Sunday, February 16, 2014

A fantastic new initiative in Pakistan: Eqbal Ahmad Centre for Public Education

by Salman Hameed

Pervez Hoodbhoy has launched a new project for public equation in Pakistan. It hosts essays, short videos about science, documentaries, and videos on physics concepts, and many of the videos are both in Urdu and english. Here is the goal of Eqbal Ahmad Centre for Public Education (EACPE)
EACPE seeks to foster the use of science and reason to understand nature and society and so better enable citizens of Pakistan to participate fully in the political, social, economic, and cultural life of their society; to exercise their democratic rights and responsibilities; to value human rights, democracy and the rule of law; to promote cultural and religious diversity; to raise awareness of global issues and the natural environment; and to advance the goals of international peace and justice.

The immediate aim is to produce and promote, equally in Urdu and English, 6-10 minute videos on important social, political, and scientific issues. One new video will be uploaded every week (see website).

Interviews of prominent Pakistani scholars and commentators will be undertaken at the next step.  
Of additional note, Eqbal Ahmad taught at Hampshire College. I did not get a chance to meet him (he died in 1999, and I joined Hampshire in 2005), but I have had the opportunity to learn about him through other faculty members (and with Pervez) who knew him well. And of course, through his writings. The most prestigious lecture at Hampshire College is named after him: Eqbal Ahmad Annual Lecture Series. The vision of this new project fits neatly with the views of Eqbal Ahmad.

Lets make EACPE a success!

Here is a sample video in Urdu: How will our universe end?: 

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