Thursday, November 3, 2016

One More ReasonTo Visit

Here at the Islamic Resource Center, things have really been hopping lately. For the past few months we have been gearing up both for the annual Fundraising Dinner (December 3rd) and working on making it all the way to our 3000th resource and we are almost there.

While we're at it, we have also been looking at how to give you even more reasons to look forward to visiting our center and I'm proud to announce the inclusion of cookbooks! Now, not only are we changing up the lineup of what cookbooks are going to be available in our bookstore, we are also adding them to our library so that you can check them out and see how wonderful these beautiful books really are.

Here is a look at just a couple of these stunning new tomes of delectable delicacies:

Image resultImage result for flavours of aleppoFlavours of Aleppo, by Dalal Kade-Badra & Elle Badra, is a cookbook thousands of years in the making. Inspired and influenced by Arab, Asian, European and Levant cuisine, the recipes within come from the traditions of one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Melded seamlessly with modern North American cooking techniques, Flavours of Aleppo brings the tradition of Syrian cuisine to the tables of today.

Image result for my halal kitchenMy Halal Kitchen, by Yvonne Maffei, is a collection of more than 100 healthy recipes -- from American comfort food to classic international fare -- that prove halal meals can be diverse, accessible, and delicious.

My Cape Malay Kitchen: Cooking for my father in My Cape Malay Kitchen by [Isaacs, Cariema]The magical difference between food prepared in a restaurant and that in a home kitchen for family and friends, is a little ingredient called love. And love is most evident in what is essentially Cariema Isaacs’s tribute to her late father as she shares their mutual passion for food and cooking, as well as their Cape Malay heritage. My Cape Malay Kitchen is a breathtakingly beautiful presentation of some 80 traditional Cape Malay recipes as well as a selection of modern dishes. These are accompanied by Cariema’s depiction of her childhood growing up in Bo-Kaap – the Cape Malay Quarter of Cape Town. She includes the religious and cultural ceremonies, as well as events that have shaped the Cape Malay community into the unique community it is today. But My Cape Malay Kitchen is still a cookbook, packed with flavourful food, richly spiced curries, indulgent cakes and decadent desserts, all illustrated with truly inspirational photography.

I hope the gorgeous photographs and thoughts of adventures in cuisine help inspire you and bring you in to visit our center today.

See you soon!

Monday, August 29, 2016

In recognition of Labor Day, the IRC will be closed Sunday, September 4th, and Monday, September 5th. We will also be closed the following weekend Sunday, September 11th, and Monday, September 12th in honor of Eid al-Adha. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Ramadan Meal Ideas #3

Welcome back to Breaking Fasts With Style. I am your host, the friendly neighborhood librarian at the Islamic Resource Center. Are you ready to try out some tasty side dishes today?

First up is the Soft Cheese Salad with Tomato and Basil Topped with Asparagus from the World Vegetarian cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey. We will follow this up with a potato s from The Iraqi Cookbook by Lamees Ibrahim.

Soft Cheese Salad with Tomato and Basil Topped with Asparagus
Serves 4
Prep time: 30 min. Cook time

1 scallion
18 fresh asparagus spears
9 oz fresh paneer or mozzarella (the fresher the better)
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced about 1/3-inch big
1/3 large green bell pepper, diced about 1/3-inch big
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
2 teaspoons oriental sesame oil
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into fine strips (chiffonade)

Directions: Cut the scallion into 2" segments, stack, and slice into very fine rounds. Put them into a small bowl of ice water, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain, spread in a dish towel and wring out.

Cut off (or snap off) the tough ends of the asparagus spears and discard. Peel the lower half of the spears, then cut into 1/3-inch segments, leaving the heads whole.

In a bowl, crumple the cheese into small pieces. Add the scallion, tomato, bell pepper, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Mix well and set aside.

Put the vegetable oil in a nonstick medium frying pan or saute pan and set over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the asparagus and stir once or twice. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water to the pan and mix. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the asparagus is just tender. Uncover and add the sesame oil; stir to mix. turn the heat up to high and cook until all the liquid evaporates. Remove from the heat.

Toss the basil with the cheese mixture. Mix well. The asparagus can either be arranged on top of the cheese mixture or mixed into the cheese. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Note: This recipe looks like it has a lot going on, but really it comes down to preparing the scallion, cooking the asparagus, and mixing everything together. It is quite simple to make and is a nice cheery dish to go alongside your main creation or to be served as the main course.

