Sunday, 9 June 2013

Kristiane Backer : Inspired by Islamic Sufism

Kristiane Backer is a TV presenter, journalist and voice over artist based in London with a pan-European career. In 2012 Kristiane published her best- selling memoir “From MTV to Mecca” in the UK with Arcadia and Awakening. Arabic, Indonesian and Malaysian editions are forth coming. The original book was published in 2009 in Germany and 2010 in the Netherlands. Kristiane is engaged in intercultural and interfaith dialogue and was nominated Global Ambassador for the Exploring Islam Foundation. In 2010 she was the face of the ‘Inspired by Muhammad’ media campaign.

Kristiane hosts galas, conferences and corporate events around Europe and the UK and is a regular guest speaker at international events. She recently presented a monthly travel show for Travel Channel and an interfaith chat show for Ebru TV.

At the age of 24 Kristiane Baker became one of the leading presenters on MTV Europe, where she interviewed most of the major artists and musicians of her time. She created her own youth show in Germany, ‘Bravo TV’ and presented a daily guide to culture and entertainment, “The Ticket NBC” on NBC Europe. She later studied natural medicine, qualified as a homeopath and presented a health program on RTL. Kristiane was awarded Germany’s most prestigious TV award, the »Golden Camera«, for her television work.

Inspired by Islamic Sufism:  From MTV to Mecca:

From MTV to Mecca’ is the truly inspiring story of Kristiane Backer, who at the height of her career as one of Europe’s leading pop culture icons, converted to Islam. The book can be purchased from Amazon; Paperback and Kindle edition.

In the early 1990s, Kristiane Backer became one of the very first presenters on MTV Europe. For years she lived and breathed the international music scene, quickly gaining a cult following amongst viewers and becoming a darling of the European press. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Mick Jagger, Bono, Bob Geldof, Jim Kerr, Take That and Cat Stevens, Kristiane was catapulted to the forefront of popular culture.

Through a fateful meeting with the famous cricketer Imran Khan, Kristiane travelled to Pakistan, where she encountered a completely different world to the one she knew: the religion and culture of Islam. She was drawn to this way of life which was dominated by a love of God and began to read the Quran and to study books about the Faith. The more she immersed herself in the world of Islam, the more she found herself dissatisfied with her own life. With the support of friends she met through Imran Khan, Kristiane began to learn the true values of the religion and, in 1995, decided to become a Muslim.

From MTV to Mecca takes the reader on a spiritual and cultural journey across the globe – from Pakistan to Bosnia, LA to London, Hamburg to Saudi Arabia – that will inspire Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Encountering Islamic academics, musicians and fellow converts, Kristiane finds the spiritual path of Sufism and embarks on the ultimate journey – the pilgrimage to Mecca. We share Kristiane’s highs and lows as she adopts Islam; from the difficulties of finding love, to embracing Islamic practices in day-to-day life, to dealing with prejudices, misconceptions and professional struggles, and she speaks with startling honesty of what it truly means to be a practising Muslim in Western society.

Dr. Hedieh Mirahmadi

Dr. Hedieh Mirahmadi received her degree of Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California Law Center and was a Scholar in Residence at the As-Sunnah Foundation, where she received a degree in Islamic Doctrine [Aqid’ah] and the science of tasawwuf. After 15 years under the tutelage of the Shuyukh, Hedieh has been authorized by the World Leader of the Naqshbandi Haqqani Sufi Order, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Adil al Haqqani, to guide students on the path of self-awareness according to the Sufi tradition. She is also on the steering committee of the international project, and the first ever all female Islamic law council that issues religious opinions on a wide range of issues.

As President of WORDE, Dr. Mirahmadi recently hosted a high level delegation, including a Federal Minister of Pakistan, to discuss how the traditional-cultural Muslim network can be a valuable resource in countering violent extremism in Pakistan and beyond. She is the author of several books including “In the Shadow of Saints”, “Islam and Civil Society”, and “The Healing Power of Sufi Meditation”.