THE DIVISIONS around the globe cannot be addressed and bridged without mutual understanding.

WHILE CONDUCTING fieldwork for *Journey into Europe* I was struck by the importance of education, The Golden Age of Andulusia can be attributed to knowledge.

This legacy continues to have a positive impact on Andalusians even today.

LAST MONTH, while collecting my email in routine. I received an extraordinary surprise  -a personal letter from the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

In February, courtesy of the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, I had sent Prime Minister Abbasi a signed copy of my new book, Journey into Europe: Islam, immigration and Identity.

I sent it hoping he would receive it and perhaps read it, but as is typical in gifting books to to denior leaders, I expected very little if anything in return.

Instead, I received a warm, personal note expressing gratitude for the gift.

In the letter dated 8 March 2018, the Prime Minister writes :

My Dear Dr. Ahmed,

Thank you very much for sending a personal copy of your latest book ''Journey into Europe : Islam, Immigration, and Identity''. It is indeed an iconic work on the subject of great importance and relevance.

Your insightful discourse on the the problems being faced by Muslims in multi-ethnic and multi-cultural societies of Europe will go long way in creating a  better understanding among stakeholders striving to find long-lasting solutions.

Thank you once again for this thoughtful and illuminating gift. I wish you the very best for your present and future endeavours.

Yours sincerely.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

I shared this letter with a number of my contacts and colleagues here in the US and in Pakistan. Most Pakistanis were cynical : some said he was a mere stop-gap appointment, others that he was a no-body. They missed the point.

The most noteworthy response came from my wise friend Wardella Doschek, an American convert to Islam who shared her story in the book:

''Straight and Sensible : My Journey to the Straight Path of Islam [2015]  Wardella recognized straightaway a parallel between Prime Minister Abbasi's letter and-

A period of history I explore in Journey into Europe  -the Golden age of Andalusia and the period of  Ia convivenca, or coexistence :
''Masha' Allah!

This reminds of me what you say in Journey into Europe about rulers La Convivencia cherishing a book as a gift.''

While conducting fieldwork for Journey into Europe, I was struck by the importance of ilm, or knowledge in the Golden Age of Andalusia and the positive impact this legacy continues to have on Andalusians even today.

!WOW! thanks Professor Dr. Akber Ahmed,  the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, Washington DC.

The Honor and Serving of the Global Operational Research on the state of the world continues to Part 2.


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