The Columns

W&L’s Contact Speaker’s Series Presents the Third Talk on the Middle East

— by on November 13th, 2007

The third lecture of Spotlight on the Middle East, Washington and Lee University’s Contact-sponsored speaker series will be on Tuesday, Nov. 27. The lecture on Spotlight on Religion in the Middle East will be given by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University in Washington, at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

Ambassador Ahmed’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the religion department at W&L.

Ahmed is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in addition to his appointment at American University. He is an expert on global Islam and its impact on contemporary society, interfaith dialogue, Pakistan and U.S. relations with the Islamic world. According to the BBC, he is “the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam.”

He has been a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and at Harvard and Cambridge Universities, and was the High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain. Ambassador Ahmed was the principal investigator for the “Islam in the Age of Globalization” project, sponsored by the Brookings Institution, American University and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

His books, films and documentaries have won awards and his books have been translated into many languages. His numerous books include “Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society,” “Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise” and “Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World.”

The final lecture of the series, Spotlight on War in the Middle East, will be Thursday, March 6, 2008, and will be given by Gen. Anthony Zinni (ret.).