Akbar S. Ahmed
Akbar Salahuddin Ahmed, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, or Akbar Ahmed, is currently the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University in Washington, D.C., the First Distinguished Chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Ahmed is regularly interviewed by CNN, CBS, BBC, and Fox News and has appeared several times on the Oprah Winfrey Show and has appeared on the Daily Show. He is the author of over a dozen award-winning books, including Discovering Islam (the basis for the BBC six-part TV series entitled “Living Islam”) and Journey into Islam; his books have been translated into many languages, including Chinese and Indonesian. His latest project based in extensive fieldwork has resulted in a full length documentary and book, both titled Journey into America.
He joined the Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP), the elite cadre of the Central Superior Services of Pakistan in 1966, and held important posts in Pakistan and Bangladesh—including Commissioner, Quetta; Political Agent, South Waziristan Agency. He has also been the Ambassador from Pakistan to the UK.
A prolific author, he is also a playwright and three of his plays were staged in the DC area: "Noor", "The Trial of Dara Shikoh", and "From Waziristan to Washington: A Muslim at the Crossroads".
Ahmed has also been a leader in interfaith dialogue and tries to build bridges between civilizations. Along with Judea Pearl, father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl he has had public dialogues in an effort to dispel hate and ignorance. For their efforts they were awarded the Purpose Prize in 2007. Ambassador Ahmed was also the recipient of the first Gandhi Center Fellowship of Peace Award in 2004.
Ahmed has been Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and has taught at Princeton, Harvard and Cambridge Universities. Ahmed was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Liverpool, received his PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, MA and Diploma in Education from Cambridge University, and Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honors) from Birmingham University.
Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam
His current project, “Journey into America,” is a study based in fieldwork of Muslims in America. It has resulted in a full length documentary, Journey into America, which has been shown at several film festivals and the book, Journey into America; the Challenge of Islam.
- Journey into America; the Challenge of Islam (Brookings Press, June 2010).
- Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization, Brookings Press.
- Knowledge: Why Civilizations Rise and Fall, with Amineh Hoti, under preparation, Polity Press, Cambridge.
- After Terror: Promoting Dialogue Among Civilizations; Co-Edited by Brian Forst, Polity Press, 2005.
- Islam Under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor World; Polity Press, 2003.
- The Future of Anthropology: Its Relevance to the Contemporary World; Co-Edited by Chris Shore, Athlone Press, 1999.
- Islam Today: A Short Introduction to The Muslim World; I.B. Tauris, 1998.
- Jinnah, Pakistan and Islamic Identity; Routledge, 1997.
- Islam, Globalization and Postmodernity; Routledge, with Hastings Donnan, 1994.
- Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society; Routledge, 1993.
- Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise; Routledge, 1992.
- Resistance and Control in Pakistan; Routledge, 1991.
- Pakistan: The Social Sciences' Perspective; Oxford University Press, 1990.
- Toward Islamic Anthropology: Definition, Dogma, and Directions; Vanguard Books, 1987.
- Religion and Politics in Muslim Society: Order and Conflict in Pakistan; Royal Book Co., 1987.
- Pieces of Green, the Sociology of Change in Pakistan, 1964-1974; Royal Book Co., 1977.
- Social and economic change in the Tribal Areas, 1972-1976; Oxford University Press, 1977.
- Mataloona: Pukhto Proverbs, Oxford University Press, 1975.
- Mansehra: A Journey, Ferozsons, Pakistan, 1973.
- Noor (play), Saqi Books, London, 2009. Part of the summer Festival at Theater J in Washington, DC in 2007
- The Trial of Dara Shikoh, The Buxton Initiative, Washington DC, Pakistan Link, 2008 and Saqi Books, London, 2009
- Waziristan to Washington: A Muslim at the Crossroads, a “memoire monologue” was first performed by Akbar Ahmed at the Washington DC, Jewish Community Center, Dialogues and Public Affairs, on August 22 and October 2, and the Katzen Arts Center on December 18, 2008, and at Theater J on March 23, 2009.
- “America has yet to grasp the cost of losing in Afghanistan”. Guardian Newspaper, October, 2009.
- “Swat in the eye of the storm: Interview with Akbar Ahmed”. Anthropology Today, Volume 25 Issue 5, October, 2009.
- “Islam in Today’s World: A Conversation with Akbar Ahmed”. Featured in Anthropology Today, Vol. 23, No. 1, in February 2007.
- “Talking Can Stop Hate” was featured as the “Big Idea!” in AARP the Magazine, in the March/April 2007 issue.
- “Bush Still Doesn’t Get It” featured in the Outlook section of the Washington Post July 22, 2007.
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- Presented and narrated “Living Islam”, the six-part BBC television series, in 1993.
- Presented “The Glories of Islamic Art”, the three-part television series for Channel 5, UK, broadcast in 2006.
- Initiated, developed and completed “The Jinnah Quartet” – a feature film • a documentary • two books on M.A. Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
- Consultant and interviewed for “Rumi Returning”, a major television film on the mystic poet.
- “Encountering Islam”, Audio CD series, NowYouKnow Media, Washington DC.
Distinctions and Distinguished Lectures
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- Awarded the Star of Excellence, one of Pakistan’s highest honors.
- Awarded Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal by the Royal Society for Asian Affairs in London.
- The Professor of the Year Award for Washington DC by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (2004)
- The first Gandhi Center Fellowship of Peace Award.
- Delivered the keynote address at the annual conference of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions at Monterrey, Mexico, September 23, 2007.
- Centennial Honorary Chair of the Washington National Cathedral Centennial Celebration (along with Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor).
- Founding member of the First Abrahamic Summit, Washington DC, and continues to be a member of the Abrahamic Roundtable, organized by the National Cathedral.
- Board of Directors, Hollings Center, and member, Abrahamic Program Advisory Committee, Chautauqua Institution.
- Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Hasan Family Foundation
- Senior Fellow of The Case Foundation.
- Inaugural lectures for the first Chair in Jewish-Muslim Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
- First Muslim to lecture at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.
- Special lecture at the London School of Economics and invited as an expert to address the All-Parties Committee on Terrorism at the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in the summer of 2007.
- Non-Resident Senior Fellow at Brookings.
- Awarded the first ever Purpose Prize Award in 2006.
- / U.S. Naval Academy
- / Brookings Institute
- / website link.
- Video interview with Akbar Ahmed, Interviews with Anthropologists, World Oral Literature Project
- "A spiritual journey across America". Washington Post.
- . BBC BBC on Journey http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11076846/ BBC on Journey. Missing or empty
- / Waziristan to Washington: A Muslim at the Crossroads, by Elise Alexander
- Waziristan to Washington
- / Guardian.co.uk
- / Anthropology Today
- Faculty Biography at American University
- Articles on Islam by Professor Akbar S. Ahmad
- Interview with Professor Ahmed from the Foreign Correspondent, September 19, 2001
- "Islam and Freedom of Thought" by Akbar Ahmed and Lawrence Rosen
- "Five Years After 9/11, 'Dialogue' with Islam Cause for Hope": Q&A with Akbar Ahmed by Mark O'Keefe
- "Globalization in our Public Schools" by Akbar Ahmed posted 10/16/08
- Akbar S. Ahmed at the Internet Movie Database