Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Blog

Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa has an undergraduate degree from Tufts University, two Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University. Pretty impressive credentials for a guy best known for his comic books.

Al-Mutawa’s creation, THE 99, is a comic book series whose superheroes personify the attributes of the 99 Muslim names of God. Each hero has his/her own power, but their powers are enhanced by working in teams of three. Together, they decide which three heroes and sets of powers are best suited to solve the problem at hand — folding lessons of tolerance and diversity into each of THE 99’s comics. The series has been praised sources as diverse as Forbes Magazine, the Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, and President Obama. And Al-Mutawa and THE 99 are the subject of a new documentary by Isaac Solotaroff.

“Wham! Bam! Islam!” follows Al-Mutawa’s journey to bring THE 99 from a concept to a comic and, soon, to international television. It talks about the issues and concerns —from religious scholars who objected to the project to its near bankruptcy. And it shows how Al-Mutawa and his team overcame these obstacles to show Christians and Muslims a new face of Islam. On Thursday, September 29,  the night before the launch of our National Leadership Conference, AAI will co-host a special screening of the film at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn.  Naif Al-Mutawa and Isaac Solotaroff will be on hand to answer questions and to talk about their journey, their vision, and the impact THE 99 is having across the world.

If you’re not able to join us in Dearborn, you can catch “Wham! Bam! Islam!” on PBS’s Independent Lens starting on October 13. (Check your local listings for more program information.)

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