Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994

"The Land of Five Towers": An Insight into Modern Islamic Education in Indonesia


Ahmad Fuadi
Best-selling Author and Social Entrepreneur

On May 17 USINDO hosted Ahmad Fuadi, author of the best-selling “Negeri 5 Menara” (The Land of Five Towers). His 2010 book broke a 37-year sales record in Indonesia, and its film adaptation was among Indonesia’s top 2012 box office successes.

Little is known from the students themselves about life inside a pesantren or a pondok pesantren, an Islamic boarding school unique to Indonesia. Pesantrens are often associated with traditionalism or conservatism. But a number of modern pesantrens exist in Indonesia, and the traditional view of a pesantren has thus gradually changed.

Negeri 5 Menara describes a young man’s rigorous Islamic education in an inspiring and modern pesantren in East Java, based on the author’s own experience. It provides an insider’s perspective on what is taught, what the students aspire to, and what they become. The book gives us a fresh understanding of the formative experience of moderate Muslims in Indonesia.

Stay tuned for the event brief and photos.