Akbar Ahmed

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is currently the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington DC; the First Distinguished Chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis; and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has taught at Princeton, Harvard, and Cambridge Universities and has been called “the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam” by the BBC. He has advised myriad US agencies and organizations on Islam and foreign policy. Regularly interviewed by CNN, NPR, BBC, Fox, he has appeared several times on Oprah, and has also been a guest of The Daily Show and Nickelodeon. 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 the BBC six-part TV series called Living Islam, and the critically acclaimed “Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization”. His book Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam (Brookings Press, 2010), culminated in the full length documentary, “Journey into America”, and won the American Book Award for 2011. His Pukhtun Economy and Society was 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 most recently published a book of verse, Suspended Somewhere Between (2011), and is currently working on a study which examines the role of America and the conflict between tribe and state in the Muslim world, to be published by Brookings Press in 2012. On September 11, 2011, Ahmed gave a sermon as part of the memorial service commemorating the decade since 9/11 at the Sunday service at St. Alban’s Church, the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.  The renowned American historian Professor Stanley Wolpert called him “the greatest scholar of Islam in America and the world…nobody else stands so high…” he is “..the Dara Shikoh of modern Islamic leaders” (Pakistan Link, 30 December issue, 2011).

Suspended Somewhere Between: A Book of Verse

SKU: 9781604864854
Author: Akbar Ahmed • Foreword by Daniel Futterman
Publisher: PM Press / Busboys and Poets
ISBN: 9781604864854
Published: 4/2011
Format: Paperback, mobi, ePub, PDF
Size: 5 x 8.25
Page count: 152
Subjects: Poetry, Islam


“The authors of Unfree Labour have done us a great service, reporting and theorizing from the front lines of migrant and immigrant worker organizing in Canada. They’ve produced an internationally important book. The specific stories resonate with a global narrative, in which workers in poorer countries are freed to bring their labour to serve the rich, and are then rendered permanently vulnerable through the collusion of employers, police and government agencies. This bitter liberty is, however, being fought: look for inspiration in the reflections by organizers on resisting racialized capitalism, and the victories they’ve achieved, far from the media’s gaze, in fields, factories, fast-food and homes.”
—Raj Patel, author of The Value of Nothing and Stuffed and Starved

“Anyone wanting to understand Islam today must read Akbar Ahmed’s collection. We are given rare glimpses into the dilemmas, pain, and despair but ultimately love and hope of Muslims through the verses of this true renaissance man.”
—Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea

“Akbar Ahmed is a national treasure. Allow him to lead you through his tumultuous, thrilling life in this gorgeous collection of poems, written across five decades and three continents—a life of loss, despair, child-like wonder, and love.”
—Daniel Futterman, actor (A Mighty Heart, as Daniel Pearl, 2007) and Oscar-nominated screenwriter (Capote, 2005).

“Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is a brilliant and wise authority on Islam, and now we have the chance to see what a beautiful soul he has. In these poems, we see the mix of the personal, political, historical, and lyrical. This book is deeply inspiring.”
—Walter Isaacson,  president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, author, former chairman and CEO of CNN, and former editor of TIME magazine.

“Analyzing the contemporary production of ‘unfree’ labour in Canada’s immigration and neoliberal economic policies, this book makes an excellent contribution to the fields of labour and migration studies. Grounded in the struggles of migrant workers against racialized bondage, the studies presented by Choudry and Smith draw much needed attention to one of the most important movements of our times. A must read for all concerned with labour rights and economic justice in an increasingly polarized world.”
—Sunera Thobani, author of Exalted Subjects: Studies in the Making of Race and Nation in Canada

“Choudry and Smith have put together an impressive collection of authors who reveal the ugly truth about Canadian so-called values: that Canada is a willing participant and leader in the exploitation, racialization and commodification of human labour on stolen land. They reveal much about a human dignity that shines a light on the Canadian hubris and myth of being a champion of ‘human rights’ as families and people are torn asunder in the name of profit and privilege.”
—David Bleakney, second national vice-president, Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Unfree Labour systematically shows how rapacious capitalists and the state thrive and secure profits through the systematic subordination of women, nonwhite, and migrant labourers. The chapters document that exploitation, so reminiscent of feudalism and early capitalism are ever-present in our modern capitalist system in the West. The chapters in this book provide chilling accounts of the constrained lives of domestics, agricultural labourers, and the growth of temporary foreign workers, so dependent on removing and denying rights that were achieved over the past two centuries. Choudry and Smith have assembled a comprehensive and outstanding book that is essential for all scholars of the labour movement.”
—Immanuel Ness, editor of New Forms of Worker Organization: The Syndicalist and Autonomist Restoration of Class Struggle Unionism

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