The program included an information booth featuring Arabic calligrapher Abbas Baghdadi, a book exhibit of IIIT publications, and a screening of the documentary, “The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain”.
The documentary was introduced by Dr. Daoud Nassimi, who will be teaching “Introduction to Islam” during the 2014 Spring semester at Shenandoah University, in cooperation with the Fairfax Institute of the IIIT. Dr. Nassimi also took opportunity to speak briefly about the content of the course he’s planning to teach.
The program was well received, with about 30-40 people in attendance, while many more stopped at the calligraphy booth and book display exhibit. After the documentary, an inspiring discussion took place, led by Ermin Sinanovic, IIIT’s Director of Research and Academic Programs, debating issues of identity and tolerance, as well as examining the parallels between the time period of Islamic Spain and the present. Special attention was given to the relevance of this example for contemporary experiences in the United States. The discussion was attended by Shenandoah University students and faculty, as well as the representatives of local Muslim and Jewish communities.
The program was offered in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) ‘Muslim Journeys’ program, at the invitation of Prof. Calvin Allen, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Shenandoah University. With this program, the IIIT and Shenandoah University forged a closer working relationship, which will hopefully result in many joint academic activities in future.