Potato Salad (Zalatat Potaita)
Serves 2-3

4-5 medium or 8-10 small new potatoes
2-3 medium tomatoes
1 large cucumber
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
lemon juice
olive oil
                                               salt and black pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes until soft and allow them to cool. Peel and cut the cooled potatoes into cubes and set aside.

Chop the tomatoes, peppers and cucumber into cubes.

Mix all cut ingredients together. Season with salt and black pepper. Add in the chopped parsley, lemon juice and olive oil.

Stay tuned for more recipes as the month continues. This cookbook and others like it are available from our bookstore at the IRC. We return you now to your regularly scheduled library blog.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ramadan Meal Ideas #2

We're back for another installment of "What To Make For Dinner." Last episode we treated you to the taste of India with some succulent lamb chops. This episode we will be making a classic Iraqi treat called "Jouz al-hind," also known as Coconut discs or how I've always known them, coconut macaroons (my caucasian heritage is showing). This recipe has been adapted from The IRAQI Cookbook by Lamees Ibrahim to fit our needs:

Coconut Discs (Jouz al-Hind)
                           Makes 25-35 treats
Prep time: 15 minutes - Baking Time: 10 minutes
8 oz / 3 cups shredded coconut
3 eggs
6 oz / ¾ cup sugar
a few drops of vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Confectioner's sugar (optional)

Mix the eggs and sugar and beat with a fork. Add the vanilla extract. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the shredded coconut and mix well.

Add the baking powder and kneed the mixture until mixture becomes smooth and doughlike.

Form the dough into small balls (the size of walnuts) and place them on a greased baking tray. Make sure to leave about ½ - 1 inch between each.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F / 180°C for about 10 minutes or until slightly browned on top.

Decorate with a little confectioner's sugar.

Note: You can cool the dough in the fridge for half an hour before making the little balls. This will help to keep their shape during baking.

Variation: As I mentioned earlier, I've more often seen them called macaroons and were a staple of winter holidays in my home. Besides the traditional way described above, I've also done these with a little chocolate on the bottom or drizzled on top after baking. To do this, either slowly melt some semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler or, if you don't have one, put about 1 inch of water in a pot and bring it to a gentle boil, placing a bowl on top so that the sides rest on the edges and the bottom does not touch the water. Place the chocolate in the bowl and stir constantly until melted. Dip the baked (and cooled) cookies in the chocolate and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and let dry/cool.

Stay tuned for more recipes as the month continues. This cookbook and others like it are available from our bookstore at the IRC. We return you now to your regularly scheduled library blog.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Ramadan Meal Ideas #1

Okay, we started the tradition last year with the occasional IRC Facebook post during Ramadan in which I shared a couple of the delicious recipes found in the cookbooks in our bookstore. After all, we all know how stressful cooking can be around the holidays. So during the month of Ramadan we will be sharing a few easy recipes you can try at home from some of our fantastic cookbooks along with tips, tricks, and our own experiences with some of the dishes. Check back weekly to find new posts with recipes, crafts, and more. Ramadan Mubarak everyone!

We will start the series off with this wonderful recipe for grilled lamb chops adapted from the book
5 spices, 50 dishes:
Lamb Chops with a Spicy Rub
Serves 4

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger (roughly 2-inch piece)
1 teaspoon finely grated garlic (roughly 2 large cloves)
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
8 lamb rib chops (about 1 pound 4 ounces)
3 tablespoons canola oil

In a bowl large enough to hold the chops, mix together all of the spices to form a thick, slightly dry paste. Rub the chops well with this mixture and set aside to marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear the chops to the desired level of doneness, 4 to 5 minutes on each side for rare. You may also grill these chops  on an outdoor grill over high heat. Let rest briefly before serving.

Side suggestions:
Lamb chops tend to pair well with potatoes, rice (pilafs are nice), or green vegetables. I have even seen a wonderful couscous salad with cucumbers, red onions and various herbs that worked wonders as a side dish to this flavorful lamb.

Stay tuned for more recipes as the month continues. This cookbook and others like it are available from our bookstore at the IRC. We return you now to your regularly scheduled library blog.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer Reading Program & Storytime start this week!

Quick reminder to those of you with children: This week starts the annual Summer Reading Program (SRP) and Summer Story Time (SST). Don't forget to get your children signed up, complete with their own library card! Our staff is looking forward to signing up your child today!

Also, be sure to come to our Ramadan themed Sunday Storytime events all month long! Children participating will get a chance to make their own Ramadan themed crafts and hear fun Ramadan stories.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Are You Ready for Summer?!?

