Akbar Ahmed Continues Dialogue on Islam with Play

Washington, DC: The Trial of Dara Shikoh, a play by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, will be performed on Friday, March 21 at 7 p.m. with a repeat performance on Saturday, March 22 at 4 p.m. in the Abramson Family Recital Hall at American University’s Katzen Arts Center.  The play is a production of American University College of Arts and Sciences and School of International Service, along with Global Performing Arts.
The Trial of Dara Shikoh, Ahmed’s most recent play, was launched on February 27 by the Buxton Initiative’s Buxton Readings.  The performances will be directed by Manjula Kumar, president of Global Performing Arts.  Both performances will be followed by a panel discussion including Kumar; Professor Ahmed; Ambassador Mahmud Ali Durrani of Pakistan; Ambassador Raminder Jassal, deputy chief of mission for the Embassy of India; Ambassador Cynthia Schneider, former US Ambassador to the Netherlands; Harvey Oyer, chair of the Historical Society of Palm Beach and others.  
”Professor Akbar Ahmed’s brilliant new play, The Trial of Dara Shikoh,is not only a fascinating drama, but a most important, highly instructive study of the major forces within Islam that grip our modern world and may help to decide our global future,” said Stanley Wolpert, distinguished professor at the University of California-Los Angeles.
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, including his most recent work, Journey into Islam: the Crisis of Globalization.  
Professor Ahmed has also written two other theatrical works: Jinnah and Noor.  He 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.  
Located in Washington, DC, American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the US and nearly 150 countries and providing opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation's capital and around the world.

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