Alexs Thompson is an internationally recognized scholar of Islam who spent over a decade living and working in the Middle East with self-described fundamentalists in Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous countries in Central and East Africa. Much of that time was spent in support of U.S. forces and international policy.
Alexs received a Ph.D. from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago where he wrote his dissertation on medieval Islamic history. He also received a Master's degree in geochemistry from the University of Illinois (Chicago) where he wrote about the age and sustainability of groundwater in Egypt.
Dr. Thompson has been published in Joint Force Quarterly--the leading military journal directed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Small Wars Journal, and been a guest speaker at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy as well as the Association of the United States Army. In his travels, he worked with Generals David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal and participated in numerous pivotal combat zones in the War on Terror.
Episode 11: Goose Bay
This is an unfiltered conversation with one of my Canadian brothers. We talk about some Canadian geography, but we also talk about how to support veterans who are working hard to get reacclimated to non-combat life.
You can also listen on itunes.
Find the transcript here.
Episode 10: Hodor
Talking Race with Adrian
I rarely talk about race because the language around race is usually sloppy and politically charged. It means that when we should be focused on solving problems that affect our communities, we wind up focusing on how to prop up our ego. Conversations about race tend to devolve into polar opposites—we feel like we need to pick sides.
I hate picking sides because I am usually uncomfortable with shutting down either side of an argument. I’m not talking about extremists—on either side—who advocate for violence or total separation. I’m talking about people who express the depth of their lived experiences and are struggling to know how to live their best life.
Somehow, my friend Adrian got me to open up more about race. Adrian and I started graduate school together and wound up getting our Ph.D. on the same day.
Check out Adrian’s website and his engaging conversations with people from all over the world.
Cycles of Life with Jacob
Episode 08: Cycles of Life
In this podcast I spend some time with my good friend Jacob. We became friends at work but ultimately built a friendship based on a mutual interest in music and technology. This turned out to be one of the most impactful podcasts I’ve done because we really get to the heart of why I spent so much time in structured environments. In a lot of ways I moved from the military to the monastery and then to graduate school—all structured environments as a way to deal with the chaos of my childhood.
Episode 07: My Queer Love Story
Episode 06: Guest Podcast H-Hour
I was honored to join Hugh Keir at H-Hour Podcasts. I met Hugh through a
mutual friend and it only took us a day to realize we wanted to do a
We wound up talking a lot more about Islam than I anticipated, but it was
fun to talk about something I care about so deeply.
At the end, we talked about the importance of sharing our stories of trauma
and triumph. In some ways it helps us and in other ways it helps those who
aren’t yet ready to talk about their experiences.
Hugh is an incredible advocate for Veterans and I hope you’ll head over to
his website, support him, and engage with his podcasts.