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2019 Conferences


Air Quality in Pakistan
Grantee: Gabriel Filippelli
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad, Pakistan
April 13-25, 2019

Greater awareness of the negative impacts of air pollution on public health has made this a prime issue in many countries. Pakistan currently has almost no air quality monitoring capabilities, so it is difficult to assess the true impacts of air quality on health and nearly impossible to determine and eradicate the sources of air pollution. In line with a continued USG policy of constructing air quality monitoring facilities on Embassies and Posts in vulnerable countries, the posts in Pakistan are bringing several testing facilities online. Dr. Filippelli, an Air Quality Fellow for Embassy Islamabad and an expert in air quality and health, delivered a series of lectures, workshops, and demonstrations to raise awareness of these issues and to build dialogs among university researches, students, governmental, and non-governmental entities on this issue. Through the AIPS-sponsored series of events, which occurred in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad, Dr. Filippelli interacted with approximately 1000 people over 11 days.



Media Matters: Responsible Reporting
Grantees: Jill Filipovic, Ty McCormick, and Lauren Bohn
April 24-26, 2019

The journalists listed above conducted a series of workshops and lectures/discussions on a variety of topics related to journalism in conjunction with a conference on media in Pakistan, “Fake News and Facts in our Region” organized by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) in Islamabad. Filipovic, McCormick, and Bohn’s workshops and lectures, held in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi, brought together journalists, students and stakeholders in Pakistan, opening lines of engagement and information with the U.S. journalists and reached nearly 500 people. Concepts such as the right to free speech, free press, the free exercise of religion, and women’s rights were discussed in depth, as were misconceptions about Pakistan and local frustrations with American journalistic coverage. The American journalists were educated about the Pakistani press, including the robust journalistic traditions and ongoing challenges (financial, political and social) that Pakistani journalists face. It is expected that this information will be passed on to other journalists in the country, furthering the reach of the program.



Religion and Culture in the Postcolonial City
Lahore, Pakistan
June 8-22, 2019

CAORC and AIPS hosted a fully-funded faculty development seminar for community college and MSI faculty in Lahore, Pakistan. Security studies, religious studies, urban studies, cultural studies, and History all have various interests in and viewpoints on Pakistan. This seminar, Religion and Culture in the Postcolonial City, sought to add nuance and context to these understandings by providing participants with firsthand experiences of various cultural sites and practices in lahore, including its medieval walled city and its colonial architectural landmarks, as well as facilitating meetings with local scholars, artists, and others. Through encountering Lahore’s urban geography, participants glimpsed how religious diversity, political struggle, and cultural expression fold into each other in this ancient city of over ten million people. upon returning to their respective institutions in the us, the participants can create and develop curricular materials on Pakistan to be used in the classroom.



Reception in Memory of Professor Muhammad Umar Memon
48th Annual Conference on South Asia
Madison, WI
October 19, 2019

At last year’s Annual Conference on South Asia in Madison, WI, AIPS hosted a reception, organized by Zahra Sabri, in memory of Professor Muhammad Umar Memon (1939-2018). It included tributes by Farhat Haq, C.M. Naim, Zahra Sabri, and Ali Akbar Natiq who also recited his poetry. Following the tributes to Prof. Memon, Farhat Haq introduced the AIPS 2019 Book Prize Awardee, Ammara Maqsood, and Akbar Hyder launched the Journal of Urdu Studies.



American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) Dissertation-to-Book Workshop
48th Annual Conference on South Asia
Madison, WI
October 18-19, 2019

This workshop aimed to help a select number of recent PhDs to re-vision their doctoral dissertations as books. Originally part of the Annual Conference on South Asia, the workshop occurred virtually. The workshop was sponsored by the American Institute of Indian Studies, American Institute of Pakistan Studies, American Institute of Bangladesh Studies, and American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies.



Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network Masterclass
Grantees: Dr. Audery Iffert-Saleem and Dr. Hassan Abbas
November 18 - December 6, 2019

Dr. Audrey Iffert-Saleem and Dr. Hassan Abbas helped facilitate two workshops as part of the Pakistani-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN) Masterclass Program titled, “#PeaceLab: Promoting Regional Peace and Stability." This 5-day program aimed to facilitate the creation of safer societies regionally and locally and connect young social entrepreneurs from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Dr. Iffert-Saleem presented a workshop on crowdfunding for Pakistani and Afghani entrepreneurs. Dr. Abbas gave his lectures on preventing and countering violent extremism in South Asia and building peace strategies. The program was made available to 100 alumni of U.S. government exchange programs from across Pakistan and Afghanistan.



Dynamics of Countering Human Trafficking in South Asia
Grantee: Hassan Abbas
National Defense University
Islamabad and Lahore, Pakistan
December 17-23, 2019
Dr. Hassan Abbas led two workshops in Islamabad and Lahore, Pakistan. They focused on fully understanding the nature and magnitude of human trafficking in the broader South Asian region and were geared towards developing local capacity to counter this challenge as well as studying the dynamics that allow this menace to thrive at a global scale. A series of structured discussions considered the personal and social consequences of trafficking (violence, health, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.), the ways that trafficking affects children, and the strategies that victims adopt to survive. The groups also assessed a variety of efforts being made to help trafficked victims. Over 20 participants attended each workshop.