High Comission for Refugees. At TIRRC, Ahmed promotes civic participation, recruits Coalition members, and handles communications among immigrants and refugees.
 
Aisha Lbhalla, Chair of Muslim Women's Council; Comissioner, Metro Human Relations Commission. Lbhalla founded The Muslim Women's Council to correct misunderstandings and stereotypes about Muslims womeen by supporting community initiatives, education workshops, social activities, and community service projects. She is a Commissioner appointed by former Mayor Dean on the Metro Human Relations Commission, and is working on a degree in Islamic Studies.
 
David Osgood, Operations and Business Manager for Faith and Culture Center. Osgood, a muslim convert, earned a BA from Wesleyan and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Before retiring from international business, Osgood lived in Egypt and worked throughout the region for twenty-five years.
 
Sunday
UNDIVIDED: A MUSLIM DAUGHTER,
A CHRISTIAN MOTHER, THEIR PATH TO PEACE
 
12:00-1:00 PM, Legislative Plaza Room 16
 
Alana Raybon is a seasoned elementary and middle school educator. During the past ten years, she has served as a third-to-seventh-grade lead teacher to a diverse population in Texas and more recently in Tennessee. She has been a mentor to new and student teachers, an advisor to a school's acredditation process, a tutor, and a member of various school-related committees. Raybon and her husband parent their three young children and a teenage stepson. She was featured with her mother in a May 2011 Mother's Day reflection in Glamour magazine. Current book: Undivided: A Muslim Daughter, A Christian Mother, Their Path to Peace.
 
REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION:
AMERICA IN THREE BOOKS - CANCELLED
 
3:30-4:30 pm, Nashville Public Library Conference Room 1AB 
(*CSPAN coverage)
 
Azar Nafisi is a visiting professor and the executive director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University. She has taught Western literature at the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University, and the University of Allameh Tabatabai in Iran. In 1981, she was expelled from the University of Tehran after refusing to wear the veil. In 1994 she won a teaching fellowship from Oxford University, and in 1997 she and her family left Iran for the United States. She is the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I've Been Silent About, has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New Republic, and has appeared on countless radio and television programs. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two children. Current book: Republic of Imagination