- University Life
Ahmed was the Pakistan High Commissioner (Ambassador) to the UK and Ireland. He is the author of over a dozen award-winning books, including Discovering Islam, which was the basis of a six-part BBC TV series called "Living Islam"; the critically acclaimed Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization; Suspended Somewhere Between, a book of verse; and Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam, which culminated in the full length documentary "Journey into America" and won the American Book Award for 2011. Two of his books were re-published in 2011 as part of the Routledge Revivals—“restoring to print books by some of the most influential academic scholars of the last 120 years.” Ahmed has recently completed The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror became a Global War on Tribal Islam, to be published by Brookings Institution Press in February 2013.
Chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies
Senior Nonresident Fellow
Member, Incident Management Team
Trustee, The World Faiths' Development Dialogue
Hasan Family Foundation
Distinguished Senior Fellow
Consulting Distinguished Scholar
Dr. Ahmed is often interviewed on CNN, CBC, the BBC, Al-Jazeera, NPR, and has appeared several times on “Oprah” and “Nightline.” He presented and narrated "Living Islam," the six-part BBC television series, in 1993 and "The Glories of Islamic Art," the three-part television series for Channel 5, UK, broadcast in 2006.
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Area of Expertise: Islam, Islam in America, Mosques, Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Asia, anthropology, comparative and regional studies
Additional Information: Akbar Ahmed is a diplomat, anthropologist, writer, and filmmaker. Ahmed has held important posts in Pakistan and Bangladesh—including Pakistan's high commissioner (ambassador) to the United Kingdom; commissioner, Quetta; political agent, South Waziristan Agency; and founder-director general of the National Center for Rural Development, Islamabad. He has been involved in interfaith dialogue and the study of global Islam and its impact on contemporary society. Ahmed is the author or coeditor of books on contemporary Islam, including Islam under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor World; Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society; Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise; Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World; and After Terror: Promoting the Dialogue of Civilizations. Journey Into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization chronicles Ahmed's experiences leading a team of young Americans on a tour of the Muslim world to seek understanding between Western and Islamic cultures. He recently took a similar journey with young Americans across the United States called Journey Into America. During this unprecedented project, the team travelled to more than 75 cities and 100 mosques to understand the largely unknown Muslim community. The project produced a film which has been shown at campuses and film festivals throughout the world and a book, Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam.
Ahmed was appointed the First Distinguished Chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy and is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He embarked on a speaker series with Judea Pearl, father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Ahmed has made numerous television appearances, including on The Oprah Winfrey Show,The Daily Show with John Stewart, CNN, NBC Nightly News, and the BBC. He has been interviewed by numerous newspapers and magazines and writes regularly for
journals, magazines, Web sites, and newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post,and CNN.
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