Muslims heritage of Europe
A part time travel writer, photographer and blogger – Tharik Hussain – will be visiting Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from Sunday 2nd August till 15th August, 2015. He is British, Western, Muslim, specialising in the Islamic stories of Europe, Muslim travel, family travel, East London, Andalusia and North East Bangladesh. Tharik’s writing and photography regularly appear in magazines and websites across the globe. He is also a blogger for the Muslim Institute and has been a guest on the BBC World Service and BBC West Midlands radio, as well as the Islam Channel (TV).
Born in Bangladesh, Tharik has spent most of his life with his family in the east end of London and briefly in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Together they have travelled all over Europe and to many parts of the Muslim world.
A Media and Cultural Studies graduate, Tharik has led research into the challenges faced by young British Muslims and completed a Masters in Islamic Studies. His writing career began as a News Journalist for British Asian newspaper Eastern Eye during the early 2000s and later he was the Copyeditor for the Saudi Gazette.
Tharik feels strongly about reconnecting Muslims to their European heritage, which is the primary motivation for writing what he hopes will be his debut book, describing his various journeys across Europe in search of forgotten Muslim stories, past and present. He believes:
“Right now knowledge of this heritage is extremely important for both Muslims and non-Muslims. For Muslims in the West, this is their heritage and by knowing it they will feel more connected and anchored to their homes in the West. For non-Muslim this will make them aware that Islam and Muslims have a long and ancient history in this part of the world and have made amazing contributions to European culture.”
In his opinion that ‘European History’ has always been associated with ‘Christianity’ and more recently, ‘secularism’, leading Muslims to assume there is nothing here for them; no heritage they can identify with. When in reality there’s heaps of it, with Muslims shaping European history since the 8th century. Also he says:
“It is my aim to remind the world of this heritage in an easy and readable way using photography and words (and sometimes film) as well as show what Muslims in Europe continue to do. Through this work I hope to bridge the gap that seems to be appearing between Muslims and non-Muslims in Europe and show the common heritage and humanity of us all.”
During this trip Tharik will meet Muslims community of Lithuania. On August 3rd and 4th he is planning to visit the mosque of the Forty Tatars village, the house of their community and the locals. On the afternoon he will be visiting the mosque of Nemezis village where he will find out more about heritage of Lithuanian tatars’ culture. Later he is planning to visit the mosque of Raiziai and in the end of his trip the interview from the Grand Mufti Romas Jakubauskas is planned in Vilnius Muftiate. Everyone is invited to come and share their stories with writer Tharik Hussain. During his trip he is planning to visit not only wooden mosques of Lithuania, but the Curonian Spit as well and after that travel to Latvia and Estonia to meet the muslims communities of these countries.
Based in London, Tharik is available for both writing and photography assignments and is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers, the World Photography Organisation and the Muslim Association of Social Scientists. He is also a qualified post 16 lecturer in Media and Sociology with over ten years teaching experience.
You will find out more details about Islam in the Baltic states and Tharik’s meetings with Muslims of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by visiting his blog: (www.thewanderingmusulman.uk), Twitter (@_TharikHussain), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tharikhussainuk), or website www.tharikhussain.co.uk. Also here you will find his regular writings for the Muslims institute exploring European Islamic History through Travel.