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AKU-NAMA - Winter 2011

AKU-NAMA - Winter 2011

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01/10/2013

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AKU-NAMA
Aga Khan University Newsletter and Magazine for AlumniWinter 2011, Vol. 4, Issue 2
 
23
Twilight
Edor-n-Cef 
Adeel A. Buttaabutt@gmail.com
Edoral Saff 
Shain Amershi, Executive Assistantalumni.nachapter@aku.edu
Assocae Edors
Sadaf KhanMedical College, North American Chapter skhancrs@gmail.comRahila Zakir Medical College, European Chapter rahila.zakir@gmail.comTazeen Jafar Medical College, Pakistan Chapter tazeen.jafar@aku.eduErum KabaniSchool of Nursingerum.kabani@aku.eduFahmida MehdiSchool of Nursingfahmida.mehdi@aku.edu Nadim FarooquiInstitute for Educational Developmentnadim.farooqui@aku.edu Nilufar Shariff Advanced Nursing Studies, East Africanilufar.shariff@aku.eduBalkis RouachedInstitute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations balkis19hope@yahoo.caMarie AndradesPostgraduate Medical Educationmarie.andrades@aku.edu
Advsory Members
Firoz RasulPresident Louis R. ArianoUniversity Registrar  Abdul Haq WahednaManager, Alumni Affairs Dhunmai CowasjeeDirector, Public Affairs Shariq HaroonSenior Assistant Manager, Public Affairs Khuzaima Fatima AzamAssistant Manager, Public Affairs
The views and opinions expressed in this publication are of the individual authors alone and do not necessarily reect the views or policy of the editorial board 
or Aga Khan University.
IN
thiS iSSuE
F
rom e Edor’s Desk 
   T  a   i  m  u  r   K   h  a  n  p  e  r   f  o  r  m   i  n  g  a   t   N   I   C   B  u   i   l   d   i  n  g   A  u   d   i   t  o  r   i  u  m ,   I  s   l  a  m  a   b  a   d ,   P  a   k   i  s   t  a  n
   /   S  a  a   d  u   l   l  a   h   B  a  s   h   i  r
Poery, Msc and MedcnePlay Onte Road o ResdencyMore tan Skn DeepWe Can Make a DfferenceMakng AKu ProdBeyond Medcnei’s tme for Afgansan20 Years of ExcellenceComng togeer n CanadaSeppng AeadCamps happenngsDr J. F. Msard – An inspraon o AllClass Noes
Adeel A. Butt
345689101213141516181920
 AKU-SON, P Nurses taking their pledge at the Lamp Lighting Ceremony held on May 6, 2011.
 Audiovisual Department AKU 
Twilight’s
Bella is animpressionable teenager. Likemany her age, her heart and mindare divided between her two loves,Edward and Jacob. And even thoughshe decides to marry Edward, Jacobstill has a hold on her heart andmind, where he has his own wellentrenched corner. And even after her betrothal and eventual marriageto Edward, she keeps Jacob close,cherishing her moments with himand his visits. Jacob, with his ownissues and problems, also doesn’treally leave Bella and keeps coming back to remind her of his affection,devotion and dedication.
Twilight 
may be justanother movie story line. However,it was nearly a quarter centuryago that one hundred of us werein Bella’s shoes. For many of us,our amours were divided too. Our Edward and Jacob were the UnitedStates or the United Kingdomand Pakistan. The pull of one hasnever completely pushed out theother. While we married one, wekept coming back to the other. For some, these short returns werefor payback; for others it was for redemption; yet others did it for higher callings with the draw of thefamily one factor never far awayfrom the minds of all of us.I suspect that most alumnihave gone through some form of this love triangle. This is evidentfrom the feisty debates observed onvarious alumni electronic mailinglists. Choosing between two loves is
always difcult. Joy of being with
one is always peppered with the pain of being away from the other.The connection with the ‘homeland’is strong, and there is a strongyearning to give back somethingin return for all we have received.Some of us have maintained
connections with our rst love
through service and volunteering, be it in education, health care, philanthropy or disaster relief. Manyof us have worked through our alma mater or through the alumniassociation, while others have given back through other organisationsand even privately.With Aga Khan University nowhaving a presence in at least threecontinents and eight countries, thisdynamic is going to be ever morecomplicated, and hopefully ever more rewarding. What I hope isthat all our loves receive the justicethey deserve. And through this wewill hopefully achieve the missionthe University set out for, which atits core is to provide a meaningfulcontribution to society.
 
45
Poetry, Music and Medicine
of musical ideas and the workingsof our minds and bodies may be,or how words bring coherence toseemingly divergent tendencies,and as to when or if I will ever  practice psychiatry.However, I’m sure all these pursuits are valid perspectives onour humanity; that the brain has the plasticity to assimilate new ideasand skills at every stage of life; andthat participating in these variousactivities – including medicine – gave me an authentic sense of self and others.Living is an art circumscribed by circumstance and time, andthe greatest achievements of bothart and science ultimately rely onthe imagination! Science makes progress in dramatic ways andcan alleviate suffering, improveour lives and understanding, but humane choices are alsoinformed by the humanities, andtheir meaningfulness has to berediscovered by each generation.Although making choices entailsinvesting more time in one thingand less in another, I believe thatthe rigour of science and the vigour of art lie on one continuum with agreat deal of complementarity.
Taimur Khan, MBBS ’02
When I joined AKU in 1995, Iwas sure that I wanted to becomea psychiatrist. I had read someworks of Freud inspired by tworevered elder brothers’ Ivy Leagueeducation. I had been playing the
guitar for ve years, was very
curious about the workings of thehuman body, and nurtured a vaguefantasy of collating the physicaland mental aspects of human life biochemically, psychoanalytically,musically and poetically.In high school, music was the
rst thing which made me realise
I could concentrate on somethingworthwhile for extended periods.Studying medicine for a year enhanced my patience with books,and when I encountered literary and philosophical texts, I was surprisedthat so many things were suddenlymaking sense. As happens withgreat writings, existential concernsarose. I questioned my opinions andthe type of music I played, whichultimately led to certain decisions Imade about music and myself.
Profoundly inuenced by
 Nietzsche and Goethe, I believedthat I had to pursue all myinterests intensively, realising just in time that ours is an age of specialisation; and Goethe’s geniusnotwithstanding, science itself hadchanged over the past couple of centuries. But reasons are no matchfor passions, and so I thought Iwould teach myself poetry as I haddabbled in it since teenage.And this is where the story begins.I started devoting my timeto my newfound love for 
raag 
- based classical music, one of the oldest musical traditions of the world. I was very far fromknowing the esoteric realm of subcontinental classical music andthe counter-intuitive dynamics of the
 sarangi
, which I had discoveredentirely by chance in a recording ata music shop in 1994. Soon after 
 buying my rst
 sarangi
in 1996,I saw why this bowed instrumentwith 3 gut and 35 metal strings
was considered to be so difcult to
tune and play. Thanks to the kindconsideration of Dr Jamsheer Talati,Associate Dean of Education at thattime, I was able to take two yearsoff during my education at AgaKhan University, learned music, gotan ample idea of poetic prosody andwrote poems and a novella.Returning to college, I hadthe peace of mind to continue myhumanistic studies and medicinewith more discipline. Music, Iwould ‘tell’ myself, I had to giveup. But then I picked up the
 sarangi
 again in 2000 and continued to playtill I graduated in 2002 – a timewhen I thought I would dedicateone more year to studying theinstrument with Ustad Mubarak Ali,a
 sarangi nawaz 
of the KapurthalaGharana, before resuming medicine.Thereon, I encountered our sub-continental music in its vastness:the elaborate approach towardsimprovisation within the framework of a given melodic idea known as a
raag 
. I started anew with a resolveto study this instrument and art formcomprehensively. For that I made
ashcards, revised and memorised
complex melodic patterns in waysthat often reminded me of topicslike glycolysis, the Kerb’s Cycle,cranial nerves, and so on – thingsthat don’t make immediate senseuntil one discovers their application.It took me a year to realise thatthis was just the beginning andI decided to continue practicingand performing on the
 sarangi
 
indenitely. And so I became a
classical musician.Hence from 2003 till today,I have been practicing and performing music regularly. I alsoreceived guidance from Ustad AllahRakha, who is the last living master of the
 sarangi
in Pakistan and has70 years of musical experience. Myother important project is an onlineclassical music archive,
 sarangi.info
, launched in 2005. It is agrowing collection of downloadablerecordings of past masters, some of which were previously buried in themusty libraries of Radio Pakistan.Today, I’m less sure as tohow or when the gap betweenneuroscience and psychoanalysismay be bridged, or what theconnection between the intelligence
Play On
Hamid Bashir, MBBS ’02
Chapuo drums from Kenya Coast and a ruubob from Tajikistan.
 Aika Grace Wangwe
 Taimur Khan immersed at a performance.
Saadullah Bashir 
 
I do know that just like medicine,music too will continue to evolveand it will remain relevantas long as we exist.
I was a relatively non-seriousstudent but a serious thinker tryingto search for my inner voice. Therewas so much I felt passionatelyabout and so many issues thatneeded to be addressed. Child abusecases presented to the emergencyroom, rape victims with accidental pregnancies, victims of sectarianviolence, torture and bomb blasts,and the list kept growing. By theend of my third year in medicalschool, my thoughts started to takea more practical shape – I wasdiscovering ways of communicatingso I could be heard. AKU presentedme with many opportunities towrite, speak publicly and sing.And then the eureka momenthappened. I heard
 Pulverized 
, asong by Salman Ahmad of Junoon fame, highlighting theviolence in Pakistan. I had foundmy path. Music need not bestereotypical or meaningless. Iwanted others to listen and learnat the same time from my music.The basic concept that music cansublimate into a thought-provokingexperience led to the creation of Music4Cause, a forum to promote peace and harmony via music.It aims to raise a voice againstwar, terror and torture especiallyin the developing world, and is particularly geared towardscreating awareness about childabuse and neglect.I came to the US for my residencyand during my time off, I keptwriting, editing and creating tuneswith my music revolving aroundchild labour and abuse.Three years later, I sent my
rst video to the ARY network.
To my surprise, they immediatelycalled me for an interview andthings just took off from there. I began composing music on suicide bombings, torture and religiousintolerance with a growingaudience on Facebook, Twitter 
and YouTube.
 Now Music4Cause, despite being in its early stage, hasaccomplished several moregoals. The music is nowfeatured on Amazon, iTunesand the Daniel Pearl Foundationwebsite. Several hundred visitorsfrom all over the world visit
Music4Cause YouTube channel
every day to show encouragementand support.Music has been advocated as atool to heal; I am not so sure aboutthat yet. However, I do know that just like medicine, music too willcontinue to evolve and itwill remain relevant as long aswe exist. I have learnt that bycreativity and innovation wecan give back to society, fromwhich we have taken so much.As the world becomes moreand more connected with therise of a global conscience,we are heading towardsan age where we willeliminate all borders.And perhaps music will be our ambassador and legacy for thecoming generations.

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