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Free Concert May 1 with Pakistani Rock Star Celebrates Jewish-Muslim Cultural Similarities


Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

(718) 997-5597

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593


--Mohammad Salman Hamdani, Queens College Graduate Who Died a Hero
on September 11, 2001, To Be Honored--

FLUSHING, NY, April 20, 2007—“Common Chords,” a celebration of Muslim and Jewish music, will be presented at Queens College on Tuesday, May 1 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm in LeFrak Concert Hall. Featuring Salman Ahmad of Junoon, South Asia’s most popular rock band, and Yale Strom, the world’s leading Klezmer artist, the concert is the final event in a semester-long series on bridging the cultural divide between Muslims and Jews. It is part of “The Middle East and America: Clash of Civilizations or Meeting of the Minds,” Queens College History Professor Mark Rosenblum’s nationally acclaimed project to promote understanding and informed discussion about the Middle East conflict on campus, in high schools, and in the larger community. This project is an initiative of the Michael Harrington Center at Queens College and the Taft Institute.

The evening will also include “Shared Traditions,” an on-screen photographic essay on the common aspects of Islam and Judaism. This will be presented by Gul Rukh Rahman and Ari Alexander, co-directors of the international online organization Children of Abraham. Begun in 2004 by Alexander, an American Jewish man, and Maria Ali-Adib, a Syrian Muslim woman, the organization strives for a deeper understanding between the two faiths through a photographic exploration of similarities in their rituals and customs.

Queens College alumnus Mohammad Salman Hamdani will also be honored at the Common Chords event. A Pakistani Muslim American who died saving lives on September 11, 2001, Hamdani was at first unfairly suspected of abetting the attack on the World Trade Center. His mother, Talat Hamdani, will be presented with an inscribed plaque commemorating her son’s heroism. A reception featuring Halal and Kosher cuisine will close the evening.

This event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Michael Harrington Center and the Taft Institute. Funding is provided, in part, by the Ford Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative. For further information, call (718) 997-3070. For directions to Queens College, visit


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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