Wrapping up in Islamabad – After 100 Dissertation Interviews…

Today, after completing 4 interviews, I reached the 100th Dissertation interview, with a grand total of 101 interviews, which was my ultimate target. More is yet to come in Sindh.

With this achievement, It is great to take just a moment to reflect on my time in Islamabad…which, with a few trips outside of Islamabad to Peshawar and Lahore, will total 3 months for this second field assessment.

During this time, I have completed nearly 70 solid interviews and had more meetings in addition to that. I also got to immerse with the population.

There is a lot to be proud of for what I was able to accomplish in Islamabad as well as see and gain some exposure. As I mentioned in a previous post, I could think about the many things I didn’t accomplish, but it would take away from the many things I was able to accomplish during this time.

Along with the many powerful interviews, I attended a large conference hosted by a renown think tank in Pakistan, I presented a brown bag lecture, teaching Network Analysis for the first time, and at the think tank in Islamabad. I had a total of 12 days (plus 3 from last year) in Peshawar (KP), in addition to the interviews about KP, from many KP travelers I conducted in Islamabad. Besides that, I had a chance to live in the Red Zone and visit a Senate Session for a few minutes in the Parliament House, as well as see Imran Khan speak at the Jinnah Convention Center for his historic 100 days speech.

I also had a trip to Lahore for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture tour of the restoration of monuments, touring the Lahore Forte and the Walled City, plus educational visits to museums and historic sites in Peshawar and Islamabad, alongside an experience of the Pakhtun culture at a wedding in Rawalpindi, as well as immersion in Peshawar. This is just a scratch of the 3 month experience…

In just a few days, I will be flying out to Karachi/Sindh to begin the final portion of my fieldwork in Karachi. I have already set up meetings and I am determined to finish there strong too, with a potential visit to Tharparkar, Thar, Sukkar and possibly other areas within interior Sindh… the next post will come when I arrive in Karachi… Bidding farewell to Islamabad will be hard but having something to look forward to in Karachi makes it easier…

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