Library gets Muslim Journey’s Grant

By MARSHA LLOYD

The Ridgecrest Branch Library has received a grant of 25 books and related resources on the people, places, history, faith, art and cultures of Muslims around the world, including those within the United States. It is called the “Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys” grant and is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

Five themes, each developed by a nationally known scholar, provide context for reading and discussing the books and documentary films. A companion website expands the resources available for reading, understanding and discussing the books. Bonus materials include a subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online.

Some of the grant materials have begun to arrive in the library. Four documentary films on DVD include public performance rights. The first film to be screened will be “Koran by Heart” on Tuesday, April 16, at 5:45 p.m. in the library meeting room. The film’s introduction:

“Every year, over a hundred young people from 70 countries across the Islamic world arrive in Cairo to compete in the world’s oldest and most prestigious Koran reciting contest. In this 80-minute documentary, three 10-year-old children leave their native countries to participate in the International Holy Koran Competition. Up against much older students, these youngsters have committed the 600 pages of the Koran to memory. The three young competitors face uncertain futures at home as they are caught between fundamentalist and moderate visions of Islam.”

Award-winning filmmaker Greg Barker delicately captures humorous and touching moments with the children at home with their families, in addition to capturing the excitement and pressure of the competition.

We will announce the arrival of the grant book collection once items are cataloged and processed into our library. There will be more programs scheduled with grant books used for discussions and screenings of more grant films.

The Ridgecrest Branch Library is open Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. 7 p.m., and Saturday 9-5. The library is located at 131 E. Las Flores Ave. Call 760-384-5870 for more information, or visit the Kern County Library website, www.kerncountylibrary.org. Check it out!

Story First Published: 2013-03-27