Harvard’s Lelia Ahmed Wins Grawemeyer Prize for Religion

Lelia Ahmed, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Divinity at Harvard University has been selected as the winner of the 2013 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. The award is one of five Grawemeyers given out annually by the University of Louisville. The award includes a $100,000 prize.

Dr. Ahmed is being honored for her book, A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence from the Middle East to America (Yale University Press, 2011). In conducting research for the book, Dr. Ahmed found that Muslim women in the U.S. were increasing wearing veils not as a rejection of women’s equality but rather as a symbol of activism for social justice and to push for equality for Muslims in the U.S.

Professor Ahmed has been on the faculty at Harvard Divinity School since 1999. She previously taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

A native of Cairo, she earned a doctorate at the University of Cambridge in England. Her previous books include Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate (Yale University Press, 1993) and a memoir, A Border Passage: From Cairo to America (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1999).

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