Omar H. Ali

On Jan. 13, members and guests of the Sandhills Branch of the English-Speaking Union will hear an especially timely presentation titled “The Many Faces of Islam” at Pinehurst Member’s Club. The presentation will be by UNC-G Professor Omar H. Ali.

Ali is a professor, historian and community organizer in North Carolina. He is dean of the Lloyd International Honors College at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2014, he received the Senior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in the College of Arts & Sciences at UNCG. Ali currently serves as interim dean of UNCG’s Lloyd International Honors College. He has recently been named North Carolina Professor of the Year by The Carnegie Foundation.

Ali studied political economy and cultural anthropology at the University of Michigan and the School of Oriental and African Studies before graduating from the London School of Economics and Political Science and receiving his doctorate in history from Columbia University. Ali has been a Fulbright professor of history and anthropology at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, a visiting professor of African-American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University, and a library scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. With colleagues at UNCG he founded the Islamic Studies Research Network, an educational research network to promote awareness and understanding of Islamic history and culture.

He has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN, NPR, PBS, and Al-Jazeera. The author of four books, he has lectured widely across the U. S., as well as in Latin America, East Africa, and South Asia.

Ali serves on the board of directors of several community-based organizations, including the national All Stars Project, which transforms the lives of young people in poor and working-class communities by using the power of performance–the improvisational methodology that Ali practices to help cultivate creative learning environments.

The Sandhills Branch of the E-SU supports a mission that promotes scholarship, education, and public speaking. The organization sponsors a high school level Shakespeare Competition and a Middle School Debate competition annually.  Monthly dinner meetings are held at the Pinehurst Country Club and membership is open to the public.

For more information about E-SU programs and membership, contact Barbara Rothbeind at (910) 947-6806 or

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