Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Muslim Journeys Theme: Connected Histories

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System was one of the libraries chosen to receive the Muslim Journeys bookshelf in 2013. The bookshelf is a collection of fascinating books and DVDs about the Muslim world's history and culture. We’ll profile some in our blog over the next few months.

Ancient Muslim Map
Centuries before the dawn of supersonic transport, the internet, and multinational corporations, the world already was an amazingly interconnected place. Modern-day national boundaries did not exist. Lines between cultures that seem so solid today were blurry. Many of the books in the Muslim Journeys bookshelf provide a tantalizing view as to just how interconnected the medieval world was in spite of the slowness and danger associated with travel.

When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks Who Created the “Riches of the East”. Read about how Islam related to the religions and cultures of India, China, Iran, and modern-day Afghanistan.  

The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain.  Learn about a uniquely diverse culture in the Andalusian Middle Ages in Spain.

The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance. Discover how the scientific method began in Muslim lands.

In an Antique Land. Learn what it meant to be free or enslaved in the Muslim world in the days before European colonialism.

Leo Africanus. A swashbuckling historical novel about real-life Hasan al-Wazzan, born in Andalusia on the eve of the Spanish Reconquest.

For more information, visit this site for annotations and other resources provided by the grantor. You can also access the Oxford Islamic Studies Database through our list of A-Z Databases.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Earth Hour 2013

Earth Hour 2013

Earth Hour is an annual event that takes place worldwide in an effort to promote awareness of climate change and other environmental issues. This year the team behind Earth Hour is encouraging people to participate by switching off their lights for one hour on Saturday, March 23 at 8:30 p.m. Last year, Earth Hour broke records to cement itself as the largest voluntary action for the environment, with more than 6950 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories taking part! This year Earth Hour is once again hosting the “I Will If You Will” challenges on YouTube to showcase how everyone has the power to change the world we live in, bringing together the world’s biggest social video platform with the ‘world’s largest action for the environment.’ Will you accept the challenge? Or better yet, come up with a challenge of your own!

And let the kids participate too! The Earth Hour website has all kinds of fun stuff to explore and even some games that teach about recycling and conservation. Earth Hour Kids ambassador, Pocoyo, has pledged to clean up two tons of trash from the ocean floor if 100,000 kids play the Ocean Clean-Up Game!

And for more information on protecting our planet, you can search the catalog for these titles and many more at your local library!

Going, Going, Green! [DVD] by Drew Massey

50 Plus One Tips for Going Green by Alicia Marie Smith

Greenjobs: A Guide to Eco-friendly Employment by A. Bronwyn Llewellyn

The Green Kitchen: Techniques & Recipes for Cutting Energy Use, Saving Money, Reducing  
     Waste by Richard Ehrlich

A Sustainable Future: Saving & Recycling Resources by Louise Spilsbury

Don't Throw it Out: Recycle, Renew & Reuse to Make Things Last by Lori Baird

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Discover Oxford Islamic Studies Online Database

Decorative Islamic tile
Ever wonder about Muslim history and culture, the Islamic world, and the Muslim faith, but didn't know where to find reliable information? Try the database Oxford Islamic Studies Online, now accessible from the A-Z Databases listAtlanta-Fulton Public Library patrons have access to this database for one year as part of the Muslim Journeys grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

Use the basic or advanced search options, or just browse individual regions, time periods, and biographies. You can find such varied information as:

  - A description of how British colonial rule unwittingly aided the growth of Islam in the Gambia in the 19th century.
- The Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech of Yemeni Arab Spring activist Tawokkol Karman.
- A map of the Silk Road showing major stops all the way from the Syrian coast to the Shaanxi province in China.
- All the occurrences of the word "jihad" in the Qur'an.
- A quote from Nobel physicist Abdus Salam: "There truly is no [disparity] between Islam and modern science.”
- Find out how one of the world's most independent news sources - al-Jazeera - came to broadcast from an area where most governments either own or strictly control the media.
- A bibliography of materials by and about Malcolm X.
Also included are time lines depicting major events in the Islamic lands side-by-side with world events, an English-language Qur'an verse looker-upper, and a date converter. We invite all of our patrons to explore this database and expand their knowledge of the Islamic world!