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Posted on Tue, Mar 2, 2010 : 6:10 a.m.

Putting Islamic Finance in a Western Perspective at AADL Thursday

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

My father once told me that although it was nice to learn about other cultures’ festivals and foods, it was a bit quaint. He said that if one really wants to understand another culture, one should look at how they deal with money — how they save, how they spend, how much they invest, how hard they work, what is considered a necessity versus a luxury, etc. — all their values will show up clearly when you follow the money.

Wait, isn’t that a line from a movie?

The Ann Arbor District Library is hosting an interesting seminar on Putting Islamic Finance in a Western Perspective with Professor Yousef Khalifa Al-Yousef of United Arab Emirates University and a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan Department of Near Eastern Studies, from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 4 at the Downtown Branch, 343 S. Fifth Ave. Islamic finance is founded on compliance with the principles and precepts of Islamic law (Sharia).

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for, and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her Web site at, her blog at or reach her at