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Scholarship Programme News (2005-2006)

Alumni News

Karim Lakhani (ISP 97-98), a Canadian, passed his doctoral dissertation oral exams at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management in September 2005 and has obtained a one-year appointment as Lecturer at MIT. Other news items in his life: he is the father of a little girl, Sitarah Noor; he has published a book on his research through MIT Press entitled Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software; and he partook, as a volunteer, in the scholarship interviews for ISP applicants in the USA in 2005.

Dr. Azizullah Baig (ISP 02-03) from Pakistan has joined FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, Afghanistan as a Programme Coordinator in Kabul. He sent AKF the following description of his experiences and impressions:

"In June 2004, when I was interviewed at the FOCUS head office in the UK for the position of a Projects Coordinator in the Badakshan province of Afghanistan, I was astounded to learn that Badakshan has the highest maternal mortality in the world (6,500 per 100,000 live births); more than half of the population is malnourished; 78% of the population does not have access to clean water; vaccine coverage is less than 30%; most of the areas are food insecure and deprived of roads; that it takes days to access the most remote districts via donkeys. It seemed challenging to work in a country where the after affects of 30 years of war were still prevalent.

"FOCUS was the first international NGO to begin working in Badakshan in 1996. Due to the prolonged civil war and a severe drought, people were dying. Malnutrition, diarrhea, respiratory tract infections and pregnancy-related deaths were quite common. FOCUS provided free food, medicines, shoes and clothes to the most vulnerable provinces of Afghanistan. "I started work in Badakshan in September 2004, just at the time the AKDN office in Faizabad was attacked and set on fire by a crowd of 800 people. I was caught and beaten by the angry mob. A hand bomb was fired at AKDN staff house in Baharak, where I was staying, but luckily I survived. In the beginning, I greatly regretted that I had left my job in London (where I had been working as a Public Health Researcher) and had come to work in Afghanistan. Soon, however, I came to realize the importance of my mission and decided to stay whatever the circumstances. "Not only am I proud to be part of the work of FOCUS, but I find that working in perilous and remote areas of Afghanistan can be an unforgettable life experience. We cross rivers and mountains and walk for days to provide assistance to needy people. I can truly say that I consider myself to be lucky to have been given such an opportunity."

Faisal Devji (ISP 86-90), a historian and anthropologist, was educated at the universities of British Columbia and Chicago, where he obtained his PhD degree in 1993. He has taught at the University of Chicago, the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, Yale University and is now Assistant Professor of History at the New School for Social Research in New York. Faisal has written a provocative book about Al-Qaida, entitled Landscapes of the Jihad (Hurst, London, and Cornell University Press, 2005). His thesis is that Al-Qaida is not driven by Islamic fundamentalism but rather resembles other globalised movements, such as environmentalism or pacifism. The book was well received by the media, and reviews, interviews and articles on the subject appeared in the Economist, the Guardian, the Financial Times and the openDemocracy website, among others.

Hasan Latif (ISP 81-83), who did his MS degree course in Industrial Administration at Carnegie Mellon University, has a new job with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Hasan is a Bank Examiner in the Interest Rate and Liquidity Risk Group of the Bank Supervision Department which involves a regulatory and supervisory focus on the US banking sector. His previous work was also in the area of financial markets but involved a capital markets focus on debt securities and derivatives.

Salim Hasham (ISP 79-81) is a hospital and health administrator who runs his own company, Healthserv International Inc., in Calgary. In 2005, Salim participated in a hospital and health improvement programme in Syria, where he coordinated the technical assistance provided by the Aga Khan Health Boards of Canada and the United States and the Aga Khan University School of Nursing. Assistance was provided, among other things, to improve the sanitary facilities, the physical infrastructure of the hospitals and the quality of nursing care provided.

Pakistani Printmaker Presents AKDN with an Original Print
Sunil Batra Sets Up Innovative School in New DelhiSameera Khan (ISP 02-04) a young printmaker from Hunza in the Northern Areas of Pakistan, completed an MA in Fine Arts (Print Media) at Sheffield Hallam University in 2004. Since graduation, Sameera has been working at the Swansea Print Workshop in Wales as an artist in residence and print studio manager. Among her responsibilities is running advanced print workshops for professional artists and the general public. Sameera started her art training as a printmaker at the National College of Art in Lahore and already taught printmaking at the local art college before her Master's course in the UK. She loves teaching and hopes one day to be able to open a print studio in her hometown in Hunza.

AKF AlumniIn gratitude for her scholarship, Sameera gave one of her beautiful prints to the Geneva AKDN office, where it has been hung in the reception area for staff and visitors to admire. To produce this print, Sameera used a technique called collography, in which textures are superimposed on a plate to make images. The plate is covered with ink and the excess wiped away before the image is transferred onto paper by passing through a press. In the series to which the AKDN print belongs, Sameera explores the architectural heritage of the Northern Areas from which she comes. More of her art work can be seen on her website at

Sunil Batra Sets Up Innovative School in New Delhi
Sunil Batra (ISP 88-89) is an educationalist who did his Master's in Education (Child Development and Education) at the Erikson Institute of Chicago in the late 80's. Since graduation he has been working on innovative school programmes in New Delhi. His areas of work include school innovation, institutional development and management, curriculum development, teacher training and support, parent education and support, school effectiveness and educational research. Sunil's most recent project is a child-centred school called Shikshanter School. According to their website ( : "the curriculum at Shikshantar is inspired by an interdisciplinary understanding of philosophy, psychology, human development and education.

