The Mingling of the Oceans

A Theory of How Civilizations Can Live Together

Akbar Ahmed
Frankie Martin, Amineh Ahmed Hoti
Release Date: January 31, 2023

Adopting lessons from around the world for how people can live a good life and get along with each other

The Mingling of the Oceans offers a positive way for people to deal with each other and crises such as the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and racial, ethnic, religious strife. Investigating the question of how to understand life itself and relate to other peoples and religions, the book draws on the deep and rich religious and philosophical traditions of both East and West. It introduces these diverse wells of wisdom and traditions while asking how we can best live as human societies, build bridges with those not like us, and help us personally in trying times.

By highlighting the most helpful aspects of traditions from around the world, the book charts a course toward allowing various peoples to “comingle.” Perhaps there are few more valuable exercises than reminding us of our common humanity and the hope that it represents in this time of the pandemic, which has posed an existential threat to the human race. Despite the illness and misery anyone might experience, the definition of humanity is optimism—to be human also means having hope.

The Mingling of the Oceans is a logical progression from and culmination of Ahmed’s previous quartet of Brookings studies examining relations between the West and Muslim world, which involved extensive fieldwork across the world over more than a decade. Students, academics, policymakers, journalists, religious people, religious leaders—in short, anyone interested in ideas—will find the messages in this book relevant, personally helpful, and timely.


Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at the School of International Service, American University in Washington, D.C., and the former Pakistani High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ireland. He was described as the “world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam” by the BBC. Among his many books are his quartet of studies examining the relationship between the West and Muslim world published by Brookings: Journey into Islam, Journey into America, The Thistle and the Drone, and Journey into Europe.

Frankie Martin is an Ibn Khaldun Chair Research Fellow at American University’s School of International Service. He was senior researcher for Akbar Ahmed’s previous quartet of Brookings Press studies on the relationship between the West and Muslim world. He holds an MPhil in Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at American University.

Amineh Ahmed Hoti is a Fellow-Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge. She was Program Director at Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission overlooking the nation’s 200 universities and co-founded and directed the world’s first Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations at Cambridge. She received her PhD from the University of Cambridge and her books include Sorrow and Joy Amongst Muslim Women (Cambridge University Press) and Gems and Jewels: The Religions of Pakistan (Topical Press).

Media Coverage

The Friday Times 11/06/2022

Mingling Of The Oceans: A Pedagogical Strategy To Check The Violence In Our Times