Promoting War or Empowering Peace: American Involvement in Afghan Education

Please join us for a FREE discussion about international history, education, and storytelling.
Black Box Theater
Sunday, February 3, 2019

Please join us for a FREE discussion about international history, education, and storytelling as part of our Enrichment Program, the Spotlight Symposium Series.

Sunday, February 3, 2019
3:30pm, Following 2:00pm performance of HEARTLAND by Gabriel Jason Dean

Email elenamorris@newrep.org to reserve your complimentary spot.

Moderator: Aaron Schachter (WGBH)
Panelists: Humaira Ghilzai (Afghan Friends Network), Ali Kadivar (Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Studies, Boston College)


Moderator: Aaron Schachter, WGBH
Schachter’s own experience as a field correspondent included Middle East reporting for The World for eight years. He covered the second Palestinian Intifada, reporting extensively from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Schachter had the good timing to be in Iraq when the Hussein family was caught – Uday and Qusay during summer 2003, and father Saddam that December. He’s also reported stories from throughout Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. His stories have won awards from the duPont­Columbia School of Journalism and the Scripps­Howard Institute. Before joining The World, Schachter worked in Los Angeles as editor, reporter, and host of the Marketplace Morning Report, and as a reporter for the Los Angeles bureau of National Public Radio. Schachter has served as a reporter and anchor at Colorado public radio in Denver, WBUR in Boston and WFCR, New England Public Radio, in Amherst, MA

Panelist: Humaira Ghilzai, Afghan Friends Network

Ghilzai is a writer, speaker and Afghanistan cultural consultant who has been working with professional theatre productions for the past eight years. She was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan but her family fled the country right after the Russian invasion in 1979 and they made the Bay Area their new home.
Humaira is focused on projects that bring positive social change. Our world is changing, but many of us aren’t equipped to change with it. For people who are curious and want to move past the stories in the media, Humaira helps to open their eyes to the realities of other cultures by putting a face, name and identity.

Humaira co-founded Afghan Friends Network and instituted a Sister City relationship between Hayward, California and Ghazni, Afghanistan where she has done extensive work to improve education for girls, boys and women. Humaira is a sought after cultural expert on Afghanistan, its people and history. She works with theatres, films, authors and playwrights on cultural authenticity of their creative work relating to Afghanistan and the Islamic world. Humaira has worked on the adaptation of A Thousand Splendid Suns for the past four years with the director and playwright. Humaira helps the audience connect with stories on a human level, because at the end of the day we are all fighting the same issues.

Panelist: Ali Kadivar, Boston College

Mohammad Ali Kadivar is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Studies. His work contributes to political and comparative-historical sociology by exploring the interaction between protest movements and democratization. Kadivar has examined both the internal organization, tactics, and perceptions of pro-democracy movements as well as their success or failure in gaining and sustaining democratic improvements. This work grows out of his experience as a participant-observer of the pro-democracy movement in Iran, but his research agenda moves outward from this case to explore these issues on a global scale, using case studies, comparative-historical methods, and statistical analyses.

He holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and earned a MA and BA in political science from University of Tehran in Iran. From 2016 to 2018, Kadivar was a postdoctoral fellow at Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. Kadivar’s research has been published in the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Socius, and Mobilization, and has won awards from the Collective Behavior and Social Movement (CBSM), Comparative Historical Sociology, Global and Transnational Sociology, Sociology of Development, and Peace, War and Social Conflict sections of the American Sociological Association (ASA). He has also published analyses of Iranian politics for public audience in English and Farsi in outlets such as Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog and BBC Persian.