SunilThe school follows the principles of integrated education. Integrated Education enables students to make connections between the development of their physical, emotional, mental, social and inner selves. Students are provided opportunities to appreciate the relationships between inside and outside the classroom learning experiences. The objective and outcome is nurturing the 'whole' child, the person." Shikshantar began its first school year in April 2003 for children enrolled in playgroup, nursery, kindergarten and class 1. Sunil says the plan is to add two new classes every year and bring the school up to class 12 by 2008.

Sadaf Khan Receives a Johns Hopkins Sommer Scholars Grant
Dr. Sadaf Khan (ISP 02-03), a lecturer and researcher at Ziuddin Medical University in Karachi, has been granted a full five-year scholarship to pursue a DrPH degree course in Population and Family Health Sciences at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, through the Hopkins Sommer Scholars Program. Thanks to a unique and unprecedented gift of $22 million, the school was able to establish this new scholarship programme named in honour of Dean Alfred Sommer. The Sommer Scholars Program will support up to 15 Master of Public Health and 15 doctoral students each year. In addition to their regular coursework, Sommer Scholars will take part in a unique leadership development program, designed to develop their personal skills, foster collaboration and build global contacts they can draw upon throughout their careers. For further information, please see and look up Sadaf in the profiles of this year's scholars.

Rather than choose to specialise and eventually work in the more lucrative clinical side of medicine, Sadaf decided during her medical training to become a public health professional. "During my community visits and clinical rotations, I saw that the major burden of disease I encountered could be dealt with far more efficiently and, more importantly, with far less human suffering by the public health approach." Since her return to Pakistan after her MPH degree at Johns Hopkins, for which she had been sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation, Sadaf developed Safe Motherhood publications aimed at policy makers and established a home school for girls in a squatter settlement. Her dream is to establish centres of excellence in public health in Pakistan after her return from Baltimore. In the meantime, all the best to Sadaf for the next five years of study and training.


The Aga Khan Foundation acknowledges the generosity of the following donors to its scholarship fund :

Azim Rawji (ISP 91-95) donated $1,000 in December 2005.

Shahida and Alnoor Jinah donated C$ 15,000 in 2005 in memory of their son, Ameer, who died in a tragic accident in February 2004. This is the second annual contribution of a 10-year pledge by the Jinah family.

Nawras Aldibbiat (ISP 98-01) has made a donation of GBP 500 to the ISP in July.


Buthenah Zedan (ISP 00-04), Characterisation of Substation Earth Grid Under High Frequency and Transient Conditions, PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of Wales, Cardiff, June 2005

Sadaf Rizvi (ISP 03-06), Muslim Schools in Britain: Socialization and Identity, MPhil, Social Anthropology, University of Oxford, 2005

Tammam Yahia (ISP 03-05), Measuring the Size of the Informal Economy in Syria, MSc, Economics, University of Essex, September 2005

New ISP Scholars in 2005-06

The Aga Khan Foundation is pleased to announce the new recipients of its international scholarships:

Mr. Parviz Abdurahmonov (Tajik), MBA, University of Durham
Mr. Eihab Aldebiat (Syrian), MSc, International Natural Resource Development, University of Wales, Bangor
Dr. (Ms.) Farangis Alibakhshova (Tajik), Candidate of Science, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy
Mr. Rahul Anand (Indian), MPA, Edward S. Mason Program in Public Policy and Management, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Mr. Waseem Bakkour (Syrian), MSc, Health Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Mr. Paul Bulyar (Kenyan), MA, Sustainable Interntional Development, Brandeis University
Ms. Gulru Dodkhudoeva (Tajik), MA, Governance and Development, University of Sussex
Ms. Zebaysh Hirji (Indian), MSc, Comparative Social Policy, University of Oxford
Mr. Irfan Lakha (Kenyan), MBA, University of Western Ontario
Mr. Manucher Mamadvafoev (Tajik), MS, Journalism, University of British Columbia
Dr. Ravi Manoharan (Indian), MPH, Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Mr. Jamshed Muborakshoev (Tajik), MS, Power Engineering, Moscow Power Engineering Institute
Mr. Azim Mukhamadiev (Tajik), PG Diploma, Radiation Protection, Sakharov Environmental University, Minsk, Belarus
Ms. Monica Muyingo (Ugandan), MSc, Water and Environmental Management, Loughborough University
Mr. Bakhtiyor Naimov (Tajik), MPhil, Russian and East European Studies, University of Oxford
Mr. Suneel Padale (Indian), MA, Governance and Development, University of Sussex
Mr. Karim Piran (Indian), PhD, Biochemistry, Kansas State University
Mr. Nooruddin Shah (Pakistani), MA, University of Manchester
Mr. Qayyum Shah (Pakistan), MSc, University of Wageningen, The Netherlands
Dr. Fadhel Shaheen (Syrian), PhD, Oncology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Ms. Fatemeh Tavakoli (Iranian), MSc, Electrical Engineering, University of Kolmar, Sweden
Dr. Yasser Virani (Kenyan), Candidate of Science, Traumatology and Orthopaedics, Russian People’s Friendship University, Moscow

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