Near Eastern Studies
New York University
Afzal Family Foundation
Batool Javidan Memorial Fund
Asad will enter his second year as a Master’s Candidate at the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University in Fall 2018. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree from NYU in Social Work with a focus on community organizing, and comes from an extensive non-profit background.
Asad is heavily involved in New York’s Muslim community on multiple levels and is routinely invited to deliver sermons at universities and speak on panels on a wide range of issues. As an aspiring scholar, he hopes to synthesize his formal training in community and grassroots advocacy work with graduate school research to serve his community further. He hopes to produce critical scholarly work exploring themes related to Islam, the Middle East, and Muslim societies (classic and contemporary) to advance the public, academic, and political discourse around these themes.
More specifically, his academic interests include Islamic intellectual history and discursive theology; the impact of modernization on 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. He is also interested in the local and global travel of ideas into and between these regions; 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, he has a growing interest in reading about the formations of identity in modern Islamic and Jewish thought. After completing his master’s, he hopes to pursue a PhD.
Asad is proficient in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Urdu, and hopes to study Turkish one day if given the opportunity.
Areas of interest
- Foreign Policy
Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, Islamic Studies, Religious Studies, Intellectual History, Contemporary Politics