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Month: August 2014

Dr. Asifa Quraishi-Landes: 2014 Wisconsin Festival of Ideas: A Background on Islamic Law and Constitutionalism
The Go Big Read book this year, “I Am Malala”, focuses on a religion and region of the world that many readers will be unfamiliar with, however throughout this fall we will be providing resources for readers to gain a deeper understanding of the themes and background of the book. 
The first resource is from Dr. Asifa Quraishi-Landes, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin who specializes in comparative Islamic and U.S.constitutional law. Asifa presented in the Distinguished Lecture Series at the 2014 Wisconsin Festival of Ideas on her current work and shared a background of what Islamic Constitutionalism means. Asifa provided definitions and the background of terms that we hear often in the media today, such as sharia, itjihad, and fiqh. 

Asifa has served as a public delegate on the United States Delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the Task Force on Religion and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy for the
Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and as advisor to the Pew Task Force
on Religion & Public Life. You can find out more about Asifa, including her publications, educational background, and interests here:

“I Am Malala” TimesTalks 
Malala Yousafzai was interviewed by New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor for The New York Times TimesTalks series. Jodi asked about Malala’s life in Pakistan under the Taliban regime. She also had Malala talk about her campaign for universal education and how she is working to achieve her goals.

Malala displayed a humble sense of humor and a great deal of maturity for a 17 year old during the event. The interview allowed viewers to see a more personal side of the young activist. Malala discussed how much she misses her best friend, but that she does get to Skype her often to catch up and also to hear what is happening in her homeland of Swat Valley. Though not all the information she hears is hopeful. Malala expressed her frustration that girls she used to attend school with are engaged to be marry at only 17 years old and will no longer be able to continue their education.

Malala’s prevailing message throughout the interview was that Malala shared her story to inspire others to create change, she said “YOU should stand up for your rights, YOU should speak up.” Malala is currently working on education projects in Pakistan, Jordan, Kenya, and Nigeria. She shared that her own mother is now attending school five days a week to learn to read and write since she had never received an education. In a touching moment, Malala asked her mother to stand up in the crowd to introduce herself and explain why she is now learning how to read and speak English.

Watch the TimesTalks video below and share with us your thoughts on the interview.

Malala Reaches Out to Young Audience

Malala visited ABC “Good Morning America” Monday to announce the release of “I Am Malala” for young readers. The memoir was adapted to reach a younger audience and start inspiring children to believe in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world.

In her interview with Amy Robach, Malala shared her dream of attending university in able to enter politics and become the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Malala hopes to become the Prime Minister to be able to help her country.

When asked about being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the second year in a row, Malala humbly said that she does not deserve the award yet. She said, “I started this campaign….when I have achieved this big goal which I always dream for, then I’ll think ‘okay now I deserve it’, but it is very early now.”

Malala is only 17 and already has achieved so much, though her next big plan is to learn how to drive! Watch the video below to hear her discuss her political aspirations, education goals, and her excitement to turn 18.

If you are interested in the young readers edition of Malala’s book it is now on sale under the title, “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World”.

Watch more news videos | Latest from the US

The Center for South Asia and Go Big Read at UW-Madison present a special workshop for librarians and educators on Saturday, September 13, 2014, 9 am-4 pm in Room 126 Memorial Library:

Center for South
Asia and Go Big Read
@ UW-Madison
Announce a special workshop for educators
Saturday, September 13, 2014
I am Malala: Exploring the History and Culture behind
the Story
9 am – 4 pm Memorial Library
workshop will bring together a variety of speakers to address the historical
and cultural realities of Modern-day Pakistan as well as book discussion facilitators
to explore using the book in your classroom.
workshop fee is $25, participants will receive a copy of I am Malala. Morning and afternoon breaks and lunch.

For more information please contact Rachel Weiss,
Assistant Director, Center for South Asia, or (608) 262-9224.
Downloadable version of the event flyer: 

“Do the Right Thing”
Sonia Nazario visited The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss the crisis of children from Central America crossing the border into the United States. Nazario is the author of Enrique’s Journey, the Go Big Read book from 2011-2012. Sonia shared her experiences from riding the freight trains and actually meeting and talking with the children about the horrors they face in their home countries. Sonia believes the children are refugees and that the United States needs to step up and “do the right thing.”

 Do you believe the children are refugees? Do you think that the U.S. should offer the children asylum? Watch the video below and share with us what you think.