Announcing The Muslim Protagonist: “write your own story”

Check out this event I am Co-Chair of: Columbia University’s first ever Muslim writers symposium, on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. We have an A-list cast of speakers — I call it “the Avengers of Muslim writers!”

Courtesy of Aleq Abdullah

The Muslim Protagonist will explore the role that education, literature and the arts play in community empowerment and social justice. Prominent Muslim and non-Muslim novelists, playwrights, filmmakers, journalists, and scholars will discuss issues of representation, scholarship, and the catalytic role that print media, entertainment, and social media can play in shaping Muslim identities in America.

Our speakers will include Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, Lila Abu-Lughod, Wajahat Ali, Naif Al-Mutawa, Anita Amirrezvani, Reza Aslan, Richard Bulliet, Mohsin Hamid, Jacob Kader, Nikoo Kafi and Jim McGoldrick, Daniyal Mueenuddin, Kamran Pasha, Musa Syeed, Sahar Ullah, and more. These are the Pulitzer and Man Booker Prize finalists, award-winning journalists, Sundance filmmakers, Hollywood directors, esteemed playwrights, distinguished academics, comic book creators, and bestselling authors who have and will continue to define and inspire today’s evolving literary, social, and political landscape.

Visit the Facebook page hereProgram and  ticketing information is also available on the site. News and updates will be posted here. You can also follow us on Twitter!


Ibrahim Abdul-Matin – Author of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches Us About the Planet, regular contributor on NPR’s The Takeaway

Lila Abu-Lughod – Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science in Columbia University’s Department of Anthropology, author of Veiled SentimentsWriting Women’s Worlds, and Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt

Wajahat Ali – Playwright, journalist, and attorney, author of Domestic Crusaders, the first major play about the American-Muslim experience, and co-editor of 45 American Men on Being Muslim

Naif Al-Mutawa (exclusive video) – Founder and CEO of Teshkeel Media Group, creator of the The 99 comics

Anita Amirrezvani – Adjunct Professor of Writing and Literature at the California College of the Arts, author of The Blood of Flowers and Equal of the Sun

Reza Aslan – Co-Founder of BoomGen Studios and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, author of No god but God and Beyond Fundamentalism, and editor of Tablet and Pen and Muslims and Jews in America

Richard Bulliet – Professor of History at Columbia University, author of The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization,Islam: The View from the EdgeKicked to Death by a Camel, and The One-Donkey Solution

Mohsin Hamid (exclusive video) – Author of Moth Smoke, Booker-Prize finalist The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and the forthcoming novel How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

Jacob Kader – Co-author of the off-Broadway play Food and Fadwa at the New York Theater Workshop

Nikoo Kafi & Jim McGoldrick – Co-authors of over two-dozen award-winning novels, most recently Omid’s Shadow and The Deadliest Strain

Daniyal Mueenuddin (exclusive video) – Author of Pulitzer Prize finalist In Other Rooms, Other Wonders

Kamran Pasha – Hollywood screenwriter, director, and novelist, co-producer and writer of Emmy-winning showSleeper Cell, writer and producer of NBC series Kings, and author of Mother of the Believers and Shadow of the Swords

Musa Syeed – New York Foundation for the Arts fellow, writer and director of Valley of Saints, winner of the Audience Award for World Cinema the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Production Award at Sundance 2012

Sahar Ullah – the Creative Director and co-founder of the theater project Hijabi Monologues

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