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An interview with Professor Abdulaziz Sachedina on his life and scholarship

An interview with Professor Abdulaziz Sachedina on his life and scholarship

Prof. Sachedina, who holds the IIIT Chair of Islamic Studies at Mason and whose career spans more than three decades of scholarly work, is a major figure in contemporary Islamic thought. His pioneering excavations of classical Islamic sources in relation to major contemporary themes such as democracy, human rights, and biomedical ethics have established him as a scholar of truly international standing.

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Center to host Book Review Colloquium at Fall for the Book 2017

Center to host Book Review Colloquium at Fall for the Book 2017

The Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies is pleased to announce the program of the 2017 Book Review Colloquium on Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. The Colloquium, held in cooperation with Fall for the Book on Oct. 12, will feature book reviews of recent noteworthy publications in the broader field of Islamic Studies by graduate students across a diverse set of institutions.

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Center's new web publication Maydan is now online

Center's new web publication Maydan is now online

Featuring analysis by both emerging and established scholars, as well as a variety of helpful resources, Maydan will surely be of interest to students, professors, and anyone else engaged with the field of Islamic Studies in the digital realm.

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Registration now open for Spring 2017 classes

Registration now open for Spring 2017 classes

Next semester's offerings in Islamic Studies include ANTH 308: Peoples and Culture of the Middle East, and RELI 355: Sufism with Prof. Dakake at the undergraduate level, and electives at the graduate level such as Prof. Haddad's GOVT 741: Discourses on Terrorism, and HIST 535: The Ottoman Empire with Prof. Yilmaz.

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Mucahit Bilici discusses messianism in Turkey at Mason

Mucahit Bilici discusses messianism in Turkey at Mason

In its first guest lecture of the Fall 2016 Lecture Series, the Ali Vural Ak Center hosted Professor Bilici from John Jay College for a discussion on how elements of messianic thought have emerged in recent Turkish history, culminating with the Gulen movement today.

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Prof. Abdulaziz Sachedina: Building Bridges between Western and Middle Eastern Approaches to the Study of Islam

Prof. Abdulaziz Sachedina: Building Bridges between Western and Middle Eastern Approaches to the Study of Islam

Prof. Sachedina has devoted much of his scholarly time and effort in recent years to introducing theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of Islam in the Western academy to scholars of Islam in academic institutions in various parts of the Islamic world, and to fostering interfaith and intrafaith dialogue through various programs aimed at both Muslim scholars and Muslim youth.

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The Study Quran released on Nov. 17

The Study Quran released on Nov. 17

Professor Maria Dakake, Co-Director of the Center for Global Islamic Studies, is one of the head researchers who worked alongside other distinguished scholars of Islam on this comprehensive resource which includes a new translation and extensive commentary on the text.

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Spring 2016 Courses Announced

Spring 2016 Courses Announced

Courses for both the undergraduate Islamic Studies minor and graduate MA in Middle East & Islamic Studies are now listed online. Registration for the Spring 2016 semester began on November 3 and will remain open until January 26.

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Hisham Aidi discusses "Rebel Music" at Fall for the Book

Hisham Aidi discusses "Rebel Music" at Fall for the Book

On Oct. 1, the Ali Vural Ak Center hosted Hisham Aidi for a discussion of his latest book, "Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture", shedding light on the intersection of Islam with African-American musical traditions and using hiphop in cultural diplomacy.

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MEIS Students Launch New Campus Organization and Website

MEIS Students Launch New Campus Organization and Website

Masters students in the Middle East and Islamic Studies program have organized the first club of its kind at Mason, the GMU Middle East Studies Students Association, and have now launched its website featuring the students' original articles and book reviews as well as faculty news and MESSA event announcements.

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Jonathan Brown Speaks at Mason for Islam Awareness Week

Jonathan Brown Speaks at Mason for Islam Awareness Week

As part of the Muslim Student Alliance's annual Islam Awareness Week and the Ali Vural Ak Center's Spring 2015 Lecture Series, Jonathan Brown (Georgetown University) visited Mason for a presentation on "Sharia Law and the Modern World", providing an overview of key concepts and terminology while also addressing the issues with commonly cited studies that reflect Muslims' diverse opinions on Sharia.

