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Eqbal Ahmed: Great Political Scientist, Writer, Journalist, and Anti-war Activist

“We are chasing an Islamic order ‘stripped of its humanism, aesthetics, intellectual quests and spiritual devotions…. concerned with power not with the soul, with the mobilization of people for political purposes rather than with sharing and alleviating their sufferings and aspirations.”[Eqbal Ahmad]

[Eqbal Ahmad was] perhaps the sharpest and most original anti-imperialist analyst of the post-war world, especially in the dynamics between the West and the post-colonial states of Asia and Africa. —Edward Said

Eqbal Ahmad (1933–99) was a Pakistani political scientist, writer, journalist, and anti-war activist. He was strongly critical of the Middle East strategy of the United States as well as what he saw as the "twin curse" of nationalism and religious fanaticism in such countries as Pakistan. 
He was born in the village of Irki in the Indian state of Bihar. When he was a young boy, his father was murdered over a land dispute in his presence. During the partition of India in 1947, he and his older brothers migrated to Pakistan.
Ahmad graduated from Forman Christian College in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1951 with a degree in economics. After serving briefly as an army officer, he enrolled at Occidental College in California in 1957. From 1958 to 1960, he studied political science and Middle Eastern history at Princeton University, later earning his PhD
From 1960 to 1963, Ahmad lived in North Africa, working primarily in Algeria, where he joined the National Liberation Front and worked with Frantz Fanon. He was offered an opportunity to join the first independent Algerian government and refused in favour of life as an independent intellectual.
When he returned to the United States, Ahmad taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1964–65) and Cornell University in the school of Labour Relations (1965–68). During these years, he became known as one of the earliest and most vocal opponents of American policies in Vietnam and Cambodia. From 1968 to 1972, he was a fellow at the Adlai Stevenson Institute in Chicago.
In 1971, Ahmad was indicted as one of the Harrisburg Seven, with the anti-war Catholic priest Philip Berrigan, Berrigan's future wife, Sister Elizabeth McAlister, and four other Catholic pacifists, on charges of conspiracy to kidnap Henry Kissinger. After fifty-nine hours of deliberations, the jury declared a mistrial, in 1972.
From 1972 to 1982, Ahmad was Senior Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. From 1973 to 1975, he served as the first director of its overseas affiliate, the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam.
In 1982, Ahmad joined the faculty at Hampshire College, a very progressive school, which was the first college in the nation to divest from South Africa, in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he taught world politics and political science.
In the early 1990s, Ahmad was granted a parcel of land in Pakistan by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's government to build an independent, alternative university, named Khaldunia.
Upon his retirement from Hampshire in 1997, he settled permanently in Pakistan, where he continued to write a weekly column, for Dawn, Pakistan's oldest English-language newspaper. Eqbal died in Islamabad in 1999 of heart failure following an operation for colon cancer.
Ahmad was the founding chancellor of the then newly established Textile Institute of Pakistan, a textile oriented science, design and business degree awarding institute. The institute actively claims to be driven by the very values Ahmad stood for and awards its most prestigious honour, the Dr. Eqbal Ahmed Achievement Award to one graduate unanimously deemed by the faculty as reflective of Ahmad's values at its annual convocation.
Since his death, a memorial lecture series has been established at Hampshire in his honour. Speakers have included Kofi AnnanEdward SaidNoam Chomsky, and Arundhati Roy.
Ahmad was admired as "an intellectual unintimidated by power or authority", and collaborated with such left-wing journalists and activists as Noam ChomskyEdward SaidHoward ZinnIbrahim Abu-LughodRichard FalkFredric JamesonAlexander Cockburn and Daniel Berrigan. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eqbal_Ahmad ]


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Dedicated to the memories of Dr. Eqbal Ahmad 

 
(1933-1999) 

Dr. Eqbal Ahmad's Interview 

Edward Said remembers Eqbal Ahmad 

A Democrat Remembered 

Eqbal Ahmad - A writer with deep insight 

Here lies a man... 

Knowledge and civilisation 


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Behind blown bridges





  1. Hampshire College • Eqbal Ahmad Lecture • Noam ...





    1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEtRVM8LY6Q

      Dec 6, 2013 - Uploaded by hampshireTV
      Noam Chomsky spoke to an overflow audience at the annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture at Hampshire College on ...

  2. Eqbal Ahmad - Terrorism Ours vs. Theirs - October 12, 1998 ...

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXt1s38SzpA

    Aug 16, 2012 - Uploaded by argusfest
    Eqbal Ahmad spoke at CU Boulder, Colorado on October 12, 1998 (just 7 months before his death). He talked ...


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