About the Center

The Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies was founded through the generous donation of Mr. Ali Vural Ak, businessman and entrepreneur from Istanbul, Turkey, in 2009. The center is situated on the dynamic and innovative campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, outside of the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.

Its strategic location allows the center to draw on unparalleled resources to advance its mission in research, education, and professional opportunities for current and future scholars of Islamic studies. Through conferences, workshops, lectures, and other events, it is able to engage in community outreach with one of the most diverse populations in the country.


The mission of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies is to advance a sound and nuanced understanding of Muslim societies and the Islamic faith, its role in world history, and its current patterns of globalization. The center recognizes that Islam is a universal faith and a world civilization with a global community.  Thus, the center provides a global, rather than regional, framework for exploring Islam.

The Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies supports research, interdisciplinary academic programs, and community outreach.  By providing educational and research opportunities for students, faculty, and visiting scholars, it is helping develop 21st century leaders with a sophisticated understanding of the complex dynamics that shape Muslim communities worldwide.

About the Donor

Mr. Ali Vural Ak is the founder and CEO of Intercity Rental Car Company, the biggest car leasing company in Turkey. He has competed in various international off-track rally championships, and he sponsors various philanthropic activities in Turkey ranging from cultural events to fair-trade initiatives.