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 – […]
How the US Congress can make friends and help people
What is the role of US Aid in developing contexts?
How to make a political statement by learning Spanish
We are living in interesting times. Times when xenophobia, racism, and suspicion of the ‘other’ are going mainstream, at least at the level of political rhetoric. While one can excuse this as the misguided logic leading up to the primaries, one cannot ignore the amount of confusion this is causing- both domestically and across the […]
Should the real ‘war’ be against lazy thinking and bad English?
As early as 1946, George Orwell argued that English language is facing a ‘decline’ of sorts. In his essay Politics and the English Language, Orwell pointed out that English writing in his age – and I would argue, even in our age – suffers from two main problems, i.e., staleness of imagery and lack of […]
The problem with the question : ‘Is Islam a Violent Religion’
As a young scholar, I am amazed at how easily such a question can be posed towards Islam and Muslims, without second thought – as if it is the most normal and banal question that one can ask – indeed, many of my close friends and associates have asked me this question, in the past. […]
Can Philanthropy help fix the refugee crisis?
Beyond the headlines, the noise and clamor that we hear about immigration is a rather simple question: How will we welcome the stranger? The one who is unknown, perhaps vulnerable? The question of refugees is also ultimately about us, especially those living in countries where refugees come to. The U.S, Europe and the Gulf nations […]
Two jobs I Could Never have….like ever!
I dropped off my wife, who is a Catholic, to her colleague’s house on the morning of Sept 23, at 4 am. Together, they, along with a few other colleagues were going to meet the Pope and the President at the White House. On my way back, I was thinking to myself: Those are the […]