With Memorial Day having just passed us by, I wanted to send out a quick reminder to everyone that the Summer Reading Contest, Summer Storytime and a monthly summer family film series are just around the corner. That means making sure all your little ones have library cards and visit us a few times to participate.

The Summer Reading Contest will run June 6th through September 2nd. One grand prize winner will be announced Friday, September 16th, and will receive a movie night with popcorn and snacks for themselves and up to 10 of their closest friends. No reading logs will be accepted after September 2nd.

Summer Storytime will run weekly starting Thursday, June 9th. This year, Storytime also includes some bilingual books, so if you are interested in exposing your child to the Arabic language, now is the time to start. We will be finding ways to continue these storytimes on a monthly basis throughout the year.

Also, this summer we are bringing back monthly film screening events to the center. Once a month on a Friday, patrons will be able to visit the center to watch family-friendly Islamic films. Once the titles are finalized we will post the list, so stay tuned for more thrilling announcements.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Curious George Does Ramadan At the IRC

With Ramadan about a month away, we thought now would be the perfect time to announce the arrival of a familiar simian friend to our center. Just released a few days ago, It's Ramadan, Curious George makes its debut appearance here at the IRC. Not only is it available to borrow from our library, we also have a stock of them for immediate sale through our bookstore. In this beautiful board book, Curious George has a new Muslim friend who is about to start his first fast. Join George as he learns all about the Muslim holiday.

Friday, April 29, 2016

IRC Expands Storytime: Gains Bilingual Series

I am here to announce two amazing things for the Islamic Resource Center and you:

We have been tirelessly working to add books into our library and not only provide you with the first lending library of Islamic materials of its kind but also to expand our collection into Arabic materials. I may have mentioned this before, but with the inclusion of some of our newest arrivals (208 Arabic Scholastic books working their way into our collection), we officially have enough materials to not just have a Children's Arabic collection, but have its own space. Many of these books are well-known English books that have been translated into Arabic. Titles include "Heidi," "Princesses Don't Wear Jeans," and "Is Your Mama a Llama."

In addition, we heard your requests for more children's programming during the school year, in particular your requests for children's story time. So, "back by popular demand," we are starting this expansion by adding monthly story time sessions year-round to our already quickly expanding lineup of events for the community. Starting this summer, these will be bilingual events with all stories being told in both Arabic and English in addition to our regularly scheduled story times.

We can't wait for you to discover our collection!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prison Blues and Preacher Moss Tonight at the Oriental

Join us tonight, 7PM at the Oriental Theatre, for the final film, Prison Blues, in our 2016 lineup complete with a special live stand-up comedy performance by Preacher Moss. Tickets are $10 at the door with refreshments and commemorative Film Festival T-shirts available for purchase on location.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Prison Blues and Preacher Moss to Close Film Festival at the Oriental April 21st

Join us April 21st at the beautiful Oriental Theatre 7PM for a short film, Prison Blues, a brief talk back session with one of the inmates from the film, and a special live stand-up comedy performance by Preacher Moss of Allah Made Me Funny. Tickets are $10 and refreshments and commemorative Film Festival T-shirts will be available for purchase.

About Prison Blues
It is estimated that 80% of inmates who “find faith” in prison, convert to Islam. Prison Blues, a Ta’leef Collective documentary film, directed and produced by Mustafa Davis tells the riveting and unheard story of the harsher realties inside the prison industrial complex in the United States through the lens of a Muslim spiritual narrative. Prison Blues explores the reality of incarceration in the United States and conversion to Islam through the Prison Industrial Complex.

About Preacher Moss
Bryant Reginald Moss, best known by his stage name Preacher Moss, is an American stand-up comedian and writer. He is best known as one third of comedy trio Allah Made Me Funny.

This one-two punch of amazing material is our final show of the season, so for those of you who have been thinking of joining us, now is the time to show your support or risk having to wait until next year.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

"Al Helm" Today at the Art Museum

Hello all you film fest goers. The final showing of "Al Helm" is a matinee at Milwaukee's Art Museum #MMFilmFest2016. If you didn't get your chance to go earlier, now is the perfect opportunity to go see it. It is 2pm in the Lubar Auditorium. After the screening stay for the talk back session moderated by the Jewish Voice for Peace. Tickets are $8 at the door. We hope to see you there.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Idol at the Oriental Theatre Tonight!

