SUSHMITA KAMBOJ was inspired in her studies by the love of reading shared by her grandfather and father, of whom she writes :
 ''one of my most vivid childhood memories-

Of captivating conversations with my father about the complexities and charms of South Asian history.

He shared little gems of knowledge every day, - while watching a movie, while reading the news or while passing by an old building. By the time I was a teenager, I had become a voracious reader like him.

All this helped me shape my own interest and catalyzed my desire to delve into academia.''

When I asked her about how her interest in  bridge building emerged, she responded, ''My interest in bridge building was inspired by Professor Ahmed. After seeing him work tirelessly to promote better understanding among people of different faiths.

I began to see the value in it myself.'' She added. ''I knew very little about Islam even though I had many Muslim students in my school. It was in college after seeings Muslims-

From all over the world and meeting Prof Ahmed that I got to learn about Islam. My misconceptions about the religion began to disappear

After she applied to do an MA in Anthropology at Oxford University, I waited anxiously for official response until she sent this breathless message:

''I must talk to you. Once I stop shaking. It is only because of you. Only because of you! Thank you so much, this means so much, It is really heartwarming to have your support both in my academia pursuits and outside the classroom in my career.

Sushmita promised:

''Your students will work for a more prosperous and united sub-continent since you have lit a fire that shall not stop. I hope for a more stable and strong Pakistan as well.''

Sushmita paid the greatest compliment a teacher can receive, ''i find myself extremely lucky to have a  mentor-guru like Professor Ahmed. If only everyone could have a teacher like you.''

Sushmita is too generous, she already had the fire, I merely helped her see it.  In her, I see the birth of a brilliant scholar who will contribute to knowledge of the Kamboj, which will help build bridges between Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.

!WOW!  thanks Professor Akber Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, Washington D.C.


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