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Ali S. Asani (AKH 73-84) is Professor of the Practice of Indo-Muslim Languages and Cultures at Harvard University. A scholar of Islamic civilisation in South Asia and a specialist in the Ismaili literary traditions of South Asia, Ali has just published a volume of essays entitled Ecstasy and Enlightenment, the Ismaili Devotional Literature of South Asia. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Ali wrote an article entitled "On Pluralism, Intolerance, and the Quran", which was published in The American Scholar, volume 71, No. 1 (winter 2002) and which he has kindly allowed us to put up on our website. In early May 2002 the Harvard Foundation presented Ali with a special award in recognition of his efforts in promoting intercultural and racial understanding at Harvard and more widely in the USA. Click here to read the full text of the article: "On Pluralism, Intolerance, and the Quran".

Dr. Niyamat Shah (ISP 89-90) from Gilgit, Pakistan, has been appointed Regional Programme Manager, Balk, by AKDN, Afghanistan, beginning in June 2002. He will be posted in Mazar-e-Shariff. Nayamat studied Preventive Health Care Administration at the University of Wales in Cardiff in 1989-90, after which he worked as District Health Officer for the Northern Areas in Pakistan for 10 years before moving to FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance in Peshawar in 2000. We wish Nayamat success in his challenging new post.

Akhtar Badshah (ISP 81-83) has started a new organisation called Digital Partners, of which he is the Executive Director. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, this non-profit organisation has chapters in New York, Silicon Valley and New Delhi. The mission of Digital Partn ers is to utilise the tools of the digital economy to develop IT-enhanced and market-based solutions that directly benefit the world's poor. The company fosters a global leadership movement in which the market development acumen of IT and business experts is linked with the poverty alleviation activities of social entrepreneurs, foundations and development institutions. Akhtar believes that the same abilities and technologies used to address the needs of the world's wealthy can also be harnessed to meet the needs of the poor. At present, Digital Partners has projects in India, Mexico, Ghana and Brazil. For more information visit

Two ISP scholars have recently received their PhD degrees with the following dissertations: "The Characterization of Healing Tissue in a Tooth Extraction Socket in a Rabbit Model", by Dr. Zahid Lalani (ISP 98-01), presented to the Faculty of the University of Texas Health Science Center at the Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in May 2002, and "Optical Wireless Communication Systems Employing Dual Header Pulse Interval Modulation (DH-PIM)", submitted by Nawras Mohamed Aldibbiat (ISP 98-01) to the Optical Communications Research Group, School of Engineering, Sheffield Hallam University, in December 2001.

Alumni News Brief

ISP alumna spends six weeks in AKF Geneva office
Bilquis Sana Khan (ISP 2000-01) spent several weeks in November and December of 2001 working in the Geneva office of the Aga Khan Foundation.  Bilquis completed an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine last year, before which she worked as Project Manager of the Health/Management Information System Project of the Aga Khan Foundation in Gorno-Badakhshan (GBAO), Tajikistan.   During her stay in GBAO Bilquis collected data on stunting (a form of malnutrition) in young children in the high mountainous region of the Pamirs, which she used as material for her MSc dissertation.  In Geneva, Bilquis worked with AKF's Director of Health Programmes and the Head of the Health Information Statistics Centre in GBAO on preparing the report on the Health and Nutrition Survey conducted in GBAO last summer.  In January, Bilquis started working at the Department of Community Health Science of the Aga Khan University in Pakistan, from which she had been seconded to AKF(Tajikistan). 

Career move from the AKDN Geneva to MIT

Shiraz Allibhai (ISP 93-96), an architect by training, worked for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Geneva as Programme Officer for Education and Culture for several years before being seconded to MIT for a two-year period as of January 1, 2002.  At MIT, Shiraz assumed the directorship of the ArchNet Project at the School of Planning and Architecture.  ArchNet is the website of a virtual community of students, teachers, scholars and practitioners interested in architecture and related subjects in the Islamic world.  It is a site that Shiraz has been helping to develop for the past two years and which was launched in the fall of 2001.  After his European period, Shiraz was delighted to be back in Cambridge where he had completed his Master's in Architecture at Harvard University in 1996.

