Category: Uncategorized

  • Why we need to reframe development

    Why we need to reframe development

    Experts in the space of international development agree that defining “development” and the processes that help us do it are difficult. For starters, one of the definitions of development is “the reduction of poverty and achievement of Millennium Development Goals.” Other scholars and practitioners have used other definitions, but the spirit remains similar. Amartya Sen, […]

  • What is Development – And why does it matter?

    What is Development – And why does it matter?

    I am teaching a course during the summer term, which I have titled “Understanding development,” a class I developed over the past year or so. This is my second time teaching it and during each class, I try to challenge students about a conception of “development” they have, whether it is local or global.             […]

  • What is cultural humility

    You may have heard the term “cultural humility,” being used in conversations and wondered “what on earth is that,?”. I was one of those people too, and was instructed in its usage a few weeks ago, by a staff member at Casa Alitas, an NGO that works with asylum seekers and refugees.             As Christy […]

  • Do Sanctions work? : What have we learnt from past actions

    I recall coming across this question in grad school, almost 12 years ago. The professor who taught a course on the UN and its role in development posed this question to all of us. The class, consisted of about 20 or so young, idealistic students from around the world with varying understandings of sanctions – […]

  • What is really at stake in Ukraine?

    As the war in Ukraine rages on, there is much anger, anxiety and fear around the world. The popular consensus among media and experts seems to be that the fault is entirely that of Russia. It is certainly true that Mr. Putin instigated the current aggression against its neighbor. However, as a few scholars have […]

  • How real is the Social change in Saudi Arabia?

    I visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after nearly four years. My first visit was in 2017, when I was invited to speak at a national conference at the King Fahd University, Dammam. It was my first visit to the country, despite having traveled to neighboring countries a few times. The visit this time, in […]

  • What is the best way to address your professor/ colleague in an academic setting?

    What is the best way to address your professor/ colleague in an academic setting?

    I have made my fair share of faux-pas when it comes to addressing people, in an academic setting. So, based on over a decade of experience living, working and surviving American academia, here are a few tips for you, to navigate this complicated landscape. I’ll just focus on the seemingly innocuous topic of how to […]

  • Barter is alive and well in Oaxaca, Mexico

    Barter is alive and well in Oaxaca, Mexico

    How are artisans and craftspeople in Mexico surviving the pandemic? Here is a discovery that I made, based on one interview in Oaxaca, Mexico. I know that for a scientifically reliable insight, a sample size of one is not considered reliable. However, indulge me, as I share one remarkable insight into how artisans and crafts […]

  • Why are most Afghans who are fleeing, going to neighboring countries?

    Why are most Afghans who are fleeing, going to neighboring countries?

    Did you know that a majority of the refugees from the Middle East live in the region? Lebanon & Jordan host millions of people who have fled war, conflict or other disasters. There are an estimated 1.5 million Syrians in Lebanon, for example. In Pakistan, the story is similar : about three million Afghans reside […]

  • How the Italian army fooled us all during WWII

    How the Italian army fooled us all during WWII

    “You can’t do too well if you are creative or very imaginative, in Washington DC,” said the senior member of a Congressional staff who I was meeting in the nation’s capital. This was  a few years ago, when I had just finished my Master’s degree and was managing a small nonprofit.             I was the […]

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