The Global Islamic Studies Center and I would like to wish our community at the University of Michigan and beyond a happy, healthy, and safe holiday and New Year.

This semester, my first as Director, we hosted a number of successful virtual and in-person events that revitalized the Center and our Islamic Studies community in the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. These included our timely Afghanistan lecture series with professor and Afghan activist Ahmad Qais Munhazim, and journalist Anand Gopal; a follow-up to our Muslims in Comics event last year; and in October, our annual GISC #Halaloween Muslim horror film festival and Muslim horror scholarly roundtable.

We are thrilled to report that our Halaloween film festival was covered by national media including National Public RadioReligion News, American Muslim Today, and the Washington Post!

Next semester, we are looking forward to another full itinerary of exciting events, including the continuation of our Afghanistan series with the documentary film Sonita and an interview with its star; a “Muslims in the Digital Age” virtual media event with youth podcasters, influencers, and musicians; a book launch and roundtable on Muslim chaplaincy in North America; and a “Black Islam in the Americas” lecture and film short series.

Our events this semester were fortunate to have the co-sponsorship of multiple units at LSA and at the International Institute, as well as external supporters including the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn. We also co-sponsored and co-funded numerous events including lectures and talks organized by the Great Lakes Adiban Society, and the graduate student-led Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies Seminar.

As we continue our mission of furthering scholarly knowledge of Global Islam and Muslim cultures worldwide, with a particular emphasis on the rich diversity of the ummah, and a commitment to educating all U-M students and being in community with our constituencies in southeast Michigan, we invite you, with much appreciation, to continue supporting our GISC programming and necessary work.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me and the Center for information on co-sponsoring or financially supporting any of our upcoming events and initiatives.

With best wishes to you and your loved ones for 2022,

Aliyah Khan
Director, Global Islamic Studies Center (GISC)
Associate Professor
University of Michigan