Silicon Valley Reads 2012 celebrates 10th anniversary with 100+ events throughout Santa Clara County
Silicon Valley Reads 2012 launches its 10th anniversary year later this month with an ambitious program of more than 100 free community events throughout Santa Clara County over three months focused on the theme "Muslim and American: Two Perspectives."
The kick-off event on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the Campbell Heritage Theatre brings together both Sumbul Ali-Karamali, author of The Muslim Next Door, and G. Willow Wilson, author of The Butterfly Mosque, for an on-stage interview by Mercury News columnist Mike Cassidy. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:45 p.m. for unreserved, first come seating.
The two authors will be together at only two other events, one on Saturday, March 3, 1:30 p.m. at Cupertino Community Hall where they will discuss their books with De Anza College President Brian Murphy, and the closing event of Silicon Valley Reads 2012 on Sunday, April 29, 2 p.m. at the Santa Clara Central Park Library with a conversation led by Mercury News columnist Sal Pizarro.
Both authors will each appear solo at multiple events at libraries, schools and community centers during February, March and April. Sumbul's itinerary includes a panel discussion at The Tech Museum on Thursday, Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m., on the topic "What It's Like To Be the Muslim Next Door in Silicon Valley." Other panelists include Mohammad Qayoumi, President of San Jose State University, Muhammed Chaudhry, President of Silicon Valley Education Foundation, and Raania Mohsen, Executive Director of the Cities Association of Santa Clara County. It will be moderated by Barbara Marshman, Mercury News Editorial Pages Editor. There is no admission charge. Willow's schedule includes a visit to the largest mosque in America, the Muslim Community Association in Santa Clara, on Friday, Jan. 27. The public is welcome to attend the Family Night event from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Silicon Valley Reads 2012 Calendar of Events also includes these special activities:
Other events include films, book discussion groups, presentations for teachers, and representatives of the Islamic Network Group speaking on "Getting To Know American Muslims and Their Faith."
Special events for children and families are also included in the list of activities centering on the four Silicon Valley Reads Companion Books for Children. Todd Parr, author of It's OK To Be Different, the selected book for pre-K youngsters, will appear at 10 locations in February and April. Free copies of the book will be distributed at each event, compliments of FIRST 5 Santa Clara County.
Asma Mobin-Uddin, M.D., author of My Name Is Bilal, the book for grades 2-6, will travel to Silicon Valley from Ohio to participate in five public events and several school visits in February. Author Sheba Karim of New York whose book Skunk Girl is the selection for teens in grades 7 and up will visit in March for six public events and activities at local middle schools. Both My Name Is Bilal and One Green Apple by Eve Bunting, the book for grades K-2, will be used for storytimes at local libraries and a Celebrity Reader series at the Children's Discovery Museum in March.
A complete list of all Silicon Valley Reads 100+ events is posted on the website siliconvalleyreads.org. Published copies of the Calendar of Events are available at local libraries.
"We wanted to do something special to commemorate our 10th anniversary, so we had high hopes for 2012. But we never anticipated the overwhelming community response to the selection of this theme, Muslim and American, and our featured books," said Jane Light, City
More than 40 community organizations have signed on as Community Partners for Silicon Valley Reads 2012 including the Human Relations Commission of Santa Clara County, the League of Women Voters, SV Faces, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Indian Business Professional Women and several local Muslim associations.
Silicon Valley Reads is presented annually by the Santa Clara County Office of Education, Santa Clara County Library and San Jose Public Library Foundation. Funding of Silicon Valley Reads comes from donations by local foundations, businesses, community groups and individuals. Major sponsors in 2012 include the Knight Foundation, Comerica Bank, the Michael and Alyce Parsons Foundation, Cupertino Library Foundation, Westly Foundation, Pacific Library Partnership, San Jose Public Library, Friends of Cupertino Library and Southwest Airlines. A full list of sponsors, Community Partners, Media Partners and the Community Advisory Board is on the website siliconvalleyreads.org.
