Fulbright Scholars and Hubert H. Humphrey
fellows depart for U.S.
A total of 27 grantees - 11 scholars
and 16 Humphrey fellows from all over Pakistan left for the U.S.
in August on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar and Hubert H.
Humphrey Fellowship Programs.
A Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) was arranged by United
States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) for the
departing grantees in Islamabad on July 28. The grantees
were briefed about the programs and other aspects of
living and working in the U.S. The orientation was
followed by a networking session and formal send-off
speech by the chief guest, U.S. Cultural Attaché Mr. Brent
Beemer." I urge you to make most of your time in the U.S.,”
he said. “As much as your own
life will change for the better on account of your
experience in the U.S, as Ambassadors of Pakistan you will
change American lives even more,” he added.
Humphrey Fellows /Fulbright
Scholars pose with Mr. Brent Beemer,
Cultural Attache' ,U.S. Embassy and
Ms. Rita Akhtar,
Executive Director, USEFP for a group photo.
The Fulbright Scholar Program provides a 9-12 month
opportunity for scholars, artists and professionals to
research and/or lecture at U.S. universities. The 2011
batch comprises 11 scholars, including three women, from
universities/research institutions across Pakistan. These scholars, belong to institutions from around
the Pakistan (Air University, Islamabad; Forman Christian
College, Lahore; University of Faisalabad; GC University,
Lahore; International Islamic University, Islamabad;
National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic
Engineering (NIBGE), Faisalabad; PINSTECH Complex, Nilor,
Islamabad; and University of Engineering and Technology,
Peshawar), will be working the in the wide variety of
disciplines: Agriculture, Archaeology, Biomedical
Engineering, Biotechnology, Botany, Engineering,
Mathematics, Philosophy, and TEFL/Applied Linguistics.
Sixteen Pakistani professionals are taking part in the
Humphrey Fellowship program. Initiated to honor the memory
and accomplishments of the late Senator and Vice President
Hubert H. Humphrey, the Humphrey Fellowship Program brings
accomplished mid-career professionals from designated
countries around the world to the U.S. for a year of
practical professional development and non-degree academic
study. Of the 12 participants, 4 are from KPK, 3 from
Punjab, 3 from Sindh, and 2 from Islamabad Capital
Territory. They will be participating in programs in
Public Policy Analysis & Public Administration, Law &
Trafficking in Persons, Policy & Prevention,
Communications/ Journalism, Human
Resource Management, Teaching
English as a Foreign Language, Economic Development /
Finance & Banking, and Education.
Ms. Julia Fendrick Deputy
Cultural Affairs Officer chats with
Humphrey Fellow, Ms. Rizwana Siddiqui.
Both programs are funded by the U.S. Department of State
with travel, living stipends, health insurance and tuition
for the entire period of study fully covered. Ms. Rita
Akhtar, Executive Director USEFP congratulated the
departing grantees. “You have all been selected on merit
in a transparent competition. The goal of all our programs
is to promote mutual understanding between the people of
Pakistan and the people of the United States. Outstanding
scholars and professionals participating in such programs
will surely benefit both our countries,” she added.
More than 100 undergrads begin their semester of study in
In August, more than 100 undergraduate students from all over the
Pakistan departed for a semester of study at
colleges and universities in the U.S. on the Global
Undergraduate Program (UGRAD). An
initiative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural
Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State, the Global UGRAD
program in Pakistan is an extension of the successful
global exchange program established by Congress in 1992
under the Freedom Support Act for students from Eurasia
and Central Asia. The one-semester program for
undergraduates was launched in the fall of 2010 with its
first cohort of approximately 50 participants. Since the
program began in 2010, 300 grantees have participated.
Around 100 undergraduates
pose with Ms. Rita, ED USEFP. Mr. Mark Davidson, Public
Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy, and
Mr. Brent Beemer, Cultural
Affairs Officer for a group shot.
These scholarships are fully funded including travel,
boarding, lodging, stipend, health insurance and the
tuition fee for the entire period of study. All of the
students are required to return to Pakistan to complete
their Bachelor’s degrees. A total of 200 participants will
be receiving grants under Global Undergraduate Program (UGRAD)
in Pakistan 2011-2012 - 100 in the fall 2011 , and another
100 in spring 2012.
A Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) was organized by USEFP
for the departing students at the Serena Hotel, Islamabad, on
July 14. Grantees were briefed by USEFP about
the program, visa regulations, American culture, U.S.
higher education and campus life and adjusting to life as
a new student in the United States.
Students questions are taken
by Mr. Mark Davidson, Public
Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy,
Mr. Brent Beemer,
Affairs Officer and Ms. Rita Akhtar.
