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This in-person book talked about a comparative and qualitative study of an educational phenomenon, Hizmet, functioning worldwide.

Dr. Parrillo and Dr. Ansari present a cross-cultural study of Hizmet schools in seven countries of varying histories and ethnic compositions. Some are fairly homogeneous, while others are longstanding multicultural, multiracial societies. Some have Muslim-majority populations, others a small Muslim minority. Through hundreds of interviews with students, parents, staff, and financial supporters, the authors explored individual perceptions and experiences, as well as the triad of student/parent/school interaction. Analyzing the commonality of the schools’ structures and processes in different settings, they offer their insights about the schools’ success in achieving their twin goals of offering quality education and promoting interethnic harmony.


Vincent N. Parrillo is the author of numerous books and journal articles, some of them translated into ten languages. He is a Professor Emeritus of sociology at William Paterson University and a Fulbright Scholar and Fulbright Senior Specialist. An internationally recognized expert on immigration, he is the author of two historical novels about Ellis Island: Guardians of the Gate and Defenders of Freedom. His newest book is Hearts and Minds: Hizmet Schools and Interethnic Relations. He is also the executive producer, writer, and narrator of six award-winning PBS television documentaries: Ellis Island: Gateway to America; Smokestacks and Steeples: A Portrait of Paterson; Gaetano Federici: The Sculptor Laureate of Paterson; Paterson and Its People; Silk City Artists and Musicians, and Paterson: A Delicious Destination.

Active in community theater, he directed the Sondheim musical Follies in May 2022 for the Players Guild of Leonia, where he has directed numerous mainstage productions of all genres (comedies, dramas, musicals), as well as appearing in others. He also directed The Comedy of Errors in July 2015 at Bergen County Overpeck Park.

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