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Laurence Louër Discusses "Shi'a and the State in the Gulf Monarchies"

Laurence Louër Discusses "Shi'a and the State in the Gulf Monarchies"

The Ali Vural Ak Center hosted Laurence Louër (Sciences Po, Paris) as part of the Spring 2015 Lecture Series for a presentation on the Shi'i communities of Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, offering valuable insight on the historical and current dynamics that shape their relations with the state in each country.

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Center's Spring 2015 Lecture Series Now Underway

Center's Spring 2015 Lecture Series Now Underway

The Ali Vural Ak Center's Spring 2015 Lecture Series features a distinguished lineup of scholars who will be presenting their research on a wide range of topics, including religious television programs in the Middle East, Islamic finance in Malaysia, the growth of Shi'ism in Senegal, and domestic violence.

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Celebrating and Learning About Arabic Language and Culture

Celebrating and Learning About Arabic Language and Culture

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages, the global affairs program, and the Middle East and Islamic studies program worked together to host the university's first Arab Culture Day on October 30, bringing the sounds and color of Arab nations to the North Plaza of the Fairfax Campus.

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Center's small research grants now open to graduate students

Center's small research grants now open to graduate students

The Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies is pleased to announce that it will be awarding a number of seed research grants in 2014-15 designed to foster and cultivate the development of new projects in the study of Muslim societies and Islamic Studies, and to support the ongoing work of advanced research students.

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Three new Religious Studies courses on Islam offered in Fall 2014

Three new Religious Studies courses on Islam offered in Fall 2014

Taught by Dr. Maria Dakake, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, and Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina, IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies, the three newest courses on Islam at Mason explore the life of Muhammad as well as modern issues including democracy and human rights. Registration for these elective courses is open until September 2.

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Lecture Series concludes with talk by Simonetta Calderini

Lecture Series concludes with talk by Simonetta Calderini

On April 29, the Ali Vural Ak Center hosted Simonetta Calderini from Roehampton University in London for a lecture titled, "Citing the Past to Address the Present: Authorities and Unexpected Interlocutors on Female Leadership of Salat", the final talk of this semester's Lecture Series on Women and Gender in Islam.

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Dina Khoury presents research on "Martyrdom in Iraq"

Dina Khoury presents research on "Martyrdom in Iraq"

As part of the Spring Lecture Series on Women and Gender in Islam, the Ali Vural Ak Center hosted historian Dina Rizk Khoury from George Washington University on April 8 for a guest lecture discussing the effects of war on Iraqi society over the past three decades, emphasizing the contentious issue of "martyrdom" and the debates surrounding it.

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Chris Taylor talks "Islamic Charity in India Today"

Chris Taylor talks "Islamic Charity in India Today"

On March 4, the Ali Vural Ak Center hosted Chris Taylor, Ph.D. Candidate at Boston University, for a guest lecture based on his research titled "Islamic Charity in India Today: The Revival and Re-Invention of Zakat in a Liberalizing Economy."

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"Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean" Curriculum Now Online

"Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean" Curriculum Now Online

The Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, with a grant from the British Council’s and Social Science Research Council’s “Our Shared Past” initiative, has developed a set of six teaching modules entitled "Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean: A World History Curriculum Project for Educators".

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Professor Haddad speaking at Harvard University today Faculty Afoot

Professor Haddad speaking at Harvard University today

Lara Deeb starts Lecture Series on Women and Gender in Islam

Lara Deeb starts Lecture Series on Women and Gender in Islam

The Ali Vural Ak Center’s Spring 2014 Lecture Series on Women and Gender in Islam launched on February 20 with a presentation by Lara Deeb from Scripps College titled “Piety and Pleasure: Youth Negotiations of Leisure and Morality in South Beirut”. The series is meant to highlight nuanced emerging scholarship that examines the issues and dynamics surrounding gender, particularly women, in Muslim communities around the world.

