Hizmet in Africa: The Activities and Significance of the Gülen Movement
On Thursday, April 14th, 2016, Atlantic Lecture Series hosted Ambassador David H Shinn for an engaging analysis of the multifaceted activities of the Hizmet movement in Africa. Hizmet is inspired by the ideas of the Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has lived in exile in rural Pennsylvania since 1999. In 2008, Foreign Policy magazine named Gülen as the world’s top public intellectual. Gülen and the followers of his philosophy refer to the Movement as Hizmet or “volunteers service” while others tend to call it the Gülen Movement. Ambassador will cover Hizmet's activities in both North Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa. According to the Ambassador, there are more than 100 Gülen-inspired primary, middle and secondary schools in Africa and the number is growing. Some African cities have a Gülen-affiliated dialogue or interfaith center and organization of businessmen who follow Gülen’s principles.
Ambassador Shinn received his BA (1963), MA (1964), and PhD (1980) from George Washington University. He has a certificate in African studies from Northwestern University. He served for thirty-seven years in the US Foreign Service with assignments at embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, Sudan and as ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. He has been teaching in the Elliott School since 2001 and serves on a number of boards of nongovernmental organizations.
An expert on the Horn of Africa, Dr. Shinn speaks at events around the world. He is the coauthor of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement, the Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, and has authored numerous articles and book chapters. His research interests include China-Africa relations, East Africa and the Horn, terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, conflict situations, U.S. policy in Africa, and the African brain drain. His most recent book is entitled Hizmet in Africa: The Activities and Significance of the Gülen Movement (Tsehai Publishers 2015)
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