image of Bashi-Bazouk
Jean-Léon Gérôme (French, Vesoul 1824–1904 Paris)

Zain Abdullah was selected to be the guest editor for a special issue, Black Muslim Portraiture in the Modern Atlantic, of The Muslim World journal (2020), which was founded in 1911. His design of the cover, with an image of an 1868 painting of a Black Muslim soldier from the Ottoman Empire made history for the Journal and Hartford International University acknowledged the historic moment on their website. It is the first time they ever featured any human image on their cover (not to mention one of a Black subject) since its founding over 100 years ago.

With 9 entries covering 3 continents by art historians and scholars of Islamic Studies, and his lead article, "The Art of Black Muslim Lives," was cited on the website of the grand Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for the painting, which is in their permanent collection.

There will also be a special program in April on the journal issue co-sponsored by Duke University and others.