What: Seton Hill University will host the Westmoreland County premiere of "The Sultan and the Saint," a docudrama about Muslim-Christian peace narrated by Academy Award Winning Actor Jeremy Irons. The event is sponsored by Seton Hill, the YWCA of Westmoreland County, the Westmoreland Library Network and CERIS, the Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies. The film is free to the public, but tickets should be reserved online. Parents are advised that some material may not be appropriate for viewers under age 12.
When: Wednesday, September 27, at 7 p.m.
Where: Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center, 100 Harrison Ave., Greensburg.
Who: The Westmoreland County premiere of “The Sultan and the Saint” is made possible by Dr. Hassan Bakri, a generous donor to the film and a longtime friend of Seton Hill, particularly in the area of interfaith dialogue. Dr. Bakri, a Pittsburgh area dental specialist, worked with the filmmakers to bring the docudrama to Greensburg at no cost to the public.
At the event, Dr. Bakri will be presented with the “Sultan and Saint Peacemaker Award,” which recognizes local citizens who have shown the courage to create connections across faith traditions in the pursuit of knowledge, peace, and common humanity. The award will be jointly presented by Seton Hill and Unity Productions Foundation, the maker of the film.
Background: “The Sultan and the Saint” tells one of the great, lost stories from history. Set in a past period of East-West conflict, it speaks with urgency to our present. Two men of faith, one an itinerant Christian preacher, the other the ruler of a Muslim Empire, bucked a century of war, distrust, and insidious propaganda in a search for mutual respect and common ground.
During the Crusades, Saint Francis of Assisi risked his life by walking across enemy lines to meet the Sultan of Egypt, the Muslim ruler and scholar Al-Malik Al-Kamil. "The Sultan and the Saint" chronicles this remarkable encounter and the commitment to peace of the two men behind it.
The film is produced by Unity Productions Foundation (UPF), a non-profit that aims to counter bigotry and create peace through the media. UPF produces films that tell compelling stories for television, online viewing, and theatrical release. These films are part of long-term educational campaigns aimed at increasing understanding among people of different faiths and cultures, especially among Muslims and other faiths.