To recognize the beginning of Al Hijra (the Islamic New Year) from October 28th – 30th, The Utah Humanities Council and Dixie State University are proud to collaborate on “Muslim Journeys” – a festival of films, discussions, visual art and photographic displays exploring Muslim themes. The DSU library is participating with a series of books from the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf Series.

Art & Lectures

Glass sculpture will be featured in the Sears Art Museum Gallery by artist/scholar Andrew Kosorok, interpreting the “99 Names of God” in Islam. Kosorok is a graduate of BYU and is currently a sculpture and stain glass professor at BYU. His philosophy is “The lines of separation between paths of faith are often due to differences of vocabulary, rather than differences in where the heart is directed.”

Sculpture and paintings will be on display in the Eccles Grand Foyer by Pakistani artist Shazad Sheikh. He has taught in the DSU Visual Arts Department and has been featured on over fifteen national television programs regarding the development of batik art in Pakistan. Also featured will be photography of Islamic art, architecture and culture from photographer Tonezee’s world travels.

The journey begins on Tuesday, October 28th with a special lecture by Dr. Kathleen Herndon, a member of the English faculty at Weber State University and English Department Chair. She has lived in Isfahan, Iran, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for ten years. Her academic interests are in Middle Eastern Women Writers and English Education.

Documentary Films

The documentary films are free and will be screened at 7PM in the DSU Eccles Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. The schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Oct. 28th
Prince Among Slaves (in partnership with DSU Multi Cultural Diversity Center).
Brought by slave ship to Natchez, Mississippi in 1788, a twenty-six-year-old man named Abdul Rahman made the remarkable claim that he was an “African prince”. During his enslavement he toiled on the Foster plantation, married, and fathered nine children, before his claim was validated and he was set free to go home. His story made him one of the most famous Africans in American for a time, attracting the attention of powerful men such as Secretary of State Henry Clay.

The film will be followed by a discussion featuring Dr. Kathleen Herndon and Rev. Dr. Joel A. Lewis Chair Department of History and Political Science

Wednesday, Oct. 29th
Koran by Heart (in partnership with DOCUTAH).
The Qur’an says that if you memorize and teach it to others, you will be successful in this life and the next. In Koran by Heart, a young scholar earns a place in the Islamic world’s oldest Qur’an memorization contest – although he is only ten.

Scheduled during Ramadan, the two-week event is both grueling and exhilarating. The competitors adhere to the practice of daytime fasting prescribed for the holiest month of the Muslim calendar, and the rounds sometimes go well past midnight. But the boys and girls recite before audiences of clergy and family members. The finals are broadcast on Egyptian national television.

This film will be followed by a discussion led by DSU Visiting Professor Shadman Bashir.

Thursday, October 30th
Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World (in partnership with DOCUTAH).
This film takes audiences on an epic journey across nine countries and more than 1,400 years of history. It explores the richness of Islamic art from great ornamental palaces and the play of light in monumental mosques to the exquisite beauty of ceramics, carved boxes paintings, and metal work. It revels in the use of color and finds commonalities in a shared artistic heritage with the West and East. The film also examines the unique ways in which Islamic art turns calligraphy and the written word into masterpieces and develops water into an expressive, useful art form.

The film will be followed by a discussion led by Andrew Kosorok.