Many Americans are familiar with the work and thought of figures like St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas—figures that have significantly shaped culture in the Christian-majority world. Far fewer are familiar with figures whose influence is equally great in the Muslim-majority world.
In an effort to help more American audiences learn about figures of the second sort, Unity Productions is producing an animated film, Lamya’s Poem, with support from a $100,000 grant from AVDF. The film will introduce viewers to the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, an extremely influential figure within the intellectual and spiritual history of Islam. In the film, a young Muslim girl, Lamya, is forced to flee modern-day Syria amidst the current refugee crisis. Along the way, Lamya meets Rumi in a plot that integrates history, fantasy, and current events.
The film will introduce new audiences to Rumi and his work. This will be complemented by online curricular materials—a website, an educational interfaith dialogue guide, and classroom lessons—which will focus on relevant aspects of Rumi’s poetry. These materials will be developed under the guidance of Omid Safi, professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke.
Learn more about Lamya’s Poem here.