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TEDxConejo - Reza Aslan - Unity in Diversity May 20, 2011

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Dr. Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, tells his own story of growing up as an Iranian-born emigre and explores the common narrative of what it means to be an American, the unity that we find in our diversity. At a time of unparalleled anti-Muslim sentiment in America, Aslan explores the current climate in the context of the history of fear and prejudice in America.

Dr. Aslan is the founder of AslanMedia.com, an online journal for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world. Reza Aslan has degrees in Religions from Santa Clara University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. He serves on the board of directors of the Ploughshares Fund, which gives grants for peace and security issues; Abraham's Vision, an educational, conflict transformation organization for Israeli and Palestinian youths; PEN USA, which champions the rights of writers under siege around the world; and the Levantine Cultural Center, which builds bridges between Americans and the Arab/Muslim world through the arts.
Aslan's first book is the International Bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into thirteen languages, and named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War (published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in a Globalized Age), as well as editor of two volumes: Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalties, Contentions, and Complexities.

Reza Aslan is Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of BoomGen Studios, the premier entertainment brand for creative content from and about the Greater Middle East and President of AppOvation Labs, a mobile applications company. Born in Iran, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife (author and entrepreneur Jessica Jackley) where he is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside.

TEDxCONEJO
TEDxConejo, an independently organized TED event, was held in Thousand Oaks, Ca on March 26, 2011. The conference theme was Energy, using that word very broadly to go beyond what powers our homes and transportation but really what fuels life. What energizes business, education, health, and ideas? What energizes you? A broad mix of thinkers and doers characterizes the TEDx experience both on the stage and in the audience. TEDxConejo is open to the general public and produced in association with the Conejo Valley Unified School District. For more information visit www.tedxconejo.com

About TEDx
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

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