New book offers glimpse into the Motherland and beyond

By Askia Muhammad -Senior Editor- | Last updated: Dec 19, 2017 - 2:43:09 PM

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When I read the first words of the first chapter of this book, I smiled broadly, as if I had just stepped off an airplane and Brother Abdul Akbar Muhammad was waiting to be my companion on an exotic adventure.  And there we were in Benin.

Akbar Muhammad’s perspective on “Africa & The World: Revisited,” the title of his new book, is special. He is an extremely well-read, Muslim scholar and former bookstore owner, who was an assistant first to Minister Malcolm X, and for most of the 51 years since the Honorable Elijah Muhammad of the Nation of Islam sent Minister Louis Farrakhan to Harlem’s Mosque No. 7, he has been the Minister’s faithful companion. He is the international representative of Min. Farrakhan and the Nation.

Africa-wise, although he hails from the Diaspora, his “African-ness,” is beyond question, and it comes through loud and clear in this book.

This well-written series of articles introduces the reader to many of Africa’s 54 recognized countries by a guide—no, an ambassador; no a foreign minister—who has himself traveled to every single one of those capitals since his first visit in 1976. For 12 years he was based in Ghana. From there he was a frequent visitor to all the hotspots in Africa.

Known throughout the African world as Brother Akbar, his intimate familiarity with so, so many of the exotic boat rides, or dirt roads leading from one destination to another once you’ve reached the continent is also spiced with horror stories in airports in Western capitals. His guidance through the perils of customs inspections is born of experiences where every single scrap of paper in his possession had to be examined once on re-entry to the United States.

In addition to the beauty and romance of Africa shared in this book, there are essays explaining, (unraveling, really) African politics, economics, law, culture, and even war. He also acquaints the reader with his remarkable lifelong relationship with Min. Farrakhan.

As a “welcome to Africa” tour-book alone, this would be a great book to check out. But as an encyclopedic study guide for a serious understanding of Africa, its history, its politics, this book is an important, required resource.

And thank you for the frequent poetic flourishes. Like this: a proverb from Brother Akbar’s “Love of Africa”—“It is better to see Africa once, than to hear about it a thousand times.”

“This should be the dream of those in the Diaspora,” he writes, “from Casablanca to the Comoros, from Cairo to Capetown, from Benghazi to Blantyre, from Accra to Addis, from Kumasi to Kisangani, and from Misrata to Mombassa: Africa has soul.”

“Africa &  the World: Revisited” is a soulful book, by a soulful Muslim Brother.

The book is available on Click on “Akbar Books.”