Join us tonight for "The Idol" at 7PM at the Oriental Theatre. This will be the only screening of this film. Tickets are $10 at the door. Refreshments and commemorative Film Festival t-shirts will be available for sale.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival To Show "The Idol" April 14th

The Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival's #MMFilmFest2016 next film will be The Idol. It is set to air 7PM Thursday, April 14th at the Oriental Theatre. Tickets are $10 at the door. This is our fourth film in the lineup and should prove to be a wonderful addition to our series.
Based on the incredible true story, The Idol tells the story of the talented Mohammad Assaf (played in the film by Tawfeek Barhom) as he travels from the Gaza Strip to Egypt to audition for the television show Arab Idol. Simply put, it his journey out of childhood and into the spotlight.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Al-Helm To Air Tonight at UWM

Join us tonight for Al-Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine 7PM at the UW-Milwaukee Union Cinema #MMFilmFest2016. Admission is free to all UW-Milwaukee students. General admission is $8. Commemorative T-shirts are available for purchase at the door. Remember to stay for the discussion afterwards by representatives from Friends of Palestine.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

"Al-Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine" To Air Thursday at UWM Cinema

The next film in our festival series #MMFilmFest2016 is Al-Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine. It is set to screen this Thursday (April 7th) at the UW-Milwaukee Union Cinema at 7PM. There will be a talkback session afterwards by speakers from the Friends of Palestine. UWM students get in for free to this event. General admission is $8.

"An African American gospel choir is the Greek chorus for a Palestinian play on Martin Luther King, Jr. which tours the West Bank, preaching nonviolence. The devoutly Christian choir grew up in churches strongly allied with Israel. On their first trip to the Holy Land they witness the harsh realities of life under occupation, a nonviolent movement for justice, and an assassination. Our story is a unique view of a crucial human rights conflict. Mixing the excitement of foot-stomping gospel music and creative theater it reveals the power of art to communicate, heal, and give voice to communities living in fear. It is a cultural exchange of immense depth and far-reaching implications, where, during the course of the journey, people's preconceptions are radically changed."

This is the first of two screenings for Al-Helm. The second will be held 2PM Sunday, April 17th at the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) with a talkback session by the Jewish Voice for Peace. Tickets will be $8.

Guantanamo's Child Airs Tonight at the Art Museum

Quick reminder to you film buffs out there, Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival's #MMFilmFest2016 Guantanamo's Child airs this afternoon at the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) at 2pm. this is it's second and final screening of the festival, so if you missed the first screening, be sure to come this afternoon. Tickets are $8 at the door. We look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Traveling the Middle East Without Leaving the City

Someone once wrote, "Every journey begins with a single step." Make that step be towards the Islamic Resource Center, your source for books, films, and merchandise about all things Islamic from around the world.
Interested in the Middle East? We have you covered. From travel books on Yemen and Palestine to politics by Jimmy Carter and Tariq Ramadan, you'll get an insider's view on the Middle East. Borrow a book from our library and start your journey with the turn of a page.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Second Showing of Guantanamo's Child Scheduled for April 3rd at the Milwaukee Art Museum

For those of you who have been following this blog and/or going to the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival #MMFilmFest2016, you may recall Guantanamo's Child opened this year's festival about a month ago. If you didn't make it to the last showing, don't worry. You are about to get a second chance. Sunday, April 3rd at the Milwaukee Art Museum (a.k.a. MAM) a special matinee screening of the film will take place at 2pm complete with talk back session from the good people at the ACLU of Wisconsin. Tickets are $8 at the door. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Journey Into Europe Tonight at the UWM Union Cinema

Just a reminder to all of you film buffs out there, the continuation of the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival #MMFilmFest #FilmFest resumes tonight at 7PM at the UWM Union Cinema on Kenwood Blvd with the Akhbar Ahmed film, Journey into Europe. Remember, tickets are $8 at the door and UWM students get in free. We hope to see you there!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Journey Into Europe to Show March 24th

We have reached that point in the event where the Milwaukee Muslim Film Fest #MMFilmFest2016 is about to go into full swing. First up is Journey into Europe. The film will only show Thursday, March 24th at 7pm in the UW-Milwaukee Union Cinema. Stay afterwards for a talkback session by the Islamic Society of Milwaukee. General admission is $8. UWM students get in free.

