Abdelkader Stage Project

Middle School Curriculum

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

Stage Curtain

The middle school version of the Abdelkader Stage Project contains five vignettes, modified for middle school students. The vignettes together emphasize Abd el-Kader’s exemplary character, his impact worldwide, and the naming of Elkader, Iowa, in his honor.

The vignettes are presented in chronological order and are based on Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader (John Kiser, 2008).

The Abdelkader Stage Project may be used in isolation for students interested in learning about an historical character who was known worldwide in the 19th century, but is little known in 21st century America. The Stage Project may also be used within the greater context of the middle school curriculum From Jerusalem to Elkader.

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 extremism
  • Provides role model of ethical leadership
  • Encourages critical thinking and social/emotional learning


Khan, Daisy. Wiseup: Knowledge Ends Extremism. Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality & Equality, 2018. 

Kiser, John W. Commander of the Faithful: the Life and Times of Emir Abd El Kader. Monkfish Book Pub., 2008. 

Marston, Elsa. Compassionate Warrior – Abd El-Kader of Algeria. World Wisdom Books

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.