• Blending Art, Education & Aid: Climate Philanthropy & Relief Efforts in Pakistan

    “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela   {Featured Photo: A wall at the campus of the University of Karachi, in Karachi, Pakistan. Photo was taken during my doctoral fieldwork on January 11, 2018.} At the beginning of the year and mid-year, we embrace the opportunity to reflect on what progress has been made at a personal and collective level, and what we hope to accomplish in the new year. I began something special at the beginning of this new year, an initiative that I hope to continue on an ad-hoc basis, or as long as I have the capacity.…

  • Conducting Qualitative Research in Pakistan: Lessons from the Field

    Last month, I shared this article on Medium: Conducting Qualitative Research in Pakistan (as an American-Born Pakistani): 25 Lessons and Observations from the Field This is a piece I began writing in Islamabad, the first week of my second field assessment for my doctoral studies in Pakistan, (in October 2018.) I had been sitting with it for the past 3-4 years. I knew at that time that this would have been the kind of piece that I would have loved to read prior to my fieldwork, so I wrote it. I discuss various elements of the nuts and bolts of the Fieldwork and some key lessons and challenges that emerged…

  • “Suitcase Stories” in Georgia: A Storytelling Session on Cultural Immersion in Pakistan

    On August 8, 2022, I had an opportunity to participate in a hybrid event conducted by the American Councils for International Education (American Councils), Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program. It was a “Suitcase Stories” session, an event designed for alumni of the FLEX Program. The American Councils FLEX program is a well-known, competitive U.S. State Department-sponsored program that brings high school students from 21 countries to spend one academic year attending American high schools and living with volunteer host families. The underlying objective is to promote mutual understanding between American citizens and those from the 21 countries in Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia, which includes Georgia. The “Suitcase Stories” is a…

  • Dissertation Acknowledgements and Publication

    Dear all, Previously I shared that I defended my PhD this Summer and graduated on August 21, 2021. A few months ago I received my digital diploma, shown in the featured photo. And I will be participating in the graduation ceremony this week! In October, my Dissertation, “The Network Architecture of Rural Development Interventions: Exploring the Relational Dynamics of Aid-impact in the Fragile and Conflict-Affected States of Pakistan and Afghanistan,” was published on ProQuest. You may find it on the ProQuest Database if you have access through your institution. An excerpt may be available via Google Scholar in a few months if not already. On this post, I would like to…

  • First Publication from PhD research explores challenges of ‘Localization,’ amid ‘Fragility’

    {Featured photo: The National Monument in Islamabad, Pakistan, 12-25-2018} Welcome back to my page! I have an update to share here before the end of the year. My first article on my doctoral study was published with the Journal of Asian Public Policy earlier this month. It is entitled, “Localization in Fragile Spaces: A Comparative Networks Evaluation of Community-Based Programmes in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” The article is available online now and will be assigned in their upcoming Special Issue: “Poverty Alleviation in Asia: a Comparative Perspective,” when the full volume is ready. It can be found through this link here: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/CSHEGHVJJZZEA5DGV6HP/full?target=10.1080/17516234.2020.1829355 This piece presents an overview of my dissertation research design and some initial…

  • My 3MT (+2): Exploring Relational Dynamics of Aid Interventions in Pakistan and Afghanistan

    Today, February 28th, 2020, George Mason University held their preliminary rounds for their annual Three-Minute Thesis Competition. I participated in this competition. You can learn more about the 3MT here: https://threeminutethesis.uq.edu.au/about . For a 3MT presentation, we are allowed one slide while we present our research within 3 minutes. I have provided that slide above. I truly enjoyed the experience, and highly recommend students to try this competition. It helps to not only refine your key insights, but also remind you of the big picture behind your research. Since I wrote out my presentation, I would like to share it here. I added the “+2” to the 3 minute presentation, as…

  • Presenting on Social Network Analysis at SDPI in Islamabad, Pakistan

    Last week I mentioned that I was asked by some members of SDPI to present a “brown bag” seminar on Social network analysis. Today, I cherished my first opportunity to share the methods to a renowned and prestigious institution in Pakistan. It took a lot of preparation, time and energy, but I felt I had done a nice service. Even if I was able to persuade just a few people about the value of these methods, and have the opportunity to share my ideas and research, it was no doubt a great experience. I have never done an academic presentation in Pakistan before, so this was the first time. I…

  • Preparing for Dissertation Fieldwork…Take 2

    In just a little over two weeks, I will be embarking on my second field assessment for my dissertation, which will consist of three months of travels to various cities in Pakistan. In addition to a year or two added to your timeline for dissertation completion, fieldwork and original data collection – (involving various pieces like survey questionnaire, field interviews, recruiting respondents, snowball sampling, archival data collection from field offices) – naturally becomes a whole league on its own. Fieldwork overseas and in challenging contexts, provides an entirely different layer of challenges to several elements to your dissertation research both conceptually and in the design. Necessary steps include completing multiple forms…