I just picked up Eboo Patel‘s Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation at New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton, Massachusetts. To be honest, I wasn’t searching for it; I pretty much stumbled across it randomly in the extremely small ‘Islam’ section (it’s small in comparison to the ‘Judaism’ section, which, I think, symbolizes a lot about the Book Fair, the city of Newton, and the country we live in). Anyways, before the Table of Contents, Eboo includes these three quotes to give the reader a feel for his story:
I am large, I contain multitudes
The road of Creation
Resolves into music.
Start a huge, foolish project,
The first quote from Whitman reminds us that as people we’re complicated, have many layers and no core identity.
The second quote from Tagore reminds us… actually… I’m not entirely sure… Any theories?
And the third quote from the Prophet Noah reminds us to be ambitious and to never lose faith in ourselves or God along the journey of life.
Eboo Patel actually appeared in the documentary Journey into America (2009) which I directed with Akbar Ahmed. I’m looking forward to reading his book and applying it somehow to my research on the experiences of young Pakistani men.