A book about the study of Muslim culture in Eastern Europe is included in the list for the prestigious travel book award
«Minarets in the Mountains: A Journey to Muslim Europe" by Tariq Hussain tells the story of the journey of a British-Muslim writer of Bangladeshi origin with his family through parts of the continent, home to some of the largest native Muslim communities in Europe.

The narrative partially follows in the footsteps of the 16th century Ottoman traveler Evliya Celebi through Serbia, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro. It includes trips to forgotten Islamic cultural centers such as Gjirokaster and Berat in the Albanian mountains, former strategic capitals of the Ottoman Empire such as Skopje in Northern Macedonia, and little-known Muslim cities such as Novi Pazar in Serbia.

Tariq Hussain, one of the Muslim travel writers, says that he is surprised when educated people are surprised to realize that there are Muslims in Europe, and that for the last 600 years they have "lived their lives in plain sight”.

In his book, Hussein explains this by saying that Western Europe is a source of modern xenophobia and Islamophobia, because it has always been uncomfortable with its Muslim self.

The book, published in July, has already been nominated for the Bailey Gifford Prize for Fiction and named among the books of the year by the Times literary supplement, Prospect magazine and the New Statesman, as well as the travel book of the Year by the Washington Post and Newsweek.

«Minarets in the Mountains» is one of five books shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Prize. The winner will be announced on 3th of March at a ceremony in London.