Abdelkader Stage Project

Middle School

Five vignettes, modified for middle school students, emphasize Abdelkader’s exemplary character, his impact worldwide, and the naming of Elkader, Iowa, in his honor.

High School

Thirteen theatre vignettes depicting a rich array of characters beginning in 1808 in the Ottoman Regency of Algiers, to France and Damascus, to current day Elkader, Iowa, USA.

Why teach the life and times of Emir Abdelkader?

  • Uncovers little-known facts about America’s heartland
  • Adds historical lens of the conquered, highlighting story of resistance
  • Challenges stereotypes
  • Broadens notions of American cultural, ethnic, and religious identities
  • Offers international perspective beyond eurocentric history
  • Counters extermisms
  • Provides role model of ethical leadership
  • Encourages critical thinking and social/emotional learning


Kiser, John W. Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader (1808-1883), A Story of True Jihad, Monkfish Book Publishing Co., 2008

Elsa Marston adopted Kiser’s book for middle and high school students, entitled The Compassionate Warrior: Abdelkader of Algeria published by Wisdom Tales, 2013.

Khan, Daisy WISEUP, Knowledge Ends Extremism

Other Selected Readings

Bouyerdene, Ahmed. Emir Abdelkader: Hero and Saint of Islam. World Wisdom, 2012.

Churchill, Charles-Henry. The Life of Abd el Kader, ex Sultan of the Arabs of Algeria. Chapman Hall, 1867.

Danziger, Raphael. Abd al-Qadir and the Algerians. Holmes and Meier, 1977.

DeTocqueville, Alexis. Writings on Empire and Slavery (translated by Jennifer Pitts) Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

Kiser, John W. The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love and Terror in Algeria. St. Martins Press, 2003

Kiser, John W. Lessons From An Arab Warrior

Hourani, Albert. Islam in European Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Johnston, Douglas, Religion Terror and Error: American Foreign Policy and the Challenge of Spiritual Engagement. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2011.

Nasr, Hossein. Man and Nature, The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man. Chicago: ABC International Group Inc, 1997.