Editor’s Note: With the Abrahamic Program for Young Adults concluding its 2012 Season activities this weekend, the Daily asked the four coordinators to write a reflection on their experiences at Chautauqua.Read more
In 2009, two months after exchanging wedding vows with his wife, David Rohde spent seven months in Taliban captivity.
“I saw religion at its best and worst,” Rohde said about the ordeal in Afghanistan, which is chronicled in the book A Rope and a Prayer: A Kidnapping from Two Sides, by Rohde and his wife, Kristen Mulvihill.
Two-time Pulitzer Award-winning investigative journalist and author David Rohde will share his story and thoughts in his program titled “Beyond War: The Failed American Effort to Back Moderate Muslims Since 9/11” at 10:45 a.m. Friday in the Amphitheater.Read more
Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, released his newest book, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America, Tuesday at the Chautauqua Institution. During the 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture, in the Hall of Philosophy, Patel gave a lecture of the same name.
Patel touched on the Week Eight theme, “Radicalism: Burden or Blessing?” in his speech, which discussed the inspiration for his book, the history of pluralism in both the United States and Islam and the nature of America’s sacred ground.
Every time he is in the middle of writing a book, Patel said, he turns to his wife and asks why she let him do it again. For every author who elects to write another book, there is a spark of inspiration that ignites them at the start of the process, a spark which they hope burns through to the end, Patel said. For him, that spark came in the summer of 2010, while the U.S. was inflamed in the controversial battle over the “ground zero mosque.”Read more
On Thursday, Sayyid M. Syeed continued the Week Seven Interfaith Lecture theme, “Creating Cultures of Honor and Integrity,” as he discussed the history, growth and optimism of an expanding Islamic community in North America. His lecture was titled “Islamic Experience in a Pluralist Democracy: Building a New Muslim Identity and Institutions in America.”
“What I am going to talk about is a new opportunity, a new millennium for humanity where those two religions are going to create a new reality of cooperation and understanding that is here in this country,” Syeed said.
That community is possible in the United States, because 250 years ago, the Founding Fathers committed to freedom of religion. Though it has taken some time for their goal to come to fruition, the society has gradually realized the interfaith vision the Founding Fathers had for the U.S., Syeed said.Read more
The word “Sufi” is derived from the word “sofia,” which means wisdom. The practice and tradition of Sufism is about developing a deeper knowledge and understanding about life.
“It’s actually about finding the wisdom in life and everyday life, not just off in a cage,” Sharifa Felicia Norton said.
During Week Seven, Norton and her husband, Muinuddin Charles Smith, a professor, will return to Chautauqua to lead the Mystic Heart Program in the meditation traditions of Sufism. They will lead the daily morning meditation sessions and also the semi-weekly afternoon seminars Tuesday and Thursday. The afternoon seminars will focus on the Week Seven religion theme, “Creating Cultures of Honor and Integrity.”Read more
Last Thursday, as the rains showered from the sky onto the grounds at Chautauqua, a group of about 30 people warmed the cool night air with conversation and camaraderie as they tucked into a potluck feast on the Alumni Hall porch.
The event, a pre-Ramadan dinner sponsored by the Abrahamic Program for Young Adults, was facilitated by the organization’s coordinators but included participants from all walks of life. The tables, overflowing with samosas, hummus, quinoa, lasagna, macaroni and chocolate cake, reflected the multicultural nature of the dinner’s guests.
The coordinators called the event an Iftar, referring to the meal Muslims have after sunset to break their fast during the month of Ramadan. In the Muslim religion, Ramadan is a month of inner reflection and devotion that includes fasting — abstaining from food, drink and sex — from sunrise to sunset.Read more
Ali Eteraz’s memoir, Children of Dust: A Memoir of Pakistan, chronicles the author’s journey from his dedication to Islam as a child in Pakistan to his coming of age as a Muslim-American — but don’t call it his life story.
“I am hardly old enough or interesting enough to tell my life story,” Eteraz said. “Children of Dust is only about a first-generation immigrant’s evolving, sometimes loving, often skeptical, relationship to Islam and Muslims.”
Eteraz, whose book is the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle selection for Week Five, will be speaking on the “nexus of immigration and Islam” at 3:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy, which complements the morning lecture platform theme of “Pakistan: Straddling the Boundary Between Asia and the Middle East.”Read more
In today’s economic climate, business executives are associated more often with hubris than humility. But Amin Hashwani, who belongs to an established business family in Pakistan, never thought twice about using his leverage to create compassionate social change.
Hashwani is part of a Muslim community, so it is part of his faith practice to help others and treat them with kindness, he said.
Hashwani will discuss life in Pakistan — especially Pakistani perspectives of the American conflict — at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Hall of Philosophy. His lecture is titled “The Pakistan that We Don’t Read About.”Read more