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Expert scholars discuss "Islam and Mobilization in the Arab World"

Expert scholars discuss "Islam and Mobilization in the Arab World"

The Ali Vural Ak Center hosted the “Islam, Mobilization, and Social Change: Historical and Comparative Perspectives” conference on October 24-25, bringing together scholars to discuss their research on social mobilization in Islamic history and contemporary politics. The conference ended with a panel discussion on October 25 addressing the role of Islam in current events taking place throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

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Professor Mandaville at CSIS for "Islam in Africa" conference

Professor Mandaville at CSIS for "Islam in Africa" conference

The Ali Vural Ak Center recently partnered with the Center for Strategic and International Studies to host a conference on "Islam in Africa: Emerging Trends and Policy Implications" on March 25. Dr. Mandaville, Director of the Ali Vural Ak Center, moderated the conference's opening panel and also gave the event's closing remarks.

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Professor Dakake at Howard University for "Contemplating the Qur'an" Conference on March 25-26 Faculty Afoot

Professor Dakake at Howard University for "Contemplating the Qur'an" Conference on March 25-26

Professor Maria Dakake, Department of Religious Studies, collaborated with other renowned scholars of Islamic Studies to organize a conference on "Contemplating the Qur'an", held at Howard University on March 25 and 26. The conference was sponsored in part by the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, as well as Howard University's School of Divinity, Georgetown University, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought.

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Professor Sachedina opens the Spring Lecture Series on Islamic Ethics

Professor Sachedina opens the Spring Lecture Series on Islamic Ethics

The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) in collaboration with the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies sponsored the inaugural lecture of the IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies at George Mason University on February 20. Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina, who assumed the position in January 2013, delivered the lecture entitled “End of Life Decisions: Culture and Tradition in Islam.”

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Paden Donates Africana Collection to University Libraries

Paden Donates Africana Collection to University Libraries

Robinson Professor John Paden has donated his extensive collection of materials from and about sub-Saharan Africa to the George Mason University Libraries. The Paden Collection includes nearly 4,000 photographs, manuscripts, maps, books, and other printed materials, gathered over a lifetime of study and travel.

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Eight Honored at Mary Roper Award Reception

Eight Honored at Mary Roper Award Reception

On Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences honored the winners of the 12th annual Mary Roper Award, given to outstanding staff members working in the college’s departments.

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Mason now offers Master’s Degree in Middle East and Islamic Studies

Mason now offers Master’s Degree in Middle East and Islamic Studies

The Ali Vural Ak Center and the Middle East Studies Program are pleased to announce that the interdisciplinary Master’s degree program in Middle East and Islamic Studies has been approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The program launches formally in Fall 2013, but Mason has accepted a small group of applicants for earlier admission in Spring 2013.

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Nile Green visits Mason to discuss Bombay Islam

Nile Green visits Mason to discuss Bombay Islam

As part of its Fall Lecture Series, the Ali Vural Ak Center hosted Nile Green from UCLA on November 1 to present his book on the extraordinary story of Bombay’s growth in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

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Ali Vural Ak Center welcomes its new Co-Director

Ali Vural Ak Center welcomes its new Co-Director

The Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies is pleased to welcome its new Co-Director, Dr. Huseyin Yilmaz, Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Art History, who joins George Mason University after teaching at the University of South Florida for the past three years.

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Haddad Discusses Syria on PBS NewsHour In The Media

Haddad Discusses Syria on PBS NewsHour

Bassam Haddad, director of the Middle East Studies Program and faculty member in the Department of Public and International Affairs at Mason, was one of three panelists discussing Syria on the Aug. 6, 2012 episode of PBS NewsHour.

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Center working with NEH to launch Muslim Journeys Bookshelf project

Center working with NEH to launch Muslim Journeys Bookshelf project

The National Endowment for the Humanities’ Bridging Cultures Bookshelf/Muslim Journeys project is nearing its official launch, with Mason’s Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies and Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media collaborating on the content and design of its website to be made public in January 2013.

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Advanced Middle East Course Uses Cyberspace to Advance Understanding

Advanced Middle East Course Uses Cyberspace to Advance Understanding

Exactly how and how much do social media sites impact unfolding political events in the Middle East? In the spring of 2012, Peter Mandaville and a group of advanced masters and doctoral students at George Mason University attempted to answer this question by examining the very environment at the center of this question: cyberspace.

