Sunday, June 29, 2014

Of Hanafi School of Marketing, Orientation of New Students and Dr Matin A Khan of IBA

As my experience of dealing with students continues to accumulate, and as I closely observe how priorities of students change from what they are during their university studies to what they are in their later careers, I appreciate more and more the criticality and the importance of the two advices given by Dr Matin A Khan in our orientation session at IBA Karachi in 1985. So much so that over the last ten years I have made it customary to emphasize these points in every orientation session for the new intake of students that I am now privileged to address as Dean.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

How West Teaches History (through Movies) and How We have Forgotten: A Nation that has No History, has no Future !

A nation that has no history, has no future! Our ignorance about our history, our culture, our sensibilities are astounding. Recent protests about Geo's morning show speaks volume about the "insensitivity" arising from this ignorance, especially the ignorance of the media people. A few minutes of listening to the FM channels would convince you that the DJs have no grounding in our history, culture or tradition. Their only claim to their DJ position is their ability to talk in the twisted American accent with the phraseology and sound bites typical of an American teenager. With these kinds of people now holding our airwaves, the future of Pakistan can only be viewed with pessimism. Not only the ignorance of these people appear to be astounding, it is equally disturbing to find students of the Political Science and International Relations of HEC's top ranked university in Pakistan who after having done two courses in Islamic History are unable to tell what/when was the "Abbasid" reign or who was Halaku Khan and when did he invade Baghdad!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Capitalist Transactions Replacing Traditions and Values from Istanbul to Makkah

Free Water Fountain on National Mall
Last month during transit for a few hours at the Istanbul airport on my way to Tblisi, Georgia, I was struck by the "transactional" nature of every interaction at the airport. I was surprised that there were no drinking water fountains available at one of the busiest airports of the world. I started wondering if US and European airports have also lost the free water fountains that must have been there some 25 years ago because I don't seem to recall buying bottled water on my travels then, or has the University of Texas at Austin also lost its free water fountains which used to be there when I was there around that time. Nor do I recall having to buy bottled water during my visit to so many museums and buildings around the National Mall in Washington DC, or in Manhattan. If they have not lost them there in the heart of the capitalist West, then why this loss at Istanbul airport? However, a week later I got the opportunity to contrast this with the hospitality in the mosques of the same Istanbul! I will be connecting the dots later in the post.