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, a world-renowned anthropologist, Islamic scholar, and filmmaker, explores Islam in Europe and the place of Islam in European history and civilization in this unprecedented study. In the film shot across the continent in countries such as Germany,the U.K., France, Spain, and Bosnia, we hear from some of Europe’s most prominent figures, including presidents and prime ministers, archbishops, chief rabbis, grand muftis, heads of right-wing parties, and every-day Europeans from a variety of backgrounds.
The film has received praise from some of Europe’s most prominent leaders. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, states, “It is hard to exaggerate the importance of this work.” Dr. Haris Silajdzic, the former President and Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, writes, “Ambassador Akbar Ahmed’s latest project on Muslims in Europe is yet another illustration of his vision by offering us understanding of, commitment to, and hope and compassion for humanity.” And Paul Smith, the USA Director of the British Council here in Washington, writes, “Your film is a compelling, gracious, thoughtful study and we’re proud to be involved in it.”

We'll see you there.

Friday, March 11, 2016

My Arabic Library from Scholastic Now Available at the IRC

Hello and welcome back to the Islamic Resource Center blog. This is your friendly neighborhood librarian with a fun collection update. As you might have gathered from the title of this post, we now have Scholastic's "My Arabic Library" collection for your viewing pleasure.
These books are titles that were tried and true in English, some even classics, spanning grades 1-6 that are now translated into Arabic. With 208 titles in the collection, it will take a little while to finish cataloging them, but every week a dozen or so have and will make it onto the shelves for your perusal along with the rest of our ever growing collection.

Come visit us today and find out what all the fuss is about.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Guantanamo's Child To Be Opener in 2016 Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival

This year, the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival #MMFilmFest2016 will be opening with the documentary film, Guantanamo's Child: Omar Khadr.

Taking place after Omar Khadr was released on bail and told both in his own words and through research done in the name of Michelle Shephard's authoritative book, Guantanamo's Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr, the film Guantanamo's Child profiles how one suburban Toronto teenager became the first juvenile ever tried for war crimes and part of one of the first trials since the prosecution of Nazi war criminals in the 1940s.

The documentary will preview this Thursday 7pm at the UWM Theater. If you can't make it, don't worry. Guantanamo's Child will screen again on Sunday, April 3rd at 2pm at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Milwaukee Muslim Film Fest Starts Its Second Year

The Second Annual Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival #MMFilmFest #FilmFest is almost here. Just a few more days! We have collected five all new movies with amazing personalities and powerful storylines. As these films draw nearer, I'll be letting you know a little more about them, so stay tuned!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Popular Picture Book Authors Now In Arabic

I know many of you want to become more fluent in Arabic. Our popular Arabic language classes are proof of that. However, finding good material to supplement and complement the Arabic classes outside of the classroom can be tough. We here at the Islamic Resource Center want to make sure your Arabic learning needs are met. Our library includes its own collection of Arabic materials for all ages and reading levels including popular current picture book titles now available in Arabic. Titles include:

Lauren Thompson's Little Quack series:
Karma Wilson's Bear and Little Pip series':
Taghrid A. Najjar's Halazone and Best Friends series':
These fun characters will draw you into their stories in fun and engaging ways. With an ever expanding collection, chances are you too will find the right book to help you on your way. See our staff for more recent additions or click on our online catalog located under the library tab on our website today.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bilingual Children's Books

Learning a new language is hard, especially when it requires an entirely new alphabet. Sometimes seeing the words side by side just makes the process that much easier. Whether you are young or old, these children's books will help do just that:

Handa's Surprise
by Eileen Browne
Arabic translation by Azza Habashi

"Handa puts seven different delicious fruits in a basket to take to her friend, Akeyo. But on Handa’s walk, she passes a variety of animals who find the fruit very inviting. Something happens when she arrives at her friend’s village."

Image result for the dark  Baghdasaryan arabicThe Dark
by Rouzanna Baghdasaryan
illustrated by Manana Mochiladze

"Jonah is afraid of the dark. His older brother Gor promises to give Jonah his favorite toy soldier if he'll try not to be afraid--but now Jonah is too excited to sleep."

Hip, Hop
by Catherine Hnatov

"Playful images of favorite animals hop and splash, tweet and purr in captivating black and white illustrations that will engage toddlers and invite them to look!"

Oranges for Everyone
by Daiga Zake
illustrated by Elena Stojanova

"When Jimmy s mother brings home a bag of five beautiful oranges, he wants to keep them all for himself. But his instinct to share with his family and friends is too strong to resist until he has no oranges left at all! This day, Jimmy will learn a lot about the gift of generosity."

Lima's Red Hot Chilli
by David Mills
illustrated by Derek Brazell

"Take one little hungry girl, six different tempting foods and one shiny delicious red hot chilli. One big bite into the chilli results in a spectacular display of fireworks. Mum, dad, aunt and grandad all come to help but Lima's mouth is still too hot. Who can rescue her?"