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Election Project Keeps a Detailed Eye on Egypt and Middle East

Election Project Keeps a Detailed Eye on Egypt and Middle East

Bassam Haddad, director of the Middle East Studies Program and faculty member in the Department of Public and International Affairs at Mason, aimed to produce the most comprehensive coverage of the Egyptian elections of 2011. Instead, he helped create a hub of expert analysis on more than 30 countries.

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Husseinali Publishes On-Line Article Publications

Husseinali Publishes On-Line Article

"From my perspective as Academic Director, I wanted to provide as much opportunity as possible to maximize learning of the Arabic language (standard and dialect) and to provide activities to ensure student interaction with local communities to gain insight into local perspectives."

Rashkover and Dakake Made Senior Series Editors for Encountering Traditions Headlines

Rashkover and Dakake Made Senior Series Editors for Encountering Traditions

Professor Randi Rashkover and Professor Maria Dakake of the Religious Studies Department have recently become senior series editors along with Professor Stanley Hauerwas (Duke) and Professor Peter Ochs (University of Virginia) for the Encountering Traditions series at Stanford University Press. The series publishes leading scholarship in Jewish-Islamic and Christian engagement and inter-disciplinary work in religious studies.

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Professor Mandaville to speak at Woodrow Wilson Center on March 14 Faculty Afoot

Professor Mandaville to speak at Woodrow Wilson Center on March 14

Peter Mandaville, Associate Professor of Government and Politics, and Director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, will be speaking on a panel titled "Localizing Islam in Europe: Turkish Islamic Communities in Germany and the Netherlands" at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 14 at 12:00pm.

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Professor Mandaville to speak at Brookings on Feb. 17 Faculty Afoot

Professor Mandaville to speak at Brookings on Feb. 17

Peter Mandaville, Associate Professor of Government and Politics, and Director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, will be speaking on a panel titled "Integrating Europe's Muslims" at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. on Friday, February 17 at 11:00am.

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Mansour to Discuss Palestine Issues With Mason Community

Mansour to Discuss Palestine Issues With Mason Community

Dr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, will visit George Mason University this week to talk about ongoing peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel and the Palestinian effort to gain statehood standing with the United Nations. The event will take place Thursday, Feb. 16, from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center Cinema.

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Professor Mandaville to speak on Feb. 1 at American University Faculty Afoot

Professor Mandaville to speak on Feb. 1 at American University

Peter Mandaville, Associate Professor of Government and Politics, and Director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, will be speaking on a panel titled "Islam, Policy, and the Changing Doctrine of Multiculturalism: How Countries are Understanding the New Sense of Pluralism" on Wednesday, February 1 at 3:00pm.

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Professor Haddad's New Book Publications

Professor Haddad's New Book

Professor Bassam Haddad's book, "Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience" (Stanford University Press), examines Syria's political economy from 1970 to 2005 to explain the nation's pattern of state intervention and prolonged economic stagnation.

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Mason Experts Take a Deep Look at Revolutionary Era

Mason Experts Take a Deep Look at Revolutionary Era

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences will host a special two-day seminar, entitled “Revolutions: Past, Present, and Future.” This seminar will feature seven one-and-a-half-hour discussion panels, taking place in Mason Hall’s Edwin Meese III Conference Room.

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Alasania to Speak at Mason Conference on Turkic Minorities

Alasania to Speak at Mason Conference on Turkic Minorities

On Monday, Sept. 12, George Mason University welcomes Dr. Giuli Alasania, founder and head trustee of the University of Georgia, Tbilisi, and mother of Mikheil Saakasvhili, president of Georgia. She will deliver the keynote address for a conference, “Turkic Nations and Their Global Perspective: Turkic Minorities in the U.S.”