The orientation was
followed by a formal dinner and send-off speech by the
U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Dr. Cameron Munter and his
wife, Dr. Marilyn Wyatt, who were the chief guests on the
occasion. “We are very fortunate to have so many talented
Pakistani students attending American universities through
the UGRAD program. This is an example of the U.S.
government’s long-term commitment to education in Pakistan
and to increase mutual understanding between the two
countries.” He said that there were strains in the Pak-US
relations, but with the passage of time things would be
ironed out. “We truly believe that together we can bring
changes in various sectors of Pakistan, including health
and education,” he added.
Ambassador Munter and Dr. Wyatt enjoy taking a few
questions from the undergraduates.
Ambassador Munter speaks informally at the Global UGRAD Pre-departure Orientation.
Mr. Mark Davidson, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy was also present.
“The really exciting thing about these undergraduate
programs,” said Ms. Akhtar, ED USEFP, “is that so many of these
students come from remote or economically disadvantaged
areas of Pakistan. The group contains 36 from Punjab, 28
from KPK, 19 from Sindh, 6 from FATA, 6 from ICT, 3 from
Balochistan, 3 from GB, and 1 from AJK. Of these, ,more
than 48 % are
women. These students came from a wide variety of
disciplines, including humanities and social science
subjects, engineering, basic sciences, law, art and
design, economics, and business administration,” she
The selected students are going to approximately 45
schools all over the U.S. including in Arizona,
California, Florida, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania,
and Washington State. In addition to 100 Global UGRAD
grantees, six students selected for the one-year Near East South
Asia (NESA) Student Exchange Program also participated in
the PDO. Both these programs - the NESA and Global UGRAD are funded by the U.S.
Department of State.
"Vibrancy of the Pashtun past always neglected in history books"
- Dr. Robert Nichols
The vibrancy of Pashtun past has always remained a
neglected area in the history books, as most of these
books were written by outsiders and lack perspective from
These views were shared by Dr. Robert Nichols, American
historian and author of two books on Pashtun nation in a
lecture titled ‘Fact, Narrative and True Histories:
Presenting the Pashtun Past.’ The lecture was organized by
Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network.
Dr. Nichols is a graduate of the University of
Pennsylvania’s School of South Asia Regional Studies. He
has learned Persian, Pashtu and Urdu and read widely in
the literature of his period in these languages as well as
thoroughly investigating British archival material in
Peshawar, Lahore, New Delhi and London.
He said that available material on the history of Pashtuns
has presented a distorted picture of the nation that is
actually rich in culture, language, literature and
agriculture. He said that Peshawar Valley has always been
connected to all the regions in Asia and was the route of
great conquerors. “The history written at that time was
narrated according to the perspective of those who came to
rule these areas,” said Dr. Nichols.
He explained that Pashtun populations of today’s Pakistan and
the Peshawar region have always participated within the
great historical flows of wider inter-regional and world
history. “This area has never been an isolated place of
isolated people. Participation in these flows, in turn,
has meant that Pashtun identity has not been of an
unchanging, primordial character,” he said.
Nichols described how two centuries of agricultural
migration into northern India meant that a Pashtun
community of around one hundred thousand was already
present when the British began asserting hegemony over the
area in the late eighteenth century. “Historically, the
Pashtun population has circulated within and outside the
region to seek opportunities.” He said that almost half of
the labor from Pakistan in the Gulf region is Pashtun.
“These Pashtuns are contributing millions of rupees to Pakistan’s economy in the form of remittances,” he said,
after a certain period, these migrants come back to their
native towns, which in turn contribute to the uplift of
Dr. Nichols believes that recent public opinion has not viewed
the Pashtuns kindly. Residing primarily in Afghanistan and
Pakistan, the Pashtuns have gained notoriety in the west
through their association with al-Qaeda and Taliban.
Nevertheless, Nichols believes that the Pashtuns have for
centuries been anything but a hidebound, insular
Dr. Robert Nichols, a
Fulbright Specialist, was in Pakistan for six
weeks in Jul-Aug 2011 to collaborate with colleagues
in Islamabad, Pakistan to review and develop academic
curricula materials in the field of American Studies
and the discipline of History. He worked with, first,
faculty from the Area Studies Centre for Africa, North
and South America, at Quaid-i Azam University, to
assist in the review and development of American
History courses and teaching materials, and, second,
with faculty of the History Department, Allama Iqbal
Open University, Chair Dr. Samina Awan, to review and
develop MA, M. Phil., and Ph.D. course materials,
especially for American History courses. While in
Islamabad, he also gave lectures at the National
Library of Pakistan, the National University of Modern
Languages (NUML), and the U.S. Educational Foundation
in Pakistan (USEFP).
With a Ph.D. in History from University of
Pennsylvania, Robert Nichols is Professor of History
at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He has
written two books on the regional and wider connected
histories of the Peshawar Valley and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa,
A History of Pashtun Migration, 1775-2006 (Oxford
University Press, 2008) and Settling the Frontier:
Land, Law and Society in the Peshawar Valley,
1500-1900 (Oxford University Press, 2001). He has also
edited the volume Colonial Reports on Pakistan’s
Frontier Tribal Areas (Oxford University Press, 2005).
