Book Reading/Signing: The Order of Light

Thu, June 21, 2007 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Alwan for the Arts and 3rd i Present

A book Reading by Haroon Moghul

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 7:00 PM

Free and open to the public Refreshments will be served

About the book The Order of Light is about one week in the life of a young Pakistani- American. The son of wealthy parents, he attends a prestigious American university and enjoys the comforts and privileges that come with it. He is also miserable. In the summer of 2001, he and his Indian room-mate Haris enroll in a programme at a language institute in Cairo to study Arabic and the Qur’an, so that they might better understand their religion. Their project fails in almost every respect, nothing quite bores the protagonist as much as attending prayers or listening to sermons. But having come from a family where every day he was told that Islam must come first, the discovery that he doesn’t care to lead an Islamic way of life-and that much of the Muslim world doesn’t seem to want to, either-disturbs him terribly. Frustrated with his spiritual lethargy, he finds it easier to run. He runs away from his apartment every other night, making Haris sick with worry. One such night, he finds himself lost in the winding streets of Old Cairo. Desperate, he takes shelter in a tiny, dilapidated mosque where he chances upon something altogether unexpected: five men, members of a self-declared Order of Light, who claim they are from the future; descendants of Salah al-Din’s twelfth-century Kurdish retinue. They have travelled back in time to save the world from a horrific global conflict that will ultimately wreak havoc on the Islamic people. The problem with the modern age, the Order proclaims, is that Man has made himself an idol, and to repent this sin, Man must commit suicide in order to free his soul. The young Pakistani finds himself joining in their discussions, captivated by their teachings. But the more questions he asks them the more he ends up questioning himself. He wants to forget about the Order but seems to bump into its members wherever he goes. Are they following him? Are they trying to win him over? Then the suicides begin, and Cairo is plunged into panic and destruction. Haroon Moghul graduated from New York University in2002, with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Philosophy. He is currently a graduate student at Columbia University, in the program of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures. His field of study is late 19th century South Asian Muslim history and religion. Mr. Moghul is Contributing Editor as well as a regular columnist for Islamica Magazine. His first novel, "The Order of Light," was released by Penguin Global in fall 2006. A French translation by Cherche Midi is expected by this summer. Mr. Moghul is married and lives in New York City.

About 3rd I 3rd I New York's monthly film and music salon designed by local filmmakers and experimental DJs showcases the works of independent filmmakers of South Asian descent and local djs, musicians and electronica artists. Providing alternative forums for South Asian filmmakers who often have few venues to showcase their work not only increases their visibility, but also provides a social forum for peers and audiences to participate in an ongoing discussion.

Last updated: 2007-09-12 08:22:03

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