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Silicon Valley Reads Kicks Off Wednesday With Author Conversation

County reading program celebrates its 10th year with several events that include panel discussions, interviews and exhibits.

Silicon Valley Reads 2012 celebrates its 10th year in Santa Clara County by kicking off its three-month program Wednesday with an on-stage interview with featured authors Sumbul Ali-Karamali of The Muslim Next Door and G. Willow Wilson of The Butterfly Mosque.

The two authors will be interviewed by Mike Cassidy, columnist for the San Jose Mercury News at the Campbell Heritage Theater at 7:30 p.m. and will be touch on this year's theme "Muslim and American: Two Perspectives."

The two authors will be together on March 3 at 1:30 p.m. at Cupertino Community Hall where they will discuss their books with De Anza College President Brian Murphy and the closing event of Silicon Valley Reads on April 29 at 2 p.m. at the Santa Clara Central Park Library with a conversation led by Mercury News columnist Sal Pizarro.  

Both authors will each appear solo at multiple events at libraries, schools and community centers during February, March and April. Sumbul’s itinerary includes a panel discussion at The Tech Museum on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. on the topic ‘'What It’s Like To Be the Muslim Next Door in Silicon Valley.” Other panelists include Mohammad Qayoumi, President of San Jose State University, Muhammed Chaudhry, President of Silicon Valley Education Foundation and Raania Mohsen, Executive Director of the Cities Association of Santa Clara County.   

Willow’s schedule includes a visit to the largest mosque in America, the Muslim Community Association in Santa Clara, on Friday, Jan. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Silicon Valley Reads 2012 Calendar of Events also includes these special activities:    

  • Silicon Valley Reads On The Air - an interactive TV book club broadcast live on CreaTVs in February, March and April where viewers can call, email, text or Tweet their comments and questions.  
  • Paranoid Politics – Islamophobia, McCarthyism and the Yellow Peril - a panel discussion on April 3 at the Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos with panelists author Wajahat Ali, Congressman Mike Honda and Dr. Larry Gerston, emeritus political science professor at San Jose State University and political analyst for NBC11.       
  • Our Religious Neighbors Next Door - a project coordinated by the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council that asks people to submit photos that capture the distinctive identities of the region’s diverse population for a collection that will be published online and exhibited at the Silicon Valley Reads closing event in April.       
  • One Through Love - a film and readings of the poetry of Rumi, a 13th century Muslim mystic who is the most popular poet in America. The program features Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Sally Ashton, and Los Gatos Poet Laureate Parthenia Hicks. It is scheduled for Saturday, March 31, 7 p.m. at the De Anza College Visual & Performing Arts Center.        
  • Sound of the Soul - a documentary about the Fez World Festival of Sacred Music, on Sunday, March 11, 2 p.m. at the De Anza College Visual and Performing Arts Center. Film director Stephen Olsson will introduce the film and answer questions afterwards.

For a complete list of events please visit siliconvalleyreads.org.

Silicon Valley Reads is hosted annually by the Santa Clara County Office of Education, Santa Clara County Library and San Jose Public Library Foundation.  Funding of the program comes from donations by local foundations, businesses, community groups and individuals.

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