Saturday, January 17, 2009

Announcements: 2008 Arab American Booard Awards, nominations due Feb. 1, 2009

Publishers and Writers:

The Arab American National Museum (AANM) is proud to announce that submissions are now being accepted for the

2008 Arab American Book Award

Books submitted for consideration must be written or illustrated by an Arab American, or address the Arab-American experience. The portrayal or representation of Arab Americans should be accurate and engaging; avoid stereotypes, and reflect rich characterization. It must be an original work and published in English between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008. Submissions must be postmarked no later than February 1, 2009. An award will be given to an author or illustrator in each of the following three categories:
• Adult Non-Fiction in the areas of the Social Sciences and Humanities
• Adult Fiction, including Arts and Literature
• Poetry (New for 2008)
• Children or Young Adult, Fiction or Non-Fiction
Submission forms can be found on the AANM website. For additional information regarding the Book Award please contact Kristin LaLonde of the AANM Library & Resource Center at 313-624-0223 or
The Arab American Book Award was established in 2006 to encourage the publication and excellence of books that preserve and advance the understanding, knowledge, and resources of the Arab American community by celebrating the thoughts and lives of Arab Americans. The purpose of the Award is to inspire authors, educate readers and foster a respect and understanding of Arab American culture.

The Arab American National Museum documents, preserves, celebrates, and educates the public on the history, life, culture, and contributions of Arab Americans. We serve as a resource to enhance knowledge and understanding about Arab Americans and their presence in this country. The Arab American National Museum is a project of ACCESS, a Dearborn, Michigan-based nonprofit human services and cultural organization.

Arab American National Museum 13624 Michigan Avenue Dearborn, MI 48126

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lost in the Sacred: Why the Muslim World Stood Stiill -- a look at a Muslim World in crisis

LOST IN THE SACRED explains why.

“A controversial but refreshingly un-Anglo-Saxon search for answers to some outsized questions.”—Michael Cook, Princeton University

In LOST IN THE SACRED: Why the Muslim World Stood Still (Cloth $29.95 ISBN: 978-0-691-12911-2 Pub date: February 25, 2009), Dan Diner takes readers on an unforgettable intellectual journey, from today’s global conflicts to the distant past in an attempt to answer one daring and all-important question: What is the reason for the Muslim world’s hampered development?

Drawing careful distinctions between the Muslim faith itself and the nature of the sacred that is infused into every aspect of life, Diner argues that the meaning and impact of the sacred is the main cause of the Muslim world’s slow growth. To reach this controversial conclusion, Diner first examines the Arab Human Development Report (2002)—”a meticulous, unsparing, and comprehensive account of the lamentable state of the Arab world”—before delving into the past.

In subsequent chapters, Diner discusses the creation of the Turkish Republic and the accompanying abolishment of Islamic institutions, the different trajectories taken by the West and the Muslim world in the early modern era, and how Islam’s classical era created institutions and legal ordinances that were imbued with the sacred. He also asks specific questions like—did the delay in the introduction of the printing press in the Muslim world impede the spread of knowledge and development? Does Islam’s understanding of time and history prevent the linear development we’ve seen in the West? Did the division of language into high Arabic and colloquial Arabic hinder the dissemination of knowledge?

LOST IN THE SACRED is written with deep sympathy for the Arab and Muslim world, while simultaneously illustrating the urgent need for secularization and modernization in Islam.

“Dan Diner’s breadth of knowledge, capacity for clear and broad interpretation, and stylistic sovereignty will no doubt make this a classic in the field.”—Anson Rabinbach, Princeton University

“Lost in the Sacred offers a broad synthesis on a key problem of the contemporary Middle East, hence of the world at large.”—RĂ©mi Brague, author of The Law of God

About the Author:
Dan Diner is professor of modern history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at the University of Leipzig. His books include Beyond the Conceivable: Studies on Germany, Nazism, and the Holocaust and Cataclysms: A History of the Twentieth Century from Europe’s Edge.

Why the Muslim World Stood Still
Dan Diner
Translated by Steven Rendall
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-691-12911-2 $29.95 / £17.95
226 pp. 6 x 9
Pub date: February 25, 2009