Georgia Southwestern State University’s Third World in Perspective Program will host a seminar titled “Understanding Islam: Bridging the Gap” at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Education Center, Room 100, in Americus.

Alan Godlas will lead off the program. He is associate professor of religion at the University of Georgia and received his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Near Eastern Studies, specializing in Islam, from the University of California at Berkeley. He teaches Islamic studies and Arabic courses, and is a member of the linguistics faculty, the Medieval Studies Program and the African Studies Program. A Fulbright scholar, he is best known for his Islamic Studies and Sufism Web sites.

Sylvia Safiya Godlas, an artist, teacher and author who specializes in traditional Islamic art, will speak on “Islamic Art as a Reflection of Culture: Pointing to Allah.” She has traveled extensively in the Middle East and is president of the International Muslimah Artists Network. She began working on ceramics in 1976, producing and selling sculptural works and pottery, and has exhibited her work throughout the U.S. She maintains a ceramics studio and produces Islamic-style ceramics for show and sale.

She was a member of the team that designed ornamentation for the 1990 addition of 27 domes to the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.

The seminar is open to the public and will be moderated by Harold Isaacs, Georgia Southwestern professor of history.


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