He has number of research articles and editorial
contributions in various academic journals as well as
books to his credit. He has also received several
research awards, grants and fellowships including
Fulbright Research Awards in 2003, when he studied
labor migration to the United Arab Emirates and the
Indian Ocean region, and 2010, when he studied
historical texts in Islamabad.
Courtesy: The News
About the Fulbright
The Fulbright Specialists Program (FSP) allows
senior U.S. scholars and professionals to undertake collaborative projects at higher
education institutions in Pakistan. FSP is NOT a
research grant. The purpose of the program is to
invite scholars for 2-6 weeks to help Pakistani institutions of
higher education with regard to curriculum
development, consulting with
administrators/instructors of Pakistani educations
institutions on faculty development, participating in
or leading seminars or workshops, lecturing etc. To
invite a U.S. scholar to your campus you need to
submit a short proposal describing the project, dates
of the project and the identified scholar if you
already know him. If you do not know the name of the
scholar USEFP can help identify the relevant scholar
in the required field for you. The FSP grant pays for
the scholar’s international travel and domestic
travel, housing, meals etc. Organizations interested
in taking benefit of this program should submit a
proposal for a collaborative project to USEFP, anytime
around the year. For more details please visit our
One student’s journey from
small-town Balochistan to Harvard University
Located on the outskirts of Quetta, is the barren valley
of Mariabad where the Hazara lead slow-paced lives. These
tribal people, living in narrow brick huts speckled along
the rugged hillside, typically sell loose cloth, sweaters
or tea for their livelihood.
Like most poor people, their aspirations rarely go beyond
sustaining themselves in this underdeveloped nook of
Balochistan. Many of them live and die in Mariabad —
unaware of the complex concerns and tremendous pace of
life in urban centers like Karachi and Lahore.
But one student — the son of a trader who sold
Quaid-e-Azam style caps in Mariabad for a living — dared
to tread a radically different path. Karrar Hussain Jaffar,
a Fulbright grantee, transcended the confines of an
obscure town in Balochistan, where people rarely educate
themselves beyond matriculation, to study at the
prestigious Harvard University. His story — a narrative
about the wondrous possibilities of equal educational
opportunities — is truly inspirational. ...Read
Pakistani teachers head to the U.S. on
the Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program
Forty-three English teachers from all over the Pakistan
departed for the U.S. in August on the U.S.
Government-sponsored Teaching Excellence and Achievement
(TEA) and Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA)
Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) and Foreign
Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA) grantees leave for
U.S. to start their studies in second week of July. Also seen is the
Executive Director USEFP, senior USEFP staff and
a few alumni.
A Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) was held for the
teachers by USEFP at the Serena Hotel, Islamabad on July 8
in which they were briefed about their program, visa
regulations, American culture, U.S. higher education and
campus life and adjusting to life as a new teacher/student
in United States.
Alumni share their experiences with grantees.
The eight-week TEA program provides teachers of English
from public secondary schools with a unique opportunity to
develop expertise in their subject area, enhance their
teaching skills, and increase their knowledge of the U.S.
Focused on building expertise in best practice teaching
methodologies and techniques, participants will also
engage in host university-organized two-week internships
at a local secondary school. Of the 37 participants, 14
The FLTA program is a nine-month, non-degree Fulbright
program that provides young teachers of English an
opportunity to refine their teaching skills, increase
their English language proficiency and extend their
knowledge of the society and culture of the U.S., while
teaching their native language – either Urdu or Pashto –
to U.S. students. Of the six teachers are participating
this year, four are women. Since the program began in
2006, 33 teachers have participated.
Both programs are funded by the U.S. Department of State
with travel, living stipends, health insurance and tuition
for the entire period of study fully covered.
Some FLTA alumni also attended the orientation share their
experiences. All spoke about how such opportunities have
improved their professional lives. Ms. Rita Akhtar,
Executive Director USEFP congratulated the departing
students saying, “You have all been selected on merit in a
transparent competition. No profession is more important
than teaching. We know that people in the U.S. will learn
a lot from you and that you will return with new skills
and knowledge to share with your students.”
Visiting USA was wonderful, a
CCI grantee shares his experience
Muhammad Ali Shafique
was a Community college grantee in 2010.
