CineCulture receives Spirit of Abraham Award

Dr. Mary Husain, Fresno State instructor and CineCulture club advisor. (Fresno State News)

Fresno State’s CineCulture film series has been selected by the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno as the recipient of its 2018 Spirit of Abraham Award.

The Spirit of Abraham Award recognizes groups or individuals who aid in the understanding of Islam and Muslims and the cohesive relationships among different groups of people.

“CineCulture tries to develop a deeper understanding of and cooperation between all walks of life, educating people about other nations, cultures and religions,” said Reza Nekumanesh, director of the Islamic Cultural Center.

CineCulture provides film screenings for students and community members. It is also a three-unit course within the media, communications and journalism department. CineCulture, which is also a club, works through the film series and discussions to raise cultural awareness.

Nekumanesh said that Fresno State instructor and CineCulture club adviser Dr. Mary Husain’s commitment to the program played a large role in choosing the award winner.

“My overarching goal has been to collaborate with as many on- and off-campus groups as possible, to help facilitate intercultural understandings and respect for diversity through film and public dialogue,” Husain said. “Every week is a new adventure, and, for me, CineCulture is a labor of love.”

Past recipients of the award include Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro in 2015 and the Henry Madden Library in 2014.

An awards gala will take place on May 18 as part of the Night of Spirituality that celebrates the beginning of the month of Ramadan, a period in which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk to clear their bodies of toxins.

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