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Reza Aslan ’95 is speaking at the University Forum Distinguished Lecture Series this spring at Appalachian State University. Aslan’s lecture is titled “Understanding Muslims and the Future of the New Middle East” and addresses a drastic shift taking place in the Middle East.
A new generation of youth in the Middle East are clamoring for their rights and freedoms, and they drastically outnumber their elders. Seventy-five percent of the population of the Middle East is under the age of 35, and 50 percent is under the age of 25. The young, educated, and politically motivated youth in places like Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and beyond have a new vision – one that represents their values, not the values of a ruling elite or of the generation that preceded them.
Aslan is a world-renowned expert on the Middle East, its history, economy, culture and populations. In this eye-opening talk, Aslan goes beyond skin-deep punditry and reveals the true nature of these historic societal changes. What motivates the Muslim youth of today? What will the new Middle East look like? How will these sudden regime changes affect the world’s economic and political climate? With unparalleled authority and eloquence, Aslan unravels the complexities of the new Middle East and shows audiences what the future holds for this often misunderstood part of the world.
Aslan is the author of the international bestseller No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been named by Blackwell Publishers as one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. It’s now available in 13 languages. Aslan appears regularly in the media, on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and The Colbert Report, among other high-profile outlets. He has degrees in religion from Santa Clara University, Harvard and UC Santa Barbara, as well as a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction.