Muslims of the Heartland: Uncovering the surprising history of Muslim life in the early American Midwest

April 7th, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

The American Midwest is often thought of as uniformly white and shaped exclusively by Christian values. However, this view of the region as an unvarying landscape fails to consider a significant community at its very heart. The new book Muslims of the Heartland uncovers the long history of Muslims in a part of the country where many readers would not expect to find them.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum “For the People” Speakers Series is proud to welcome Edward E. Curtis IV to our Union Theater on Thursday, April 7 at 7pm to discuss his book and the important stories of Syrian Americans at the center of key American institutions.

Curtis, who grew up in southern Illinois, will take you to the assembly line, the family farm, the dance hall, and the public school, and show how the first two generations of Midwestern Syrians created a life that was Arab, Muslim, and American, all at the same time.

Muslims of the Heartland recreates what the Syrian Muslim Midwest looked, sounded, felt, and smelled like—from the allspice-seasoned lamb and rice shared in mosque basements to the sound of the trains on the Rock Island Line rolling past the dry goods store. It recovers a multicultural history of the American Midwest that cannot be ignored.

Doors will open at 6pm. Attendees are invited to visit our new exhibit, "Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory." until the program begins at 7pm.

Plus, educators who attend this event and complete an evaluation survey will receive 1.5 CPDUs

The “For the People” speakers series features bold thinkers with unique insights into the people of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

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