Johns Hopkins graduate joins AKF(India)

Nemat Hajeebhoy (ISP 95-97), who completed a Master's in Health Systems Management from Johns Hopkins University in 1997 has been hired as Health Programme Manager at Aga Khan Foundation (India).  This is not Nemat's first time working for AKDN.  She had already worked for the Aga Khan Health Service's Mombasa Primary Health Care Project in Kenya as part of her Master's degree course.

Tajik scholar is honoured for outstanding PhD dissertation

Sarfaroz Niyozov (ISP 97-01) finished his PhD from the University of Toronto in 2001 in a blaze of glory.  His 500-page thesis on the economic and socio-political problems faced by teachers in Tajikistan was selected as the Outstanding Dissertation of the Year by the Awards Committee of the Comparative and International Education Society.  The presentation of his award will be made in Orlando, Florida, in March 2002.  The full title of the dissertation is "Understanding Teaching in Post-Soviet, Rural, Mountainous Tajikistan: Case Studies of Teachers' Life and Work".  AKF is very proud to have sponsored Sarfaroz's doctoral studies.  On the completion of his course, Sarfaroz joined the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London to teach and do research.

More News

Riaz Ratansi (98-00) finished a two-year Speciality Training Programme in Family Medicine at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2000, after which he joined the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar-es-Salaam. He heads the new Department of Family Medicine which he set up and is in charge of Outpatient Services. 

Rafiq Dossani (ISP 79-80), who is a Consulting Professor at the Asia/Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, has an article on the history of venture capital in India in World Development of February, and a book entitled Telecommunication Reform in India, which he edited, will be published by Greenwood Press (under their Quorum imprint) in April 2002.

Mohamed Hanif Butt (ISP 84-85) has an MPH in Public Health from Harvard and is specialised in the dental fields of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics.  He has set up a new practice in Boston, Somerville Orthodontics.

The Abdullahi brothers, Hassan (ISP 83-86) and Alan (ISP 82-86), both Computer Science graduates, have started new businesses last year.  Hassan's company is called The Vesta Group, LLC, which offers Mergers & Acquisitions Consulting to businesses in North America.  Alan has a new IT consulting company providing technology solutions for businesses with a focus on non-profit organisations, called Nexus Technology Group.  The brothers live in Ohio.

Jabin Janoo (1989-94), an MBBS graduate from the Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi, was involved in the first intensive Health and Nutrition Survey in GBAO in Tajikistan in 1996.  As a part of a team from AKU's Department of Community Health Sciences, she spent eight weeks collecting and analysing data that was subsequently used to make policy decisions about food and resource distribution in the Gorno-Badakhshan.  Since 1997, Jabin has been doing two medical residencies at West Virginia University Hospital, one in Internal Medicine and the other in Obstetrics/Gynecology.  She has received several awards for excellence and is currently in her final year, planning to graduate in June. 

Hasnain Merchant (ISP 96-98) earned his MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, and works for GE Industrial Systems in Iowa.  One of his projects last year involved setting up an engineering design center for General Electric in Bangalore, India, and training 20 engineers for the unit.  The center designs switchgear for GE worldwide. 

Dilya  Dorgabekova (TSP 98-02) is doing a Bachelor's degree course in International Relations at the American University in Kyrgyzstan and will finish this year.  Dilya had an interesting job last summer as an Assistant Programme Coordinator with the Aga Khan Humanities Project in Dushanbe working on the "Women's Leadership Training Programme", a project sponsored by the US State Department.  The Humanities Programme is developing a core introductory humanities curriculum for use in universities in Central Asia based on the cultural traditions of the region.

