Join President Timothy Gianotti for a conversation about AIC, the Liberal Arts, and the nature of transformative education.
The Arabic Language Institute (ALI) at American Islamic College has hosted two enrichment events as extra curricular activities for its Summer Arabic Intensive, which ran online from June 17 to August 13. The first event was a presentation on Arabic calligraphy by Calligrapher Zeeshan, and the second event was a presentation on Egyptian music in the 20th century, accompanied by solo performance on Oud by Dr. Ashraf Abdel-Rahman, a professor of history of music at the Academy of Arts in Cairo.
Dr. Talaat Pasha, the director of ALI, has announced that similar events related to Arabic and Islamic studies will be regularly presented starting this Fall of 2020.
Date: Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Time: 1:00pm CT
Presented by: Zeeshan Farooq
Date: Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Time: 12:00pm CT
Presented by: Dr. Ashraf Abdel-Rahman
Register for a virtual information session to learn more about degree programs, course offerings, scholarships, and how to apply.
30-minute sessions, weekly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
|Tuesday, September 1, 2020||Degree programs, Admissions, Non-degree enrollment||12:30 PM (Central Time)|
|Wednesday, September 2, 2020||Student Life||12:30 PM (Central Time)|
|Wednesday, September 2, 2020||Master of Arts in Islamic Studies||8:00 PM (Central Time)|
|Thursday, September 3, 2020||Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies||12:00 PM (Central Time)|
|Thursday, September 3, 2020||Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies||6:30 PM (Central Time)|
On October 1, American Islamic College is partnering with The Lutheran School of Theology’s A Center for Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice, Chicago Theological Seminary’s Interreligious Institute, and The Shoulder-to-Shoulder Campaign to present a webinar and panel discussion.
Participants will watch three short videos (5-minutes each) followed by a vibrant panel discussion.
Date: Thursday, October 1, 2020
Time: 7:00 PM CST
Contact Kim Shultz at firstname.lastname@example.org for details and to register.
Being a Better Ally
Being Muslim in America
and Good Practices for Building Community
Moderator: Catherine Orsborn
Catherine Orsborn is the Executive Director of Shoulder to Shoulder, a national campaign of religious and interfaith organizations dedicated to working collectively against anti-Muslim bigotry in the US. Prior her current role, Catherine worked at the University of Denver as the co-Director of the Social Justice living/learning community on campus, and as a doctoral researcher at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies on the project, “Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Countries.”
Catherine received her undergraduate degree from Asbury University in Kentucky, and holds an MA and PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Denver, specializing in religion, conflict and peace-building in comparative context. She currently lives in Nashville, TN, with her husband and two young children.
Aseelah Rashid is Co-founder and CEO of The Muslim Mix, Inc. a 501c3 non-profit organization
which presents creative social events and environments targeted at Muslim young adults, while
also fostering social justice activism, and work specifically directed at changing the narrative
about Muslim Americans and how they’re portrayed in the media, and society.
As an active organizer within the Interfaith community, she currently serves on the Board for
Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters (AIB) and Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta (FAMA). She partners
with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), serving on the steering committee to facilitate
Muslim-Jewish Dialogues. And she regularly hosts Interfaith Visits to the Local Mosques in the
Atlanta, GA area.
She is well known and recognized for her exceptional leadership within the Muslim community
in the United States. Aseelah has curated, and convened high quality, high impact programming
for people in Georgia and across the region. She has traveled extensively throughout the United
States, Europe and the Middle East to build bridges and amplify female voices across religious,
cultural and ethnic lines.
Outside of her work within faith communities and service, Aseelah enjoys spending time with her Husband, Adrian “Asim” Rogers and their three sons, Righteous, Noble and Scholar.
Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Time: 11:30 am CT – 1:00 pm CT
Where: Virtual, RSVP to get links
Exploring the transformative vision and mission of AIC
Q & A
PART 1: ACADEMIC AFFAIRS, REGISTRATION, FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS
Degree Program Offerings, Chaplaincy Program, Arabic Language Institute, & Course information for Non-degree seeking students
Financial Aid and Scholarship Info
Q & A
Meet with Faculty: Dr. Shabana Mir, Dr. Omer Awass, & Dr. Talaat Pasha
Q & A
PART 2: STUDENT LIFE
Student Organizations & Clubs
Q & A
Upholding the sacred inviolability (hurma) of each person who enters Muslim spaces from exploitation & abuse by those holding religious power, knowledge and authoirty.
On January 10-11 of 2020, American Islamic College was pleased to host and co-sponsor the first in a series of research conferences on professional ethics in religious leadership under the direction of Dr. Ingrid Mattson in what is known as the Hurma Project. The Hurma Project is a timely community conversation that focuses on the “sacred inviolability” or “hurma” of each individual in religious spaces.
Over a hundred participants, which included members of the local Chicago community, religious leaders and academic researchers from around the United States and Canada came to American Islamic College to hear the plenary lecture on Friday night in the auditorium and the twelve hour conference which took place all of Saturday in the AIC dormitory conference hall. Dr. Mattson’s presentation on Friday night introduced the Hurma Project by highlighting the responsibilities of those in positions of religious leadership and the rights of the vulnerable by explicating key prophetic and judicial statements from the Islamic tradition, as well as confronting barriers that may have formed due to social and/or cultural stigmas of contemporary society.
The Saturday conference was a full day with various panels by scholars, religious leaders, students, and experts on topics such as: “Gendered Dimensions of Abuse and Recovery,” “Community Education and Advocacy,” and “Models and Practices of Accountability.” AIC Professor, Dr. Feryal Salem, who participated in the panel discussing “The Ethical Assessment of Functionally Temporary and Secretive Marriages” from the perspective of Islamic law and ethics stated, “This is an important discussion for us to have in a forum that can address ethical concerns related to religious leadership. It is even more important as part of the training of our Muslim Chaplaincy Program students seeking to become spiritual care practitioners in public institutions. It was encouraging to see so many of our chaplaincy students participating in the Hurma conference.”
Zoya Mirza who is an MDIV student in the Muslim Chaplaincy Program at AIC and currently a campus chaplain intern at Northwestern University expressed enthusiasm about having the opportunity to expand her professional networks through connecting with the many Muslim Chaplains from around the country who came for the program. She said, “There are not many female Muslim chaplains in America, and in order to be one, I met with many chaplains at the Hurma conference that further inspired me to devote myself to this field that many people are unaware of.”
Dilnaz Waraich, representative of the Waraich Family Foundation which supports the Hurma Project said, “As our community grows and becomes educated about spiritual, sexual, and financial abuse from religious leadership, this conference brought practitioners, scholars and community leaders to understand this timely topic. This gathering was the first of many educational opportunities aimed at removing stigma and cultivating greater awareness of these matters.”
The Hurma Project is “committed to upholding the sacred inviolability of each person who is present in our Muslim spaces by elucidating the special responsibilities of those holding power and authority and by educating those who are vulnerable about their God-given dignity and rights”(The Hurma Project, 2019). You can read more about The Hurma Project here.
About this Event
Location: Reception Hall, Dormitory Building
Address: 613 W Bittersweet Pl, Chicago, IL 60613
Parking: Located at 640 W Irving Park Rd
and 613 W Bittersweet Pl (rear of main building)
About this Event
A joint conference with the Michigan State University Department of Psychiatry, Institute for Muslim Mental Health, Khalil Center, and American Islamic College
This unique conference brings together scholars, faith leaders, healthcare providers and researchers to
examine topics related to mental health across the Muslim community. It will include keynote speakers, scholarly research presentations and panel discussions. Note that there will be parallel tracks, one for Islamic Psychology and one for General Muslim Mental Health.
Date: Saturday, March 28, 2020
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Auditorium, Main Bldg, American Islamic College
Sajida Jalalzai, Kayla Wheeler, Shehnaz Haqqani, Kecia Ali, Juliane Hammer, Shabana Mir
Panelists will address these questions and related questions from the audience:
- How can we challenge anti-Black racism in our communities?
