Dalia Mogahed was propelled into the international spotlight when she became President Barack Obama’s advisor on Muslim affairs. Born in Egypt, she is the president and CEO of Mogahed Consulting, a consulting firm specializing in Muslim societies and the Middle East. She co-authored the book Who Speaks For Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, based on six years of research and more than 50,000 interviews. Mogahed has been widely recognized as one of the most influential Arab women in the world.
The old poem that most American school children recognize begins “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” Indeed, in the year 1492, Christopher Columbus (whose real name in Italian was Cristoforo Colombo) sailed across the Atlantic in the name of the Spanish crown and landed in the Caribbean part of North America. For hundreds of years, it has simply been accepted that Columbus was the first explorer to valiantly sail across the sea and “discover” the Americas. However, this theory no longer stands up to modern scholarship.