Press contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public contact: Mary-Jane Deeb (202) 707-1221

January 16, 2004

Women In Islam and America is Topic of February 4 Lecture

Leila Ahmed, professor of divinity at Harvard University, will deliver a lecture titled "Women in Islam and America: Reflection on Where We Are Today," at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 4, in Room LJ 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public and no tickets are required.

Leila Ahmed is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Divinity at Harvard University. She is the author of a number of books on Islam, including her bestselling autobiography, "Border Passage: From Cairo to America -- A Woman’s Journey," which was published in 1999 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

The program is sponsored jointly by the Library of Congress’s African and Middle Eastern Division and its John W. Kluge Center as well as the American University’s Center for Global Peace and Mohammed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace.

The Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division was created in 1978. It comprises three sections -- African, Hebraic and Near East, which cover some 70 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. The division holds some 600,000 volumes in the non-Roman script languages of the region.

Established in 1996, American University’s Center for Global Peace provides a framework for programs and initiatives that advance the study and understanding of world peace and are grounded in a search for a just and sustainable world order. Established that same year at American University, the Mohammed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace is devoted to the study of Islam and peace.

A generous endowment from John W. Kluge in 2000 enabled the Library of Congress to establish the John W. Kluge Center, to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. D.C. The center houses five senior Kluge Chairs as well as a number of postdoctoral fellows. In addition, it sponsors a number of programs that highlight research in the humanities and culture. For information about the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, Washington D.C. 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595, or visit the Web at

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PR 04-012
ISSN 0731-3527

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