Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Friend Frankie

In my sophomore year of college at American, I was well into my Model UN-based world domination plot, through which I met Awesome Woman and Fellow Redhead Erin, who in turn introduced me to a guitar-playing, Kenya-visiting, Orioles-loving individual named Frankie. Frankie introduced me to Ethiopian food, and I introduced him to the fact that if the Yankees play, Yankees AND Red Sox fans will appear. He came complete with a zen-to-the-point-of-spaceshottiness attitude and French roommate who was more a state of mind than anything else. One of the many things I appreciated about Frankie was that we could talk about baseball just as easily as we could talk about ongoing social crises and political philosophy.

Several years ago, as we know, I moved back up North from DC and in the intervening time period, Frankie has been filling his days being completely fantastic. He recently was picked up by the Huffington Post, and if you really want to feel weird about your life's accomplishments to date, check out his bio:

Frankie Martin is an Ibn Khaldun Chair Research Fellow at American University's School of International Service. His research interests include Islamic-Western relations, religion and culture in Africa, and American foreign policy. In 2006, Martin traveled across the Muslim world to study global Islam, conducting field research among diverse groups, including madrassa students in India, Somali refugees in Kenya, and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. He researched for and was cited extensively in the resulting book, Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization by Professor Akbar Ahmed (Brookings, 2007).

Martin has addressed diverse audiences on Islamic-Western relations, including the British House of Commons, the Brookings Institution, the Washington National Cathedral, and the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as universities in the US, Middle East, and South Asia. He has been interviewed by media outlets including the BBC and International Herald Tribune, and has also advised American lawmakers and officials at the State Department, FBI, and DHS. He is currently working with Professor Akbar Ahmed on a new study, "Islam in America," which will involve extensive field work throughout the United States. Martin is a magna cum laude graduate of American University.

Well, I feel like I've been wasting my life, how about you? He made his first HuffPo appearance with a post on Somalia that was picked up by the WaPo/Newsweek earlier this month. I personally think all this is cool as hell and am glad Frankie's being allowed to put his considerable brain power to significant and wide-spread use. Here are a few more items of Frankie's that are worth a listen or read. Enjoy!

Journey Into the UK
Students Tour Muslim World
Four Young Americans Take a Journey Into Islam
Talking Can Stop Hate
Good Anthropology, Bad Islam? The Pitfalls of Steamrolling the Muslim World
Comprendre les Zones Tribales au Pakistan (en francais, évidemment)
BBC World Interview (audio)

No comments:

Post a Comment