Dr. Naushad Hussein (ISP 86-87), a Canadian ophthalmologist, is a co-founder of two programmes which bring volunteer health care professionals from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Portugal to share time and expertise with professional counterparts in Gorno-Badakhshan (GBAO) in Tajikistan.  The first, begun in 1998, is the Ophthalmology Partnership (OP) programme at the Khorog Eye Hospital and the other is the International Clinical Partnership (ICP) started the following year.  Annual visits and ongoing discussion between visiting and local medical practitioners have helped to break the isolation experienced by many Tajik health practitioners after the collapse of the Soviet Union and has contributed to the improvement of health services in GBAO.  The ICP planning team includes another ISP graduate, Dr. Azim Juma (ISP 85-86).  The projects initiated by ICP include the identification of the root causes of anaemia among the women and children of GBAO and its treatment, the introduction of spinal anaesthesia techniques, newer surgical techniques for dealing with mountain trauma, laparoscopic assessment and treatment of pelvic pain in women, early diagnosis and treatment of congenital diseases in newborn infants, therapeutic approaches to hypertension and cardiovascular disease and the design of a new emergency department for Khorog Oblast General Hospital.

Shamez Mohamed (87-88) has a BS Engineering degree from Harvard and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario, which he finished in 1998.  He spent the summer following graduation in Central Asia, teaching business skills to mid-career managers and entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan and touring Uzbekistan, after which he joined Mercer Management Consulting in Toronto.  This year, Shamez is taking a leave of absence from Mercer to spend a year setting up the FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance office in Mumbai, India.  FOCUS, an affiliate of AKDN which provides emergency humanitarian assistance to victims of natural and man-made disasters, so far has established principal offices in Canada, the USA, the UK and Pakistan.

Farouk Jiwa (ISP 94-98) who has a BSc degree in Environmental Biology from Queen's University in Ontario is working for Honey Care Africa in Nairobi and at the same time doing a Master's degree in Environmental Studies and a Diploma in Business in the Environment at York University.  Farouk was delighted to report that Honey Care (which manufactures and distributes bee hives and bee-keeping equipment throughout Kenya and trains farmers in their use) has received an award at the World Bank's Development Marketplace competition in January.  Honey Care had put forward a proposal to initiate a project on micro-leasing of hives at commercial micro-finance lending rates, the aim being to assess the viability of changing from the donor-funded concessionary lending that most farmers currently enjoy.  He feels that winning this international award is an important validation of the work he has been involved in Kenya for the last couple of years.  In addition to his professional and academic work, Farouk has offered to volunteer his knowledge and skills to the rural development programmes of the Foundation which involve beekeeping projects.  MSDSP in Tajikistan has already shown interest and invited Farouk to work with them in the summer of 2002.

Abakhon Sultanazarov (ISP 95-01) with a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Economics from Moscow State University under his belt, spent several months at the end of 2001 doing an internship with Aga Khan Foundation USA in Washington DC.  On his return to Tajikistan, Abakhon was hired by AKF (Tajikistan) and started working in the Khorog office early in February 2002.

Tanee Trivedy (ISP 93-94) has an MA in Special Education from American University in Washington DC.  Tanee has been extremely active in India and the USA since she finished her course.  Most recently she spent a year in Baltimore setting up a new campus for the Lab School of Washington, which provides innovative programs for children and adults with learning disabilities and where Tanee had worked before.  On returning to India, she was engaged to work with students and teachers in a residential school in Nepal for two months in the summer of 2001.  She assessed children with learning problems and consulted daily with teachers about teaching methods and concepts.  She also worked with a parents group for special needs children in Kathmandu and conducted workshops for school principals, administrators, teachers, related professionals and parents on learning disabilities and how to treat them. 

Scholarship Refunds

All-Noor Goeffers (ISP 93-94), a naval architect working in La Rochelle, France, Naushad Mulji (ISP 86-88) a computer scientist in Edison, New Jersey, and Shakeel Hasham (ISP 89-92), a Chartered Accountant in London have made donations to the International Scholarship Programme for which AKF is extremely grateful.

AKF Selects New Scholars for 2001-2002

The Scholarship Panel of the Aga Khan Foundation met on June 29 at Aiglemont, the Secretariat of His Highness the Aga Khan, to select new scholars and renew the awards of continuing students. Twenty-two new students were selected.

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