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The Mediterranean from Braudel to the 21st Century by Dr. Henry Laurens

The Mediterranean from Braudel to the 21st Century by Dr. Henry Laurens

On March 2nd, 2011 the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies was honored to host an international guest from the College de France, Paris, Dr. Henry Laurens (Ph.D. in Arabic literature, National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO), Paris). Dr. Laurens is an esteemed scholar of History, and presented us with a lecture titled “The Mediterranean from Braudel to the 21st Century"

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Dr. Mohja Kahf, "A Reading of Poetry and Prose"

Dr. Mohja Kahf, "A Reading of Poetry and Prose"

On Tuesday, February 8th, Mohja Kahf (Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University) offered a reading of poetry and prose. The Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies event was well attended by students, faculty, and community poetry enthusiasts.

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Washington Post Op-Ed by Susan Douglass, Grant Project Coordinator, Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies

Washington Post Op-Ed by Susan Douglass, Grant Project Coordinator, Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies

The Washington Post recently carried an op-ed written by Susan Douglass, Grant Project Coordinator of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies. The op-ed was entitled “Claims of Pro-Islamic Bias in Textbooks Are Wrong,” and was an articulate and timely response to a textbook resolution released by the Texas Board of Education charging textbook publishers of “favoring Islam over Christianity.”

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Religious Scholar Aslan to Speak at Mason

Religious Scholar Aslan to Speak at Mason

Internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Aslan will come to George Mason University on Tuesday, Nov. 16 to discuss whether America is “Islamophobic.” He will speak at the Johnson Center Cinema from 3-5 p.m. The lecture is open to the public.

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John Kiser Speaks to Mason Students about the “True Jihad”

John Kiser Speaks to Mason Students about the “True Jihad”

The Fall for the Book festival at George Mason University attracts scholars of all backgrounds and faiths. Among the authors visiting campus during the 2010 event was John Kiser, writer and board member of the Cordoba Initiative and the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy.

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Scholar Manal Omar Recounts Time in Baghdad

Scholar Manal Omar Recounts Time in Baghdad

Manal Omar, an American Muslim scholar, presented her book, Barefoot in Baghdad, on Sept. 16 at the Edwin Meese Conference Room in Mason Hall. Omar has worked in humanitarian aid and development for more than 10 years. Her presentation was part of Fall for the Book.

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Omid Safi and the Importance of Remembering the Prophet

Omid Safi and the Importance of Remembering the Prophet

Most Muslims agree it is important to remember the Prophet Muhammad, but should non-Muslims take time to consider the spiritual impact Muhammad had on human history? Dr. Omid Safi of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill argues yes, and in an important lecture at George Mason University on September 23rd explained why students and educators of all faiths should consider Muhammad “one of the key figures in our shared human history.”

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Global Islamic Studies Center Awarded NEH Grant

Global Islamic Studies Center Awarded NEH Grant

The Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies won a “Bridging Cultures” grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities for its proposal to run a program entitled, “The Legacies of Muslim Societies in the Emergence of Global Modernity, 1300-1900.”

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Professor Amal Amireh Gives Fenwick Fellows Lecture

Professor Amal Amireh Gives Fenwick Fellows Lecture

Professor Amal Amireh, the 2008-2009 Fenwick Fellow, will give the annual Fenwick Fellow Lecture on April 7, 2010 in the Johnson Center, Room A, at 2 - 4 pm. Her lecture is entitled "Between Nationalism and Globalization: Representations of Arab Masculinity in Arab Popular Culture."

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Mason Welcomes New Islamic Studies Program Director

Mason Welcomes New Islamic Studies Program Director

George Mason University welcomes Dr. Cemil Aydin as the new director of its Center for Global Islamic Studies. Aydin joined Mason’s History and Art History Department in the fall of 2009, holding the Endowed IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies, bringing with him years of experience in the fields of history and Middle Eastern studies.

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Religious Studies Welcomes Islamic Studies Professor

Religious Studies Welcomes Islamic Studies Professor

This fall, the Religious Studies Department welcomes Dr. Juliane Hammer to its distinguished list of professors. Dr. Hammer, who received her PhD in Islamic studies from Humboldt University in Berlin, has a wealth of experience in teaching Islamic studies having taught at Princeton, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Elon University.

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