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Downtown Campus Library Hosts Islamic Culture Read-In and Discussion

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 28th, 2013

The West Virginia University Libraries, the WVU Religious Studies Program, and the Islamic Center of Morgantown will host a read-in and discussion on Nov. 6, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Downtown Campus Library, room 104.

The read-in, which is open to the public, promotes the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, a collection of books, films, and an online database funded through an award by the National Endowment of the Humanities and the American Library Association.

WVU is among 840 institutions across the nation to receive the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, an introduction to Islamic cultures in the United States and around the globe. Muslim Journeys is the first in the National Endowment of the Humanities Bridging Cultures series.

“In our post-9/11 world, a greater understanding across cultures is more important than ever before, yet the purpose of this program is not to provide political or historical context. Rather it is to explore and celebrate the great richness of Islamic culture by sharing a variety of literature,” said Beth Toren, media and religious studies librarian for the WVU Libraries.

WVU students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds will read brief selections from poetry, prose, and personal narratives.

“Sharing literature helps us recognize commonalities that transcend geographic origins or religious beliefs. Recognizing our common humanity broadens and balances our perspectives,” Toren said. “We are all brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, mothers and fathers, and individuals.”

Audience members will have the opportunity to discuss the readings. The program and discussion will be moderated by Toren and fellow grant recipients Aaron Gale, chair of the WVU Religious Studies Program; and Imam Sohail Chaudhry, who teaches at WVU and serves as Imam at the Islamic Center of Morgantown.

For more information or to participate in the read-in, call or email Toren at 304-293-0336, or

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