Hi! Thanks for visiting this page. I’m Asad!
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. I entered NYU once more in the Fall of 2017 for its Near Eastern Studies MA program, and after one year into the program, I found that my interests would be better served by transferring over to Columbia University for it’s MA in Islamic Studies, beginning in Spring 2019.
I also work as a Sunday school instructor for an organization called Cordoba House and was previously Community Engagement Coordinator for an organization called Muslim Community Network. In both of these capacities, most of my work has/had to do with 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: modern Islamic intellectual, cultural, and social history and production; 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, as well as for contests of religious authority and interpretation.
I am also interested in the local and global travel of ideas into and between regions across time and space, 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. I have a keen interest in social and political movements in the modern period, and do not believe that they can be studied solely with reference to material structures and conditions without also looking at ideas and culture. Finally, I have a growing interest in reading about formations of religious 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.
Purpose of Blog and How to Contact
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!
[Last updated: December 2018]