Willow Wilson, author of The Butterfly Mosque, talks about her book and answers questions about being a Muslim and American. The talk will be moderated by Los Altos Mayor Val Carpenter.
The Butterfly Mosque is a satisfying, lyrical memoir of a potentially disastrous clash between East and West. Wilson embarked on a yearlong stint working at an English-language school in Cairo right after her college graduation. Once in Cairo, despite being exposed to the smoldering hostility Arab men held for Americans, especially for women, she found she was moved deeply by the daily plight of the people. Through her deepening relationship with Omar--an educated, English-speaking physics teacher at the school--she also learned Arabic and embraced the ways Islam was woven into the daily fabric of existence. Arguably, Wilson's decision to take up the headscarf and champion the segregated, protected status of Arab women can be viewed as odd; however, her work proves a tremendously heartfelt, healing cross-cultural fusion.
2012 is the tenth year of the Silicon Valley Reads program, which is presented by the Santa Clara County Library, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and the San Jose Public Library Foundation.