Announcing the AbuSulayman Center for Global Islamic Studies

Announcing the AbuSulayman Center for Global Islamic Studies

In 2009, the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies was established at George Mason University thanks to a generous 10-year grant from Mr. Ali Vural Ak, a prominent Turkish businessman with an interest in supporting Islamic Studies research in the US. Prof. Cemil Aydin, who was hired the previous spring as the IIIT endowed chair of Islamic Studies at Mason, became the Center’s founding Director. Building upon the University’s existing faculty resources and through effective use of Mr. Ak’s generous funding, Prof. Aydin and the Center’s subsequent directors helped George Mason University become home to a thriving Center that helped further establish George Mason’s reputation in the field of Islamic Studies, and attracted sponsored funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Carnegie Foundation, the Al-Hibri Charitable Foundation, the Luce Foundation, the Mirza Family Foundation, and the Templeton Foundation, for a variety of projects aimed at fostering Islamic Studies research at the highest levels, while also developing public-facing programs, resources, and events meant to engage the broader community.

We are pleased to announce that this summer, the Center received a new 10-year gift in honor of the world-renowned Islamic Studies scholar and educator, Dr. Abdul Hamid AbuSulayman, who passed away in August 2021. Dr. AbuSulayman was born in Saudi Arabia, studied in Cairo, and received his PhD in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. He held various academic positions throughout a lengthy career, including serving as a founding member of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists in the US, and as Rector of the International Islamic University in Malaysia from 1988-1999. Dr. AbuSulayman is the author of many books on reform in Muslim societies. Through the generosity of Dr. AbuSulayman’s family and Dr. Yaqub Mirza, who facilitated the gift, the Center will be able to continue its work, and to grow and develop in new ways, with a commitment to scholarship and education that reflects the highest ideals of Dr. AbuSulayman’s life and work. In light of this generous gift, and in honor of its new benefactor, the Center has been renamed the AbuSulayman Center for Global Islamic Studies.

Please note that all projects and events completed by the Center under its previous name will continue to be associated with the Center’s initial name, the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, so that the record of support for these projects is clear, and in recognition of our continuing gratitude to the Center’s initial benefactor.Center