Friday, April 8, 2011

Ramadan Road Trip Program to be Held on Campus

On Tuesday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium, Ashland University will host a unique program that will highlight the adventure of Aman Ali (better known for his comedic appearances on CNN, HBO, ABC News, and NPR) and Bassam Tariq as they traveled to 30 mosques in 30 states within 30 days.

Immediately following the presentation, a discussion with Ali will follow in the Eagles’ Landing of the Hawkins-Conard Student Center. This event is free and open to the public.

Last year, New Yorkers Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq’s Twitter experiment of spending the holy Muslim month of Ramadan at a different New York City mosque each night blossomed into a multimedia blogging project that garnered attention from tens of thousands worldwide,

“This 30 states trip was hands down one of the most rewarding – and insane – ideas that we’ve ever tackled in our entire lives,” Ali said. “But what kept us motivated is all the support we received from our readers, who were a good mix of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Oh, and having plenty of underwear and an iPod with hours of tunes on it helped us get through the trip too.”

CNN ranked it as one of the top stories of 2010. During Ramadan 2010, Islam’s holy month of fasting and reflection, Ali and Tariq took a road trip across America, stopping each evening to break their fasts at a different mosque in a different state. The two drove over 13,000 miles during the trip and blogged about it daily on their site, During the trip they prayed inside the infamous “Ground Zero Mosque” in Manhattan, got pulled over by a cop in Mississippi, and visited the first mosque ever built in the U.S. in Ross, N.D. – a town with only 48 people in it. Along the way they met the protagonists of Dave Eggers’ bestselling Zeitoun, Cambodian Muslim victims of the Khmer Rouge, a Pakistani-Mormon couple, and many, many others, all of whom are part of the diverse Muslim-American community. Their journey explores what it means to be Muslim in America today, and serves as a powerful counter-narrative to the media’s image of a monolithic Islam.

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