Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New IRC Website

It has been a while in the works, but we are finally up and running with our new website. Thanks to all of the hard work of our new webmaster, our beautiful new site is now looking amazing and working better than ever.

Friday, March 20, 2015

IRC Book Club's Newest Book Now Available for Purchase

The IRC Book Club takes a chapter a month and April starts a new book. They meet the second Monday of each month at 7PM. The IRC Book Club will be starting a new book this month.

Their next book, "Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence," by Karen Armstrong, explores whether or not religion is indeed inherently violent. In an age in which “[i]n the West, the idea that religion is inherently violent is now taken for granted and seems self-evident,” Armstrong's book is a refreshingly level look at the role religion has played and continues to play in the world in regards to war and violence.

For a more in-depth review, please see the New York Times book review by James Fallows.

Come join in the discussion as we explore "Fields of Blood"'s first chapter April 13th at the Islamic Resource Center. Or, if you would rather, simply purchase the book through our bookstore and read it for yourself.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

"Abd El Kader" to Air Thursday March 26th

For those of you waiting on the next film in the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival #MMFilmFest , the next in the lineup is "Abd el Kader. It is set to air Thursday, March 26th at the Oriental Theatre. This will be the only showing of the film so be there or be square.

A reminder: Tickets are $6 each and first-come-first-served. There will be a post-film talk-back, so bring your questions and comments.

"Abd El Kader" is an animated documentary on the life of Emir Abd el Kader, an Algerian Islamic scholar and Sufi who found himself unexpectedly a military leader leading the struggle against the French colonial invasion in the mid-19th century.

For more information, please visit the film festival's site,

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival Continues On Toward Success.

From what I have heard, both showings of "Yemeniettes" by the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival #MMFilmFest were a roaring success. I went to the Wednesday showing and was suitably impressed by both documentary and director. Some of my favorite parts of the film were all of the excellent one-liners the mother of one of the girls would give throughout the film. For those of you that couldn't make it, Wednesday's showing was followed by a talk-back session with the Director/Executive Producer, Leon Shahabian. It was a true treat.

Leon Shahabian proved himself to be a well-spoken, well-informed individual and very approachable. At one point, he even tried to cut the listing of his impressive credits short to get to the questions. During the talk-back, we learned fascinating facts about the area, his filming interests, how they discovered and decided to film the girls, post-filming updates on the families, behind-the-scenes details (including how the girls got their funding) and all sorts of information we wouldn't have otherwise.

The girls were, surprisingly enough, all from upper middle class families with fathers in prestigious governmental positions. I say surprising because of two things. First of all, the area in which they lived appeared, perhaps because of my decidedly American viewpoint, a less than expected level of development. They went to public school, and seemed very much on level with most of the other individuals seen in the documentary. Secondly, he had made sure they were in their everyday clothing to better connect with and inspire fellow Yemeni for, as Leon Shahabian stated during the talk-back, "this film was for them" (the Yemeni people).

We also got a chance to speak with a Yemeni during the talk-back, as a member of the audience was discovered to be an exchange student from the region. Hamza seemed an intelligent, driven individual with a desire to go on to college and make something of himself. He was able to answer questions about various cultural aspects and some insight into his perspective on the situation and his plans for the future. It was a nice parallel with the film that couldn't have gone much better if we had tried.

Here's an update on the "Yemeniettes" girls since the film debuted:

Last Mr. Shahabian heard as of 2012, the girls were still running their company, Creative Generation, with half working the company and the other half away at college to get their degrees and planning on returning to continue their work there and hopeful to expand, both to other countries and into other solar products.

With all of the unrest in Yemen, it is unfortunate to say, not much is known of the girls' current goings on. They are just some of the many people stuck between the Houthis, ISIS and other warring factions in the conflict in their country. It is unfortunate, but war is and has never been "surgical," and forced regime changes rarely clean. However, people remain hopeful. Perhaps one day everything will clear up and the girls can really make a difference. They already have proven an inspiration.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Yemeniettes" Opening

Tonight is the opening night of "Yemeniettes" followed by director led discussion. I will be there along with my other IRC coworkers. We are excited about the director commentary. It should be a fun experience, one that I hope a lot of you are going to join me for. Just a reminder, "Yemeniettes" is a documentary about three young girls from Yemen that enter an entrepreneurial contest with energy saving products, leading the way for future Yemenis to create a brighter future. Join me tonight 7PM at the Oriental Theater. Tickets cost $6. Can't wait to see you there!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Come see "Yemeniettes" at the Oriental Theatre and UWM Union Theatre

The Islamic Resource Center is proud to be working with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, UWM, and the Muslim Society of America to bring you the first annual Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival #MMFilmFest.

Our next film in the festival series is Yemeniettes. It will be showing 7PM Wednesday, March 11th, at the Oriental Theatre and 7PM Thursday, March 12th, at the UWM Union Theatre. Both screenings include post-screening talk-backs with Wednesday's showing including discussion with the director. Tickets cost $6 both nights and UWM students get in free to the Union Theatre. IRC staff will be on site to help and answer any questions you might have.

Yemeniettes follows three Yemeni girls as they compete in an entrepreneurship competition. Their innovation and confidence impress the judges as they showcase a series of products designed to address the energy shortage and limited access to electricity across Yemen. Against all odds, the girls advance and secure their place at the pan-Arab championships where, if they win, they will receive funding to turn their dream into a reality and provide hope to a new generation of Yemeni youth.

We hope to see you there.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Please join us for our annual International Women's Day at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, March 8th, from 1:30-5PM. The event is free and open to the public. Entertainment includes dance and music from around the world, guest speakers, and of course, refreshments. Come and celebrate the women in your life.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Welcome to the Islamic Resource Center

Welcome to the Islamic Resource Center's new blog!

For those of you new to our organization, the Islamic Resource Center, opened in 2010, is the first Islamic library in the state of Wisconsin. Its parent organization, the Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition, has been working with the Greater Milwaukee Area for over 20 years to promote an accurate understanding of the Islamic faith in our society and interfaith dialog between principle members of our ever-growing community.

The Islamic Resource Center (IRC) has been hard at work adding new materials and collections, better organizing existing collections, and finding and creating new and better programming to meet your needs. We have been fortunate enough this past year to add Young Adult, Children's Media and World Languages collections, are hard at work providing you with programs such as Poetry Slam Nights, Author Talks, Book Club, and monthly Networking Brunches, and working with our community to bring you International Women's Day, the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival and interfaith events for all ages.

I am your librarian here at the IRC. I will serve as your guide, giving you a backstage pass to the workings of the Center. We are thrilled here for all of the changes that have gone into what we hope will be an even better place to find updates on events and Center activities, new books and other exciting opportunities.

Stay tuned for news and updates as we continue to expand our horizons.