- What are the challenges Muslim Americans face in terms of gender?
- How can Muslim academics best work with local communities? What does engaged scholarship look like?
Associate Professor of Anthropology and General Education Coordinator, American Islamic College
Shabana Mir is Associate Professor of Anthropology and General Education Coordinator at American Islamic College. She teaches Islamic Studies, Gender Studies, and Research Methods. She is the author of the award-winning book Muslim American Women on Campus: Undergraduate Social Life and Identity, published by the University of North Carolina Press (2014). The book has received the Outstanding Book Award from the National Association for Ethnic Studies and the Critics’ Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association (2014).
Associate Professor, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Trained in the study of Islam, languages, and pre-modern as well as modern Muslim societies, my scholarly trajectory has taken me from research on Palestinian women and diaspora and return experiences through a decade of work on American Muslim communities intersecting with women, gender and sexuality in contemporary Muslim contexts. I see myself in both Islamic studies and American religions, and in conversation with women’s and gender studies, sexuality studies and critical race theory. I have combined ethnographic and textual analysis methods in diverse research contexts and engage in interdisciplinary, multi-method research that does not privilege texts over lived experiences or vice versa.
Kayla Renée Wheeler
Assistant Professor of Area & Global Studies and Digital Studies, Grand Valley State University
I am an Assistant Professor of Area & Global Studies and Digital Studies at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI. I received my PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Iowa in May 2017. I have an M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Iowa, an M.A. in Islam and the West from Queen Mary, University of London and an M.A. in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University.
Professor of Religion, Boston University
Kecia Ali (Ph.D., Religion, Duke University) teaches a range of classes on Islam. Her research focuses on Islamic law; women and gender; ethics; and biography. Her books include Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur’an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence (2006, expanded ed. 2016), Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam (2010), Imam Shafi‘i: Scholar and Saint (2011), and The Lives of Muhammad (2014), about modern Muslim and non-Muslim biographies of Islam’s prophet. She co-edited the revised edition of A Guide for Women in Religion, which provides guidance for careers in religious studies and theology (2014). Her research also includes gender, ethics, and popular culture.
Assistant Professor, Trinity University
Sajida Jalalzai joins the Religion Department as Assistant Professor after holding an equivalent position for two years at St. Michael’s College in Vermont. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University and a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from McGill University, and she received her Ph.D. in Religion from Columbia University. She specializes in North American Religions with a focus on Islam and is currently engaged in studying chaplaincy programs for Muslim students housed at Protestant seminaries. In addition to being a religious studies scholar, she is a musician with interests ranging from opera to digital music.
Assistant Professor of Religion, Mercer University
My specialty is religion and gender, with a strong focus on Islam. Prior to joining the Mercer faculty, I was a Dissertation Diversity Fellow in Women’s and Gender Studies at Ithaca College in upstate New York.
Teaching at Ithaca College solidified my interest in teaching. I have many passions, and teaching surpasses them all. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to make a career out of a passion.
About This Event
On Sunday, Feb. 23rd, American Islamic College held a Film Screening of the heart-wrenching documentary, The Cave, which follows Dr. Amani Ballour and her team into the subterranean, makeshift Syrian hospital in the heart of besieged Eastern Al Ghouta.
Dr. Nour Akhras, a dedicated physician of Syrian origins, led a robust discussion following the screening. Dr. Akhras has been involved in relief medicine since the Syrian crisis began in 2011; she’s treated Syrian refugees in Turkey and Greece and is calling for the world’s attention on Idlib and the genocide taking place in Syria. Dr. Akhras is a board member of MedGlobal, which serves communities around the world who need humanitarian and medical assistance.
A member of the audience asked what could be done. Dr. Akhras replied:,
- Raise awareness
- Call your representative
Location: Auditorium, Main Building
Date & Time: February 23, 2020 at 2:00pm; discussion to follow
Address: 640 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
Parking: Located at 640 W Irving Park Rd
and 613 W Bittersweet Pl (rear of main building)
Speaker: Dr. Nour Akhras
Nour Akhras is a board-certified pediatric infectious diseases physician and mother of four young children. Akhras has been involved in relief medicine since the inception of the Syrian crisis in 2011 and have traveled to Turkey and Greece to treat Syrian refugee children. Her most recent medical mission was to war-torn Yemen in September of 2018.
