Coming Together 2018: Muslim-American Culture

Posted on January 26, 2018. Filed under: Event, Nonfiction | Tags: , , , , , , |

Coming Together in Skokie & Niles Township is a multiple city wide program that highlights and celebrates one of the communities’ many cultures. It does this through reading, discussing a common book, and other activies. Oakton Community College is proud to participate in this year’s program celebrating Muslim-American culture. Below is the list of books discussed in this year’s program.

9781501159510_p0_v2_s550x406Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age
by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

“In this New York Times Editor’s Pick, the brilliant founder of shares her harrowing and candid account of what it’s like to be a young Muslim woman in the wake of 9/11, during the never-ending war on terror, and through the Trump era of casual racism.

At nine years old, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh watched from her home in New Jersey as two planes crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. That same year, she heard her first racial slur. At thirteen, her family took a trip to her father’s native homeland of Jordan, and Amani experienced firsthand a culture built on the true peaceful nature of Islam in its purest form, not the Islamic stereotypes she heard on the news.

Inspired by her trip and after years of feeling like her voice as a Muslim woman was marginalized during a time when it seemed all Western media could talk about was, ironically, Muslim women, Amani created a website called Muslim Girl. As the editor-in-chief, she put together a team of Muslim women and started a life dedicated to activism.

Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age is the extraordinary account of Amani’s journey through adolescence as a Muslim girl, from the Islamophobia she’s faced on a daily basis, to the website she launched that became a cultural phenomenon, to the nation’s political climate in 2016 as Donald Trump wins the presidency. While dispelling the myth that a headscarf signifies neither radicalism nor oppression, she shares both her own personal accounts and anecdotes from the “sisterhood” of writers that serve as her editorial team at Muslim Girl” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

There will be a book discussion on Thursday, February 22nd, 11:30 am at the Skokie Campus, Room A145.

9781481492065_p0_v2_s550x406Amina’s Voice
by Hena Khan

“Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the ‘cool’ girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more ‘American.’ Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

There will be a book discussion on Thursday, March 22nd 6:00 pm
at the Niles-Maine District Library
9781481489362_p0_v2_s550x406Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter To His Daughter

By Mark Gonzales ; illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

“Written as a letter from a father to his daughter, Yo Soy Muslim is a celebration of social harmony and multicultural identities. The vivid and elegant verse, accompanied by magical and vibrant illustrations, highlights the diversity of the Muslim community as well as Indigenous identity. A literary journey of discovery and wonder, Yo Soy Muslim is sure to inspire adults and children alike” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

There will be a book discussion on Thursday, February 15  6:00 pm
at the Niles-Maine District Library

Other Coming Together Oakton Events:

Understanding Islam: An Insider’s View
Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 12:30 p.m.

Oakton Community College, Des Plaines Campus, Room 1606

Join Dr. Camille Harrison, Distinguished Professor of Arabic and French at Oakton Community College, who, as a Muslim woman, shares her story of how Islam shaped her personality, her relationship to other faiths/people and her ambition that makes her the person she is today.

Opening Doors to Arabic Culture and Islam
Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 12:30 p.m.

Oakton Community College, Skokie Campus, Room A145-152

As an American teaching in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and living with a family in the Egyptian Nile Delta, Carol Konvalinka developed a deep respect and affection for Arabic culture and Islam. Through personal stories, she will share her insights into how she came to appreciate cultural and religious concepts that are often portrayed as so different from her own.

Festival of Muslim Culture
Thursday, March 8, 2018, 6:30 p.m.

Oakton Community College, Skokie Campus, Room P103-104

Join Oakton’s student clubs and community members for a festival of music, dance, food and fun. $3 entrance fee includes food and entertainment. Children under the age of 5 are free.

Additional Books on Muslim-American Culture

Want to learn more? Why not check out some of these books at Oakton on Muslim-American culture.

9781469629964_p0_v3_s550x406Muslim American Women on Campus: Undergraduate Social Life and Identity
by Shabana Mir

“Shabana Mir’s powerful ethnographic study of women on Washington, D.C., college campuses reveals that being a young female Muslim in post-9/11 America means experiencing double scrutiny—scrutiny from the Muslim community as well as from the dominant non-Muslim community. Muslim American Women on Campus illuminates the processes by which a group of ethnically diverse American college women, all identifying as Muslim and all raised in the United States, construct their identities during one of the most formative times in their lives.

Mir, an anthropologist of education, focuses on key leisure practices—drinking, dating, and fashion—to probe how Muslim American students adapt to campus life and build social networks that are seamlessly American, Muslim, and youthful. In this lively and highly accessible book, we hear the women’s own often poignant voices as they articulate how they find spaces within campus culture as well as their Muslim student communities to grow and assert themselves as individuals, women, and Americans. Mir concludes, however, that institutions of higher learning continue to have much to learn about fostering religious diversity on campus” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9781593764289_p0_v1_s550x406Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women
edited by Ayesha Mattu & Nura Maznavi.

“In this groundbreaking collection, American Muslim women writers sweep aside stereotypes to share their real-life tales of flirting, dating, longing, and sex. Their stories show just how varied the search for love can be—from singles’ events and college flirtations to arranged marriages, all with a uniquely Muslim twist.

These heartfelt tales are filled with passion and hope, loss and longing. One follows the quintessential single woman in the big city as she takes a chance on a Muslim speed-dating event. Another tells of a shy student from a liberal college town who falls in love online and must reveal her secret to her conservative family. A third recounts a Southern girl who surprises herself by agreeing to an arranged marriage, unexpectedly finding the love of her life.

These compelling stories of love and romance create an irresistible balance of heart-warming and tantalizing, always revealing and deeply relatable” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9781479894505_p0_v3_s550x406Muslim Cool: Race, Religion, and Hip Hop in the United States
by Su’ad Abdul Khabeer

“This groundbreaking study of race, religion and popular culture in the 21st century United States focuses on a new concept, ‘Muslim Cool.’ Muslim Cool is a way of being an American Muslim—displayed in ideas, dress, social activism in the ‘hood, and in complex relationships to state power.

Constructed through hip hop and the performance of Blackness, Muslim Cool is a way of engaging with the Black American experience by both Black and non-Black young Muslims that challenges racist norms in the U.S. as well as dominant ethnic and religious structures within American Muslim communities” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9781595584816_p0_v2_s550x406Al’ America: Travels through America’s Arab and Islamic Roots

by Jonathan Curiel

“Four out of ten Americans say they dislike Muslims, according to a Gallup poll. ‘Muslims,’ a blogger wrote on the Web site Free Republic, ‘don’t belong in America.’ In a lively, funny, and revealing riposte to these sentiments, journalist Jonathan Curiel offers a fascinating tour through the little-known Islamic past, and present, of American culture.

From highbrow to pop, from lighthearted to profound, Al’ America reveals the Islamic and Arab influences before our eyes, under our noses, and ringing in our ears. Curiel demonstrates that many of America’s most celebrated places—including the Alamo in San Antonio, the French Quarter of New Orleans, and the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina—retain vestiges of Arab and Islamic culture. Likewise, some of America’s most recognizable music—the Delta Blues, the surf sounds of Dick Dale, the rock and psychedelia of Jim Morrison and the Doors—is indebted to Arab music. And some of America’s leading historical figures, from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Elvis Presley, relied on Arab or Muslim culture for intellectual sustenance.Part travelogue, part cultural history, Al’ America confirms a continuous pattern of give-and-take between America and the Arab Muslim world” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

– posted by Kevin Purtell



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