From January, 2019

Neglected and Oppressed: Are Pashtuns South Asia’s Kurds?

At the beginning of last year, a group of young university graduates from Pakistan’s northern areas protested the State’s policy of oppression and neglect in the Pashtun region that they represented. Led by the charismatic and heroic young tribesman Manzoor Pashteen, the protest soon turned into a great agitation in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, and marked the beginning of what came to be known as the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM)—or Pashtun Defense League. PTM accused Pakistan’s army of atrocities against the local population during the dubious military operations in the Pashtun-populated northern territories. It demanded justice for the Pashtun missing persons,…

Coffee, long walks and reading Camus: The things I would do if I didn’t have to read for school

  It is 7:00 P.M. and I am in the Alexander Library at Rutgers University where I go for my Ph.D. My carrel overlooks the busy highway and the river past that to my right. I am looking out the window and thinking about what to do, as I have a million things on my mind. By the way, I came here to read and take notes for the class that I will be teaching in the spring semester, which is around the corner. I enjoy school and reading for my classes. I really do. But, sometimes it gets meaningless…

My 2018 lesson for you: “where there is a will there is a way”

You may be fed up with the oft-repeated proverb, where there is a will there is way, but to me, it rings true every minute of the day. In 2015, I graduated with a master’s degree in Peace and Justice Studies from the University of San Diego. I spent two years looking for a job but could not find one apart from part-time gigs here and there. For those years, I worked side jobs at a gas station and in restaurants. I washed dishes, cleaned toilets, worked as a server and delivered sandwiches on a bicycle. This may be something…