Shakila Ahmad to Present “Hajj: A Journey of a Lifetime” at UU

A Muslim Journeys Program

URBANA, Ohio (October 2, 2013) - On Monday, October 7, Urbana University welcomes Shakila Ahmad to campus when she presents “Hajj: Journey of a Lifetime” at 7 pm in the Cutler Wing in the Swedenborg Memorial Library, 579 College Way. The event is part of the Muslim Journeys: Bridging Cultures Bookshelf grant. There is no charge for this program. Free parking is available near Barclay and Bailey Halls as well as in front of Memmott and Eaton Halls. The Library and Cutler Wing are handicap accessible. The Children of Abraham exhibit will also be available for viewing to all who attend the program.

The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage taken by followers of Mohammed. Making the pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam. Each able-bodied follower is expected to make the pilgrimage at least once during his or her lifetime. The procession brings together hundreds of thousands of Muslims from all over the world for a week of ritual acts and a three-day global feast. Preparation for the Hajj begins long before the actual event. Mrs. Ahmad will describe this Journey of a Lifetime she made with her husband to fulfill their religious obligation in 2009. She will share the experience through personal photographs and stories of this amazing physical, emotional, and spiritual journey.

Hajj marks a journey for all Muslims, adherents of the world’s second largest religion of Islam, who are physically and financially able to do so. Pilgrims travel to Mecca on the Arabian Peninsula to visit the Kabaa, the house commemorating the oneness of God built by the Prophet Abraham and his son Prophet Ismail. Travelers retrace the footsteps of Prophet Abraham and subsequently Prophet Muhammad, the last messenger of God, during the specific days of Hajj.

Mrs. Ahmad serves on the Islamic Educational Council Board of Trustees and is the Tours & Talks Education and Outreach Chair for the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati. She has been an active member of the Board of Trustees at the Islamic Center since 1995. She is the first woman to serve in this trustee capacity and is the founder of the Muslim Mothers Against Violence initiative and co-founder of its non-violence and youth empowerment work to curtail bullying. She serves as Vice Chair for Racial Justice for the YWCA, and on the FBI multi-cultural task force. Mrs. Ahmad spearheads business development and management for the Allergy and Asthma Specialty Center. She also has ten years of education and consulting experience with IBM. Mrs. Ahmad, a Muslim-American of South Asian descent, grew up in and has been a part of Greater Cincinnati since childhood. 

The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association. Major support for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. 

For more information on this upcoming exhibit and programs, go to the Urbana University web site and click on:


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