Lecture:  “Afghanistan: Looking Back, Looking Forward — My Journey to Freedom,” Feb. 24

Lecture:  “Afghanistan: Looking Back, Looking Forward — My Journey to Freedom,” Feb. 24

Sayed Hassan Akhlaq, PhD head shot

Visiting scholar-at-risk Sayed Hassan Akhlaq, PhD, will share his refugee experience and research at 7 p.m. on Feb. 24, in the BCC Dogwood Room.

Please join the Fairfield community in welcoming professor and scholar-at-risk Sayed Hassan Akhlaq, PhD, for a special evening talk on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. in the BCC Dogwood Room. 

As Afghanistan grapples with the withdrawal of U.S. troops and our community continues to welcome Afghan refugees, Dr. Akhlaq’s presentation, “Afghanistan: Looking Back, Looking Forward — My Journey to Freedom, ” will offer a first-hand account of his own displacement; his work to promote academia, co-understanding, and human rights in Afghanistan; and his thoughts on the opportunities and challenges Afghans face.

Dr. Akhlaq is among hundreds of displaced scholars forced to flee their countries each year due to war or persecution related to their teachings. His lecture will take place as part of a three-day visit to campus, made possible by Fairfield’s Center for Social Impact, the College of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Institute, and the Scholars at Risk organization.

While at Fairfield, the exiled professor will visit classrooms and guest-lecture in social sciences and humanities courses, where he will share his research on the history of Islamic philosophy, dialogue among civilizations, identity and immigration, Western nation-building, and political Islam. His visit will provide our campus community with the opportunity to discuss the importance and fragility of academic freedom and how education is threatened around the world.

Dr. Akhlaq completed his Islamic theological studies at Hawzeh Elmieh (Islamic Madrasa) in Mashhad, Iran, and earned his PhD in philosophy from Allameh Tabatabaee University in Tehran. He has taught at Iranian universities, including Payam-e Noor and Al-Mustafa International University, both in Mashhad. In Afghanistan, he has taught at the Afghanistan Academy of Sciences and Gharjistan University, where he also acted as dean.

In the U.S., Dr. Akhlaq is currently an adjunct professor at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Marymount University in Va., and Northern Virginia Community College. He has been a visiting scholar at Catholic, George Washington, Boston, and Princeton universities.

Dr. Akhlaq has published dozens of articles and seven books, including “The Secular and the Sacred: Complementary and/or Conflictual?” Co-edited by John Hogan, it was published in English by the Council for Research in Values & Philosophy in 2017.

Fairfield’s Scholars at Risk committee is delighted to welcome Dr. Akhlaq to campus to share his refugee experiences as well as his research. Currently based on the campus of NYU, the Scholars at Risk (SAR) organization is an international network of institutions and individuals working to protect threatened scholars and promote academic freedom around the world.

Fairfield University has been a SAR network member institution since 2008, participating in the group’s mission through research and advocacy. Alfred Babo, PhD, assistant professor of international studies and anthropology at Fairfield, is a former scholar-at-risk, and a current member of the Scholars at Risk Network Board. Each year the organization offers sanctuary and assistance to more than 300 academics who have fled their countries of origin due to war or persecution related to their teaching and/or research.

“Afghanistan: Looking Back, Looking Forward — My Journey to Freedom” presented by Sayed Hassan Akhlaq, PhD, will take place on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. in the BCC Dogwood Room. This lecture is free and open to the public. For the latest Covid-19 guidance, please visit the University website fairfield.edu/coronavirus prior to arriving on campus.

Dr. Sayed Hassan Akhlaq:  “Afghanistan: Looking Back, Looking Forward — My Journey to Freedom”

Date: Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: BCC Dogwood Room

Additional Details:

This event is free and open to the public.

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