MedGlobal is a young NGO that started in August of 2018. Since then, they have served over 150,000 patients in 14 countries. They are dedicated to creating a world without healthcare disparity.
Learn more about MedGlobal here.
Over the past eight years, the war in Syria has spread death, destruction and horror across the country, costing hundreds of thousands of lives and displacing millions. In besieged Eastern Al Ghouta, incessant bombardment has turned the landscape into an eerie wasteland dotted with bombed-out buildings and piles of rubble. Going outside is a life-threatening proposition, but residential neighborhoods are targeted as indiscriminately as markets, schools and other places. Hospitals, medical centers and ambulances are also fair game for the Assad government and its Russian allies.
Safety and hope lie underground, where a brave group of doctors and nurses have established a subterranean hospital called the Cave. Under the leadership of a young female pediatrician, Dr. Amani Ballour, the Cave offers hope and healing to the sick and injured children and civilians of Eastern Al Ghouta. In a conservative patriarchal society that devalues women, Dr. Amani is frequently subject to hostility from men who refuse to see her as a capable physician. But Dr. Amani doesn’t back down, and inside the Cave, women have reclaimed their right to work as equals alongside their male counterparts. They risk their lives to save their patients and find ways to persevere in a world of cruelty, injustice and suffering. For Dr. Amani and her colleagues Samaher and Dr. Alaa, their battle is not only to survive but to maintain their dreams and hopes for their country and for women.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Artist of the Beautiful,” the watchmaker Owen creates a beautiful mechanical butterfly as a gift for his childhood friend, Annie, now a wife and mother. She is astonished as the creature flutters forth from a carved box, exclaiming, “Beautiful! Beautiful! Is it alive? Is it alive?” When the creature alights on her finger, she turns to Owen and says, “Is it alive? Tell me if it be alive, or whether you created it.” Owen replies, “Wherefore ask who created it, so it be beautiful?” Later on, an imprudent boy cruelly destroys the insect.
While I was filming “Last Men in Aleppo,” we kept focus on the military targeting of hospitals over a few years. Hospitals were demolished. Medics as well as patients were killed. The systematic targeting of hospitals was used as revenge, intimidation and a method to create chaos and force citizens to flee. No international countermeasures were introduced to stop these barbaric and vengeful attacks.
It became impossible for the health sector to exist on the surface, so hospitals were built underground. I was able to visit a number of them, and it was astonishing to witness the human ingenuity at work. These hospitals became the only hope for people to survive and receive treatment. And they provided a place where men and women could work together. In fact, these limited underground spaces might be the only places where women can work.
In the Cave, I witnessed how these female doctors and nurses are fighting to reclaim their rights in these subterranean hospitals. They stand up for themselves, which is something they couldn’t do aboveground in the patriarchal culture surrounding them. These women are truly an inspiration to me, and I believe with this film they will inspire the world as well — contributing to breaking the silence of the outside world. If the silence toward the brutality isn’t broken and if no measures are taken against war crimes, then there is a problem in man’s universal claim to possess the rights of freedom, law and justice.
The current time in history is frightening because people are keener to glorify power. Like Hawthorne’s “The Artist of the Beautiful,” I wanted this film to be poetic — a film that helps us to look into the darkest corners of our souls and to inspire us to search for the light.
— Feras Fayyad
About this Event
Location: Lutheran School of Theology
Date: Sunday, February 16, 2020
Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Address: 1100 E 55th St, Chicago, IL 60615
Silk Road Rising recently released Obstacle Course, Jamil Khoury’s new video play. Loosely based on Mosque Alert, it explores reactions to a proposed Islamic Community Center on the site of a beloved landmark, precipitating a head-on collision between Not in My Backyard fear mongering, well-intentioned liberalism, and the peaceful practice of faith.
For registration contact Sara Trumm at email@example.com