About Zain

Zain Abdullah Pic

“A scholar of religion and world cultures tells gripping stories about our changing world, our challenges, our triumphs and what it means when people are flung together from far-away places.”

Dr. Zain Abdullah is an internationally recognized scholar, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Islam, religion and society, global diversity, and intergroup relations. His latest book, Black Mecca: The African Muslims of Harlem (Oxford University Press, 2010), looks at how today’s new immigration is altering our worlds like never before, bringing diverse peoples to the US from Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe, and Africa.

Black Mecca tells vivid stories about how West African immigrants from countries like Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, and Guinea negotiate their Black, African and Muslim identities in Harlem. It combines rich narrative-style, storytelling with insightful analysis, explaining what this global movement means for our future co-existence.

Dr. Abdullah was recently awarded a Ford Foundation grant to write a new book on Temple 25, which looks at Black Muslim conversion and the Nation of Islam in Newark, New Jersey between 1955 and 1975. His other projects include memoir writing, fiction, essays, film and photography. Zain earned his doctorate in cultural anthropology from the New School for Social Research in 2004, and he has held academic posts in the departments of African & African-American Studies, religion, history, urban studies, sociology and anthropology. Dr. Abdullah is currently associate professor in the Religion Department at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he is also a faculty affiliate in the Department of Geography & Urban Studies. His work has earned him numerous awards and his writings have appeared in an array of periodicals.

To learn more about Dr. Abdullah, click here.