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August 15, 2013 (El Cajon)—The Grossmont College Library will put on its reserve bookshelf this Fall Semester a special collection of 25 books and three films on “Muslim Journeys,” made available through a grant provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Students will be able to check out the reserve items for three days at a time – shorter than the usual time span in order to make the books and films in the collection available to more students during the semester.

Librarian Nadra Farina-Hess told faculty members during “Flex Week,” which is the professional development week prior to the August 19 start-up of classes, that the books and films on Muslim culture constitute the first segment in what is expected to be a multi-year bridge-building exploration of different religions and cultures.  Grossmont College Library was one of 842 libraries throughout the United States that have been awarded the grant.

Farina-Hess told faculty members that for the ease of study the collection is divided into six inter-related topics dealing with Muslims.  These topics are American Stories; Connected Histories (between Muslims and other groups); Literary Reflections; Pathways of Faith; Points of View; and Art, Architecture and Film. 

Information about specific films and books in the collection may be accessed at

Faculty members teaching courses in history, humanities, languages, religion, and other disciplines were encouraged by Farina-Hess to review the books to determine whether any of them would fit nicely into their class studies. 

She also said a panel discussion on campus to explore Muslim culture is in the works along with the showing of two films, Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World and Prince Among Slaves.  Dates and times are not yet determined.

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