M.A. Student – Class of 2022

Citizenship: Norway


Growing up in Oslo with a Pakistani background, I have used my studies in International Relations to further explore the region and its global connections, always with the academic, professional, and personal goal of building bridges between different disciplines, theory and practice, cultures, and religions, and most importantly, between (international) politics and the individual.

In this context, I completed my Bachelor’s degree in International Studies at the University of Oslo in the spring of 2020, followed by a one-year degree in Economics. During my time as an undergraduate student, I had the opportunity to travel across the world and participate in various educational opportunities and programs, for example in South Carolina through the U.S. Department of State or in Washington, D.C., where I studied at American University and worked as a research assistant on the Middle East and South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. 

Since then, I have found a fascination for thinking about international politics from the “bottom-up” and putting people and their culture first in analyzing global cooperation. Especially in times of increasing ethnic and ideological conflicts, but also economically with more granular markets – global dynamics that I also analyze in my voluntary work as a conflict researcher and author for various research organizations – a return of international politics to the humanistic foundations of the cultures and individuals of this world is more essential than ever.

With the help of the Global Thought program and especially in the cultural hub of New York, I plan to explore these aspects of international relations through a broader approach to the sciences as a whole, including sociology, anthropology, theology, as well as economics. In the end, by pursuing research particularly on concepts such as social honor and dignity, I would like to re-focus on the regions that first sparked my interest in “the global” and international politics – South Asia and the Middle East.