On October 6, The Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World Arts and Culture Initiative was pleased to host Pakistani musician Salman Ahmad, leader of the band Junoon, and Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the hit television series Little Mosque on the Prairie for an evening of discussion and performance.
The evening began with Dr. Stephen Grand Director of U.S. Relation with the Islamic World and Ambassador Cynthia Schneider discussing the Arts and Culture Initiative and the new publication Mightier than the Sword: Arts and Culture in the U.S.-Muslim World Relationship. The Initiative seeks to utilize the potential of arts and culture to increase understanding between the United States and the Muslim world. The paper examines the nature and scope of arts and cultural interactions between the United States and the Muslim world today and suggests directions for future support and initiatives.
This was followed by a musical performance from Salman Ahmad and a discussion by Zarqa Nawaz on her inspiration for the series Little Mosque on the Prairie accompanied by clips from a popular episode. The evening closed with a question and answer session moderated by Ambassador Schneider.
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.