Belonging to Rahim Yar Khan - a city in South Punjab,
Pakistan, Mr. Shafique attended the
City College of San Francisco. This is
how he shares is experience of studying in the U.S. :
I want to extend my sincerest thanks to whole team of
USEFP for providing me the opportunity of Community
College Scholarship. Visiting USA was a wonderful
experience which would not have been possible, had the
USEFP not that much supportive. I didn’t have the best
grades academically when I applied, but I remember my duty
to represent my country well and I held up my end and kept
my promise with Rita during interview to earn good grades
in USA. I earned a certificate in “Supervision and
Management” from City College of San Francisco with
I did my level best to study well and promote my country
culture and image to Americans. Side by side, I did
volunteer for the American Red Cross for Japan tsunami and
earthquake. I also had the opportunity to meet the mayors
of different cities of California. As part of my school
assignment, I also conducted an interview of Terry Nagel,
who is the Mayor of Burlingame. I traveled a lot to
explore more and met different people to have their
perspective about modern management and leadership
challenges. I cleared doubts of many Americans on their
false stereotype concepts about Pakistan. I also got an
opportunity to represent the San Francisco CCI group in a
meeting with College Board of Trustees. I reached back
home on May 31 after almost nine months.
Shafique represents his
community college group in Board
of Trustees meeting.
Our school protest against CA tuition fee hikes.
Today, I feel myself way better than year before. I am
motivated and have a real zeal to serve my country to the
best of my potential.
The Global UGRAD-Pakistan Fall 2011 fellows arrived to the
U.S. in August to begin their US experience, starting with
an intensive 3-day workshop in Washington, DC. The fellows
are now beginning classes, community service, and their
cultural passport activities at fifty host institutions
across the US. See photos of the fellows in action here:
Kiran Rajput, Hammad Ali Khan, Iqra Ashrat and Madhu
Sudhan Maheshwari, studying at the University of
Wisconsin–Stout, have already dove into their community
service. The fellows volunteered at the St. Joseph church
soup kitchen, where they served food to the needy in their
host city, Menomonie. “It was a beautiful experience,”
reported Kiran. “It awakened so much in my inner
conscience and made me want to do more community service.”
At SUNY-Plattsburgh, Durrashawar Mahmood experienced U.S.
culture through a visit to one of New York State’s largest
theme parks with her temporary host family. Durrashawar
went on rides she never imagined in her wildest dreams,
and saw a play which show-cased old American culture.
Durrashawar noted that she felt her trip to the park
helped acquaint her with many aspects of American culture:
food, sports, shopping, and holidays within just one day.
Amber Afshan, studying at the University of Wyoming, has
experienced different types of American dancing since her
arrival. She went square dancing for her first time.
Although she was a little nervous because she had never
square danced before, Amber had a great time dancing and
mingling with American and other international students.
“The best thing about the event was that your nationality
or ethnicity didn’t matter. It was simply a gathering of
people with some common interest, enjoying the night!”
Amber also attended a “Vertical Dance”, a highly popular
event on the University of Wyoming campus. The "stage" for
the climbing performers is one of the great granite rock
faces on nearby Turtle Rock. “Music, narration, and dance
on the rock face combine for a wonderful event!” noted
Masooma Hasan, studying at Montclair State University, has
experienced several aspects of American culture with her
temporary host family, before classes begin. She’s dined
at a local restaurant, made her first shopping trip to
Target, and participated in the neighborhood block party.
Masooma also went on her first U.S. road trip with her
host family: from New Jersey to New Hampshire to enjoy
time at a lake house. On the way back, they stopped in New
York City to celebrate the son’s birthday. Masooma has
enjoyed easing into American life with her host family and
is looking forward to holiday celebrations with them this
Sonia Sadaf, studying at University of Arkansas, recently
attended her first soccer game on campus. The game was
against one of Arkansas’s biggest rivals, Oklahoma, and
served as a prime example of American competitive sports
culture. Sonia reported great interest in the American
“craze” of the game, although she still doesn’t understand
the craze herself.
Marbaila Nane Tariq, at Humboldt State University, has
been actively pursuing cultural activities in Arcata. She
visited a local farmer’s market, and reported that, “I
thought it might be just like a vegetable market, but it
was cultural event.” She also enjoyed a trip to the beach,
but reported that “the Pacific Ocent water was much too
cold!” The highlight for Marbaila so far, however, was
meeting the mayor of Arcata: Susan Ornelas. “She was a
nice and wonderful woman. She told me much about Arcata,
how the local government works here, and how people solve
their problems.” Marbaila received a tour of City Hall
while there, and was pleased to present Mayor Ornelas with
a gift from Pakistan.
Muzaib Riaz, studying at California State
University-Dominguez Hills, also took his first trip to
the beach recently, with his roommates. Muzaib reported
that “the beach itself was amazing. People were surfing in
the water and playing volleyball all over the beach.” The
trip to the beach was also a chance to experience American
diversity, as he and his roommates had to choose dinner
from a large variety of cuisines, “there were Chinese,
Korean, Thai, Italian, Mexican – you name it!” Muzaib is
looking forward to more new experiences this
semester, noting that “it was one of the best
experience of my life until now… but I know it is
just the beginning!”
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