Eqbal Ahmad was a writer, an activist, a philosopher, and an wannabe educationalist. His dream was to establish a world-class university in Pakistan, which he wanted to call the Khaldunia University after the early Islamic scholar Ibn Khaldun, especially inspired by Ibn Khaldun’s monumental work Muqaddimah (a worthwhile read). His dream could not be realized, though it did lead to the establishment of the respectable Khaldunia High School in Islamabad.
Eqbal Ahmad may have found some solace when he was invited to become the founding Chancellor of the Textile Institute of Pakistan (TIP). Many of the ideals proposed by Eqbal Ahmad are the driving spirit of TIP. Last year, on 11 May 2006, on the suggestion of a student, TIP organized a lecture series to commemorate Eqbal Ahmed. Speakers included Eqbal’s nephew, Iftikhar Ahmad and others. This Eqbal Ahmad Memorial Day was proposed to be a yearly event.
“Eqbal Ahmad [is a] beacon of light precisely because [he is] guided by high morals and great human values rather than hypocrisy, lies and double standards.” – Najam Sethi
This year the Eqbal Ahmad Memorial Day could not be organized, but TIP students remember their founding Chancellor every day when they have their meals in the students centre named after Eqbal Ahmad. This week we can remember the man by knowing more about him (links below).
For more on Eqbal Ahmad, see Khuldunia On-line, a collection of Eqbal Ahmad’s writings and tributes to the man, and Eqbal Ahmad: Cherishing his Courage, a website supported by his family, and a comprehensive (as usual) piece on 3 Quark’s Daily, Monday Musing: Eqbal Ahmad. Eqbal Ahmad was a professor at the Hampshire College, which commemorate him with a yearly Distinguished Eqbal Ahmad Lecture series wth speakers such as Noam Chomsky and Kofi Annan — the 9th edition will be held this year. And finally, post by Beena Sarwar, Remembering Eqbal Ahmad on All Things Pakistan.