A World-Recognized Terrorism Expert Studies Motives and Meaning

A man with pearl-gray hair and a friendly face leaned against the wooden desk in the middle of the classroom. Once his graduate student at The George Washington University, Dr. Jerrold Post taught a class in political violence and terrorism as the Director of the Political Psychology Department. At the time, I was mystified by men (and women) who perpetrated acts of violence--a puzzle I wanted to … [Read more...]

The Revolutionary Who Changed Me

The Revolutionary I am convinced that one teacher can change the life of a student forever. We met in class at a private Methodist college, Southwestern University, set in small-town America with a candle factory, vintage shops and one main grocery store. In 1993, I chose to take a class on Latin America, a region of the world I still know nothing about except for the location of Brazil and … [Read more...]

What I Have Learned From Public Speaking

Most books and on-line blogs on public speaking fail to address a central selling point to be effective and successful. Personality. Knowledge is not enough. A public speaker needs to shine on stage. Call it charisma. Most speakers I admire are informative, intriguing and inspiring. They give me knowledge I didn’t have and force me to consider an alternative viewpoint. Watching pubic … [Read more...]

How I Learned To Speak In Front of Thousands of People

In the heart of Texas, I used to be the shy girl in kindergarten who didn't know how to speak English. I understood some of what the teachers were saying to me, but most of it was jibberish. Born in the cultural city of Lahore, Pakistan, I spoke fluent Punjabi and then learned Urdu, the country's national tongue. And then something happened in the third grade. I began to read novels, poetry, … [Read more...]

What I learned from the U.S. military

Teaching America’s armed forces helped me see war from a new angle. Meeting hundreds of U.S. soldiers provided key insight into the human dimension as well as the costs of conflict. Most of all, my students gave me an important skill. I learned how to speak to a general audience. A few words about what I did For nearly five years, I taught crash classes on Islam and Pakistan. In the Washington, … [Read more...]

Teaching is not an art. It’s a practice.

I come from a long line of educators. My almost 100-year-old grandmother, Imtiaz Mir (who I affectionally called Nano), was one of the most outstanding women I know. She was more than a teacher. She was the breadwinner. She was compassionate and courageous. She didn't depend on men to teach her how to raise five children as a  young widow. She taught herself to survive. Independence is God's … [Read more...]

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