QUANTICO – MARINE CORPS UNIVERSITY CLASS FOCUS: EMIR ABDELKADER
John Kiser was invited to teach a five-week course in early 2015 for officers at Marine Corps University (Command and Staff College) in Quantico, VA. The course titled, “France in Algeria, Lessons for the U.S. in the Muslim World,” explored the role of cultural competence, character and building right relationships on and off the battlefield. Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader was one of the core reading assignments. Officers’ evaluations of the course were very positive.
CASE STUDY – EMIR ABDELKADER: RUMORS IN DAMASCUS
AEP is collaborating with Merrimack College Center for Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations in North Andover, MA, in association with Harvard’s Pluralism Project, on the case study entitled, “Emir Abdelkader: Rumors in Damascus.” This case study is available for people to examine events leading up to Emir Abdelkader’s intervention in 1860 to save Christian lives in Damascus. Visit the Harvard Pluralism Project website and click “Rumors in Damascus,” cases A and B.
PAKISTAN – “KISER SCOUTS”
Nazir Khan of Indian Kashmir is founder of the Indian Kashmiri Scouts and announced the formal launch of “KISER SCOUTS” (with units for boys and girls) during November 2014. Khan was inspired by John Kiser’s biography Commander of the Faithful which led to the creation of a small cadre of English reading student scouts who will read the book and write an essay. Khan is ordering Urdu versions of Commander from Pakistan.
ING – ABDELKADER GOES ‘ONLINE’
Islamic Networks Group (ING), an educational outreach organization in San Jose, released a new online curriculum for high school and college students. The curriculum, “Emir Abdelkader: A Muslim Hero for our Time,” includes a digital presentation with five lesson plans and draws upon John Kiser’s book, Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader. Learn more at www.ing.org
ABDELKADER RIDES AGAIN AT GEORGETOWN FOR GUEST APPEARANCE
Dr. Ahmed Achrati, Academic Director of the Summer Arabic Program at Georgetown University, and adjunct faculty in Anthropology Department at Howard Community College, Columbia, MD, invited John Kiser for the second year to speak at his summer course for high school students, titled “Fundamentals of Arabic.” Kiser’s presentation on the Commander also included participation and interaction through Skype with student winners of the Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize essay contests.
US EMBASSY-ALGIERS FUNDS ARABIC TRANSLATION
The Arabic translation of John Kiser’s biography Commander of the Faithful, funded by the US Embassy-Algiers, has been completed by Yasmina Binbrinis (U of Oran, Algeria). Publishers are being sought for both Arabic and French versions of the book.
USA “COUNTRY OF HONOR” AT ALGIERS INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR
Dr. Ismael Chikhoune, CEO/president of US-Algeria Business Council (USABC), invited John Kiser and Kathy Garms as cultural ambassadors in May to present AEP, along with Roger Buchholz and Keith Garms of Elkader Iowa. Following several days in Algiers, the delegation was hosted in Mascara (Elkader’s Sister City) by Wali Ouled Salah Zitouni and Abdelmalek Sahraoui, president of the Abdelkader Association. The group toured “In the Footsteps of the Emir” and participated in the University of Mascara “Abdelkader Conference,” which has led to collaboration with the intent to promote knowledge and impact of Emir’s life story around the world.
MAY 2014 AEP FORUM – “CONNECTING CULTURES, COUNTERING EXTREMISM”
Elkader honored 2014 Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize essay winners from Massachusetts, Iowa, University of Nebraska, and Eastern Mennonite University. Keynote Daisy Khan of NYC addressed “Emir Abdelkader – A True Muslim Hero: Connecting Cultures, Countering Extremism.”
“A IS FOR ARAB” EXHIBIT (NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR HUMANITIES)
Kathy Garms spoke during the Grand Opening reception at Bettendorf Public Library (Iowa) in June. Her presentation focused on the powerful life story of Emir Abdelkader, the Elkader/Mascara connection, her visits to Algeria, and AEP along with the biography that gave rise to it, Commander of the Faithful by John Kiser. Kathy’s presentation inspired more volunteer efforts in support of AEP’s mission.
“A MUSLIM SAINT IN IOWA” U.N. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE AT GRINNELL COLLEGE
John Kiser and Kathy Garms were invited to participate in September events with discussions focused on past and present significance of Emir Abdelkader; his relationship to Iowa, Islam, and Algeria; and interreligious dialog from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives. The film “Of Gods and Men,” which credits Kiser’s book The Monks of Tibhirine, was shown with introduction and Q/A by John.
“ABDELKADER” – A DOCUMENTARY
The Arabian Sights Film Festival at the Goethe Institute in Washington DC featured “Abdelkader,” a creative two-hour documentary by film-maker Salem Brahimi. The film draws upon interviews in Elkader and other locations around the globe. AEP will schedule screenings of “Abdelkader” in the near future.