Silicon Valley Reads announces book selection for 2012Books on what it is like to be Muslim and American
are focus of 10th anniversary year
Two books about what it is like to be both Muslim and American have been selected for Silicon Valley Reads 2012, the regional program that asks everyone in Santa Clara County to read the same books, at the same time, and talk about them.
The Muslim Next Door by Sumbul Ali-Karamali and The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson present two perspectives on their experiences as young American women who are also Muslim. Their stories provide insight into the Islam faith and cultural traditions and misperceptions about them.
"Silicon Valley Reads has a history of selecting books with provocative topics that are relevant to our community," said Melinda Cervantes, Santa Clara County Librarian and Co-Chair of Silicon Valley Reads along with Jane Light, Library Director for the City of San Jose and Edith Mourtos, Chief Academic Officer for the Santa Clara County Office of Education. "We considered many themes and dozens of books, but most exciting to us was the opportunity for our diverse community to learn more about a growing part of our population through the experiences of two American women - one who was born into the Islam faith and one who was drawn to Islam in college."
According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, the number of Muslims in the U.S. is expected to more than double over the next two decades, rising from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030. This would make Muslims approximately as numerous as Jews or Episcopalians in America.
Both authors will be present for the Silicon Valley Reads 2012 Kick-Off on Wednesday, Jan. 25, where they will be interviewed on stage by Mercury News columnist Mike Cassidy. The free event begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Heritage Theater in Campbell. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Dozens of other events with the authors and other speakers, panel discussions and films will be scheduled throughout Santa Clara County in February, March and April. A complete list of events will be posted on siliconvalleyreads.org by Jan. 1, 2012.
As its custom, Silicon Valley Reads is also recommending four companion books for children with similar themes so that families can read and discuss them together. For young children not yet in school, the picture book recommendation is It's OK To Be Different by Todd Parr. For children in grades K-2, the selection is One Green Apple by Eve Bunting, for grades 2-6, the book is My Name is Bilal by Asma Mobin-Uddin and for grades 7 and up, it is Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim.
The Muslim Next Door: The Qur'an, the Media, and That Veil Thing is a unique combination of personal anecdotes about growing up Muslim in suburban Southern California and an easy-to-read scholarly overview of Islam. Sumbul Ali-Karamali answers the many of the questions about Islam readers in the Western world are curious about, and delves into complicated issues such as the status of women in Islam and Islamic fundamentalism.
"I'm thrilled that my book has been selected by Silicon Valley Reads! What a wonderful program this is -- building community, promoting literature, and expanding horizons, all at the same time. I couldn't be more honored," commented Sumbul Ali-Karamali, who grew up in Southern California and now lives in the Bay Area. Sumbul holds a B.A. from Stanford University, a J.D. from the University of California at Davis, and an academic degree in Islamic law from the University of London.
The Butterfly Mosque is a lyrical memoir of Willow Wilson's experience as a convert to Islam who travels to Egypt at the age of 21 to teach in an English-language high school in Cairo. She has to learn how to exist in a totally different culture - everything from how to buy food and how to interact with men, to learning how her new religion is woven into the daily fabric of life. She falls in love and marries an Egyptian physics teacher and becomes an unexpected champion for the segregated, protected status of Arab women.
"I'm so flattered and pleased to be invited to participate in Silicon Valley Reads. It's wonderful to see an entire community come together to learn, connect with each other and discuss the important issues of the day. The topic of Islam is loaded with emotional and political baggage, and only through open and honest communication can Muslims and non-Muslims come to a better understanding of one another," said Willow Wilson.
Silicon Valley Reads is presented by Santa Clara County Library, Santa Clara County Office of Education and San Jose Public Library Foundation. Each year, the program collaborates with community organizations to promote reading and literacy and to engage the community in dialogue about themes in a selected book that are relevant to Silicon Valley.
Major sponsors of Silicon Valley Reads include the Knight Foundation, the Michael and Alyce Parsons Foundation, the Cupertino Library Foundation, and Pacific Library Partnership. Media partners include the Mercury News, Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, NBC Bay Area, KLIV and KRTY. A complete list of sponsors and community partners can be found on the website siliconvalleyreads.org.
For more information on Silicon Valley Reads, visit the website siliconvalleyreads.org.
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