Michelle R. Kimball
Shaykh Ahmadou Bamba:
A Peacemaker For Our Time
Michelle R. Kimball (Farah) was born in Washington D.C. Her father was a diplomat and later, an international business consultant. In her childhood she traveled to many parts of the world with her parents. In 1971, while in high school, she moved to Tehran, Iran. She worked for National Iranian Radio and Television, writing articles on The Shiraz International Festival of the Arts. She began college in Shiraz, Iran, but later received her BA in Environmental Design from the University of California at Santa Cruz, with honors for her senior thesis on geometric symbolism in Islamic architecture.
She pursued graduate studies in Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley, where she was awarded a fellowship for Arabic language study, then transferred to UC Santa Barbara where she received her MA. While there, she compiled the book, Muslim Women Throughout the World, an annotated bibliography (available on Amazon).
She has written articles on Persian philosopher-poets Jalaluddin Rumi ["Jalalo'd-Din Rumi's Views on the Shar'iat"], Suhrawardi ["Shihabuddin Suhrawardi, Sufi Master of Illumination", Farid-ud-Din Attar, "A Tale of Magic and Wonder," and on women in Islam.
She founded the International Peace Project, an affiliate of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Beginning in the 1990’s she took up the cause of the plight of the Iraqi people, especially children, suffering under US imposed UN sanctions and bombardment. She made an aid trip there with 80 other seasoned activists, headed by former US Attorney General and human rights lawyer, Ramsey Clark, to show support while spreading the information of their plight. ["Peace Activist Mission", "Woman Reaches Baghdad", "Activist Saddened"] She wrote articles ["Let the Children of Iraq Live"; "Bombs over Baghdad" ] on the topic and contributed her article, "Let the Children Live"; to the book A Challenge to Genocide. She made media appearances, gave lectures and organized many events focusing on global peace initiatives.
She lectured and participated in interfaith gatherings with fellow Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist colleagues. She hosted Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Gabriel Kassab and organized events to support his charitable work in Iraq. She is one of the signatories to “A Common Word Between Us and You," an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders, calling for peace and understanding. She produced a CD of mystical chants dedicated to world peace, which was distributed in the United States.
While committed to working for peace, she also hosted Senegalese presidential candidate and member of parliament, Shaykh Abdoulaye Dieye who introduced her to the work of Shaykh Ahmadou Bamba.
Ms Kimball presented a paper on two Muslim peacemaker sages at the 2010 World Philosophy Day event (originally organized by UNESCO) in Tehran, Iran.
After years of research, she wrote the book, Shaykh Ahmadou Bamba: A Peacemaker for our Time (and other articles) about his life and teachings.
In 2019 and 2020, Ms. Kimball was a Research Fellow at ISTAC (International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization) at The International Islamic University, Malaysia.
Additionally, Ms Kimball has managed from time-to-time to be professionally engaged in Design (Graphic - Design Resources in Santa Barbara, Ca.; Interior & Architectural; Writing, and Healthy Food Development [See entire Live Food Book, in a paradise setting, written by the author, here ] .