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University libraries receive grant

The Parthenon

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:01

Marshall University is among 842 institutions nationwide to have been selected to receive the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf. The bookshelf is the first project from the National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Cultures.

Jim Leach, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, said libraries have a key role in fostering conversations about diversity and brining humanities to the public.

“Libraries are centers of learning that offer a welcome space where members of the public can learn about the history we share and express different points of view,” Leach said in a news release.

The new collection is currently displayed on the first floor of the John Deaver Drinko Library.

The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf includes 25 books that have been selected by Deborah Amos, NPR international correspondent, and prominent Islamic scholars Giancarlo Casale and Leila Golestaneh Austin.

The grants also include three DVDs with special public performance rights, which will allow Drinko Library to host free public screenings of films from the collection.

Koran by Heart, one of the films from the collection, documents the world’s oldest Quran reciting contest where over a hundred children recite the Quran from memory.

The grant also includes a one-year subscription to the Oxford Islamic Studies Online database, which will give students and faculty access to the most comprehensive collection of research and scholarship on the history, beliefs and people of Islam.

Oxford Islamic Studies Online features interactive timelines, English-language interpretations of the Quran and a date converter that converts Western Gregorian calendar dates into Islamic Hijri calendar dates.

Majed Khader, director of the Morrow Library, said he is excited about the opportunity the grant will offer students because it will give a better understanding of Islamic culture.

“By participating in the Muslim Journeys project we will set the occasion for a frank and forthright discussion of the culture, literature, art and profound beliefs of the Muslim tradition,” Khader said.

The grant represents a joint project between the University Libraries, the Office of Information Technology and the College of Liberal Arts and was spearheaded by Khader and College of Liberal Arts Dean, David Pittenger.

Library recipents of the the Muslim Journeys bookshelf will be eligible for future grant oppurunites from National Endowment for the Humanities’s Bridging Cultures initative.

Funding for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York, with additional support for the arts and media components from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Events will be ongoing throughout the semester, with special events planned for International Islamic Awareness week in March.

Chris Hodge can be contacted at


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