“Noor" to Open Dialogue on Islam at American University

Washington, DC: “Noor,” a play on contemporary Islam by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, will be performed by local actors as a staged reading on November 19 and 20 at 8 p.m. in the Abramson Family Recital Hall at American University’s Katzen Arts Center. The play is co-produced by AU’s School of International Service and Theater J. The readings will be followed by discussions on contemporary Islam with a distinguished panel of media and spiritual and political leaders.
“Noor” is the story of three Muslim brothers who try to rescue their sister, Noor, who was kidnapped during Ramadan. The Washington Post hailed “Noor” as “a paean to religious tolerance.” It was first performed in July during Theater J’s “Voices From a Changing Middle East” series, part of the summer’s Capital Fringe Festival.
Ahmed is the former high commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain and has advised Prince Charles and met with President George W. Bush on Islam. According to the BBC, he is considered “the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam.” Ahmed has written more than 30 books and is regularly interviewed on CNN, CBC, BBC and has appeared several times on the Oprah Winfrey Show and Nightline. In 2006, he won the Purpose Prize Award with Dr. Judea Pearl for their work on interfaith dialogue.
Both theatrical readings will be followed by a discussion of the play and contemporary Islam moderated by Theater J’s Artistic Director Ari Roth. Panelists for the discussions include Mahmud Ali Durrani, Pakistan ambassador to the United States; John Chane, bishop of Washington at the National Cathedral; Tony Blankley, syndicated columnist and senior fellow at the Heritage foundation; Matt Frei, anchor, BBC America; Nora Boustany, Washington Post columnist and Leon Harris, host of ABC-7’s Capital Sunday.
American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the US and nearly 150 countries. Located in Washington, DC, the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world. www.american.edu.
DETAILS: Tickets are $15 adults; $10 AU community and seniors and $5 for students. They are available for purchase at http://american.tix.com; by calling 202-885-ARTS (2787) or in person at the Katzen Ticket Office located in the main lobby of the Katzen Arts Center. The box office is open Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and one hour prior to curtain.

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