Saturday May 5, 2012 Elkader, Iowa will host the 4th annual celebration to honor an extraordinary Arab world hero, Emir Abdelkader, for whom the town was named in 1846, and to recognize students who have been touched by his life story. During the May 5th Abdelkader Education Project Forum, high school and college students who wrote winning essays will share the most important lessons they learned from Abdelkader's example of moral and courageous leadership. The event will also feature international speakers, cultural entertainment, and live music.
Responding to the need to foster cultural understanding and a more nuanced understanding of Islam and Muslims, the Abdelkader Education Project (AEP) uses Abdelkader’s life story to open conversations about ethics, civility, and moral leadership through its annual essay contests and educational outreach.
Since 2009 the AEP Team of project director Kathy Garms; author John Kiser; TeachMideast (an educational initiative of the Middle East Policy Council), and oneblue.org have built connections and resources around this universally relevant figure to prepare students for life in our larger global society. The education materials developed so far as part of the AEP include:
The May 5th Forum features renowned Carnegie Hall performer of Andalusian music, Nassima Chaabane; John Kiser, author of the much-acclaimed Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader; French documentary film maker Salem Brahimi; and other national speakers. As a highlight of the event, recognition will be given to students who wrote prize winning essays about Abdelkader and their mentors.
The Forum at the historic Elkader Opera House begins at 1:30 p.m. with a “meet and greet” and live music by the River Connections Jazz Band. At 2:00 p.m. the awards ceremony and inspiring presentations begin.
The free event is open to the public. For more information visit the Abdelkader Education Project www.abdelkaderproject.org
Commander of the Faithful…The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader www.truejihad.com
John W. Kiser www.johnwkiser.com
Sarah Sayeed and John Boyer www.oneblue.org
Nassima Chaabane www.nassima-chabane.com