Hi! Thanks for visiting this page.
I’m Asad, a lifelong student and an aspiring scholar. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, and graduated New York University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work in 2016 with a focus on community organizing, and I’ve just entered NYU once again this fall of 2017, this time for a Master’s in Middle East Studies.
Though I am a fulltime student, I also work as a Sunday school instructor for an organization called Cordoba House and as Community Engagement Coordinator for an organization called Muslim Community Network. In both of these capacities, most of my work entails a combination of teaching, writing, organizing, and facilitating a range of workshops, programs, and events with faith-based communities across New York City.
I would say my academic interests include: Islamic intellectual history and discursive theology; the impact of modernization on Muslim societies in the Middle East and South Asia, particularly what such processes meant for existing social and economic structures, the competition over religious authority, symbolism, and interpretation, and the possibilities for engagement in the political sphere.
I am also interested in the local and global travel of ideas into and between these regions, and how Muslim thinkers, societies, and states negotiate[d] the “traditional and religious” with “the modern and secular” along with, and in response to, ideas and developments in/from Europe. Finally, I have a growing interest in reading about formations of identity in modern Islamic and Jewish thought.
Because I come from a community organizing and non-profit background, I am always interested in seeing how I can make my work intersect meaningfully with the lives of everyday people. How can I use what I learn to address contemporary challenges? What can I do to become a more effective advocate for the collective wellbeing of humanity? And most importantly, how can I use my education to become a better person? These are questions I ask myself every day.
This blog is part personal journal and part professional portfolio, but it is also a space for me to share my evolving reflections in an organized manner. I hope you enjoy perusing through the sections. If you’d like to receive my blogposts in your email in the form of (very rarely sent) newsletters, you can subscribe here, and if you’d like to get in touch, please do not hesitate to write to me. Thanks!