International Educator - November/December 2011 - 50

VIEW FROM

Out Here

By alan Fryar

W

Pakistan Beyond the Headlines: An American Professor’s Perspective

My prospective host, Zulfiqar Ahmad, chair of the Department of Earth Sciences at Quaidi-Azam University (QAU) in Islamabad, received his PhD from our department here at the University of Kentucky in 1992. We both work on water-resource problems. I had spent a month in and around Calcutta, and I was preparing for my second trip to Morocco, so I wasn’t worried about culture shock in south Asia or the Muslim world.
However, I hadn’t fully anticipated my wife’s perception, and anxiety, at the thought that I might be putting myself in harm’s way. Her misgivings were shared by various family members, friends, and colleagues. Almost every news story about Pakistan seemed to emphasize the country’s instability. I kept in contact with Zulfiqar and other Pakistani colleagues, collaborating long-distance on manuscripts, proposals, and reviews, and waiting for conditions there to improve. I was selected as a Fulbright senior specialist in 2008, but postponed my trip after the bombing of the Marriott in Islamabad that September. I finally arrived in late December 2009. Under the Fulbright program’s rules, I had to lodge at their residence and ride with their driver, and I couldn’t venture beyond the Islamabad region. During my two-week stay, the minimum allowed for senior specialists, I visited institutions of higher education and government agencies, and I participated in a workshop on climate change and water resources. My experience was sufficiently positive that I returned for ten days in May 2010 for a workshop on geologic hazards. Because I wasn’t a Fulbright visitor then, I was able to travel as far as Lahore. Much of what I saw of academia in Pakistan was familiar. Higher education is in English and curricula in my field appear broadly comparable to those in north America. There were issues of faculty politics, university governance, funding, facilities, and campus safety. I also became reacquainted with the logistical challenges of living in a developing country, such as hour-long, thrice-daily blackouts (“load-shedding”). Beyond these, though, I glimpsed life as an academic in the shadow of militancy and insurgency. With U.S.Pakistan relations at low ebb, I think it’s important to share this perspective. I spent time at six universities and an institute in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Lahore. As a planned capital city dating from 1960, Islamabad is modern and relatively orderly. Traveling to campuses in the metropolitan area involved slowing on the main roads for various security checkpoints, with sandbagged guardposts next to concrete barriers set up like a slalom course. Each campus I visited also had a checkpoint at the entrance; security was particularly high at institutions affiliated with the military and at International Islamic University, which had been targeted by a pair of suicide bombers in October 2009. Despite this backdrop, campus life seemed relatively normal. I lectured to several classes about topics in hydrology and my work, toured laboratories and classrooms, and listened to research presentations by students. They were polite and shyly curious during those encounters, but when I could unobtrusively observe or eavesdrop, such as in the food court at the national University of Sciences & Technology, or during an environmental science lab at Fatima Jinnah Women University, I might have been at almost any college in the United States. As in Morocco and India, my discussions with faculty members typically took place over tea or soft drinks and were wideranging. At QAU, where I spent most of my time, we

HEN I WAS FIRST INVITED TO VISIT PAKISTAN in April 2006 I was intrigued.

50  

InternatIonal educator N O V + D E C .1 1



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - November/December 2011

International Educator - November/December 2011
Contents
From the Editors
In Brief
Cultivating Branch Campuses
India Opens Its Doors— Cautiously
A Quest to Enhance Quality Spurs Global Learning
Foreign Student Affairs
A View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
Health and Insurance Supplement
Supplement: Danger Ahead!
Supplement: Their Baggage Goes, Too
Supplement: Directory of Insurance Providers, Services, and Products
International Educator - November/December 2011 - International Educator - November/December 2011
International Educator - November/December 2011 - Cover2
International Educator - November/December 2011 - Contents
International Educator - November/December 2011 - From the Editors
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 3
International Educator - November/December 2011 - In Brief
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 5
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 6
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 7
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 8
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 9
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 10
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 11
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 12
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 13
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 14
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 15
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 16
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 17
International Educator - November/December 2011 - Cultivating Branch Campuses
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 19
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 20
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 21
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 22
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 23
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 24
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 25
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 26
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 27
International Educator - November/December 2011 - India Opens Its Doors— Cautiously
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 29
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 30
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 31
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 32
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 33
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 34
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 35
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 36
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 37
International Educator - November/December 2011 - A Quest to Enhance Quality Spurs Global Learning
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 39
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 40
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 41
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 42
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 43
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 44
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 45
International Educator - November/December 2011 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 47
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 48
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 49
International Educator - November/December 2011 - A View From Out Here
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 51
International Educator - November/December 2011 - Forum
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 53
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 54
International Educator - November/December 2011 - 55
International Educator - November/December 2011 - In Focus
International Educator - November/December 2011 - Cover3
International Educator - November/December 2011 - Cover4
International Educator - November/December 2011 - Health and Insurance Supplement
International Educator - November/December 2011 - SCover2
International Educator - November/December 2011 - Supplement: Danger Ahead!
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S2
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S3
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S4
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S5
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S6
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S7
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S8
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S9
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S10
International Educator - November/December 2011 - Supplement: Their Baggage Goes, Too
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S12
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S13
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S14
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S15
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S16
International Educator - November/December 2011 - Supplement: Directory of Insurance Providers, Services, and Products
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S18
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S19
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S20
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S21
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S22
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S23
International Educator - November/December 2011 - S24
International Educator - November/December 2011 - SCover3
International Educator - November/December 2011 - SCover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20181112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180708gfclone
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180102_supp
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20171112_supp
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20171112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_2070910_supp
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160304_fr
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20151112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20141112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20131112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20121112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20111112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110102
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com