The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys Grant, through the National Endowment for the Humanities, in cooperation with the American Library Association and the Ali Vural Ak Center at George Mason University, has enriched 950 recipients among libraries and state humanities councils.
The winning institutions receive a collection of books covering themes: American Stories, Connected Histories, Literary Reflections, Pathways of Faith, and Points of View. Although I would have wished a few other authors included, I am very pleased to see Ingrid Mattson’s The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life, G. Willow Wilson’s The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam, and Eboo Patel’s Acts of Faith, the last of which was a required reading assignment for incoming students to Elmhurst College.
In addition, there are 3 DVDs: Prince Among Slaves (2007), Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World (2011), and Koran by Heart (2011). I’ve coaxed my library to rush the processing of the art film, as it is a new acquisition, and have it reserved for me to be the first patron, hopefully to share it with others.
One of the benefits with an expiration date is access to the Oxford Islamic Studies Online Database for a year. This is only for those who have a library account via their local institution for log-in. See the following link to reference if your library is included: www.programminglibrarian.org/muslimjourneys/mj-bookshelf/mj-selected-libraries.html
Finally, Islamic Art Spots is a DVD of seven video essays which provide an introduction to Islamic art and architecture related to the project themes. The entire Muslim Journeys collection contents can be viewed at http://www.programminglibrarian.org/muslimjourneys/mj-bookshelf/mj-collection.html
Nearing the end of the dreaded month of March, with its tenuous grip on winter, I’m relieved to be on the homestretch. Two weeks ago, I managed to injure my back while merely brushing my teeth before dawn. Determined to heal quickly, I’d alternated walking 5 mile days with days of rest, and I was glad to make it out and walk/run today about 3 miles with out incident. However, it was not pleasant to be dashing between snow flurries that morphed into tortuous slapping of my face with pins of sleet. Spring indeed! Meanwhile, my niece and nephew in Phoenix are cavorting in their pool with expectations of summer.
The ISNA Education Forum is near and the rest of this week will be devoted to preparations while I monitor my children who are all on Spring (hmph!) Break. I’m looking forward to next week already when I can split my brain only between Halal brainstorming meetings and our export business strategic planning.