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Lecture on Muslims and the New Middle East by Reza Aslan Presented April 17 in Broyhill Center

April 13, 2012. BOONE — Reza Aslan will address the topics of Islam, the Middle East and Muslim Americans April 17 during the University Forum Distinguished Lecture Series at Appalachian State University.

The theme of the lecture series is “Borders and Bridges: What Divides Us, What Unites Us”

Aslan will speak at 8 p.m. in Powers Hall in the Broyhill Events Center on campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Presentations of the University Forum Distinguished Lecture Series are sponsored by Appalachian’s University Forum Committee and University College. Additional support for the series has been provided by the Joan Askew Vail Endowment. 

Information about the series is available at www.universityforum.appstate.edu or by calling 828-262-7660. 

Aslan’s lecture is titled “Understanding Muslims and the Future of the New Middle East” and addresses a drastic shift taking place in the Middle East.

A new generation of youth in the Middle East are clamoring for their rights and freedoms and they drastically outnumber their elders. Seventy-five percent of the population of the Middle East is under the age of 35 and 50 percent is under the age of 25. The young, educated and politically motivated youth in places like Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and beyond have a new vision – one that represents their values, not the values of a ruling elite or of the generation that preceded them.

Aslan is a world-renowned expert on the Middle East, its history, economy, culture and populations. In his talk, Aslan goes beyond skin-deep punditry and reveals the true nature of these historic societal changes. What motivates the Muslim youth of today? What will the new Middle East look like? How will these sudden regime changes affect the world’s economic and political climate? With unparalleled authority and eloquence, Aslan unravels the complexities of the new Middle East and shows audiences what the future holds for this often misunderstood part of the world.

Aslan is the author of the international bestseller “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam,” which has been named by Blackwell Publishers as one of the 100 most important books of the last decade.

Aslan has degrees in religion from Santa Clara University, Harvard University and the University of California-Santa Barbara, as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction.