KARACHI: It is necessary find out how to assume critically and rationally at a time once we are bombarded with nonsense, faux science, propaganda, lies and conspiracies.
This was the purpose eloquently made by eminent scholar Dr Reza Aslan at a webinar on ‘Preserving Legacies and Protecting Futures’ organised by Habib College on Friday night.
Dr Aslan, who was one of many two foremost audio system for the occasion, mentioned nowadays universities all around the world are confronted with the problem of getting to determine find out how to train on-line (distance studying). Earlier, quite a lot of professors started to assume this was straightforward. “I could do it in my pajamas, from home.” [But], Dr Aslan lamented, it has been a nightmare. Educating on-line has been way more taxing and troublesome; it’s a wake-up name to the basic difficulties that liberal arts training has been having throughout the globe. Within the US, the place he’s based mostly and teaches at a liberal arts college, it’s onerous to show college students who’re dealing with dying and destruction and stuffed with nervousness. It’s not straightforward to inform them, “Let’s read some literature, let’s talk about culture and art.”
Dr Aslan mentioned it’s also a reminder in regards to the significance of all these issues: how liberal arts training at a time of existential disaster like that is much more vital than we expect it’s. The notion to show find out how to assume critically and rationally in a interval once we are bombarded with nonsense, faux science, propaganda, lies and conspiracies is vital. The concept that we expect traditionally once we are trying on the instant current and the uncertainty that it brings, and to increase our horizon with a historic perspective to grasp what this second means… these are the sorts of issues that may be fostered. “So, as a professor of liberal arts, I realise that there is in the sense nothing more important than to teach kids, young people, how to have broader perspectives, to understand culture, to foster rational thinking and to cultivate the young minds who one day will rid us of these kinds of pandemics.”
Webinar underscores significance of liberal arts
Dr Azra Raza was the second speaker. She peppered her discuss with piece of Urdu and English poetry. She mentioned she’s an oncologist who sees 40 sufferers per week. “The only good news that we can give to cancer patients is that if it can detected early.” She raised the query: can’t we attain that first cell? And argued we must always monitor the human physique continuously. Within the decade of 2020-2030, she claimed, we’re going to see a whole change in the best way we do healthcare.
She confirmed the webinar individuals a chip which might detect, sitting at dwelling, if anybody has prostate most cancers. She known as it the finally biotechnology. Quoting the economist Adam Smith, she mentioned people wish to be cherished and likewise wish to be beautiful. It means they wish to be cherished for the best causes. And also you get to these proper causes via liberal arts. This level led her to emphasize the significance of historical past, philosophy and literature.
Dr Raza added via [her favourite] poetry we are able to be taught to turn into concise whereas being courageous. It’s nearer to molecular biology. She quoted a couplet to drive her level dwelling:
Arz o sama kahan teri wusat ko pa sakey
Mera hello dil hai woh ke jahan tu sama sakey
[Earth and sky can’t capture your vastness Only my heart can encapsulate it]
Each audio system additionally shared some fond recollections of the late Ali Suleman Habib, who served on the Board of Governors of the Habib College.
Bashir Ali Mohammad and Nargis Soorty from the Useful resource Improvement Committee of Habib College additionally spoke about their late good friend and colleague. Joined by his mom Munizae, Imran Habib, Ali Suleman’s eldest son, spoke about his father and his legacy.
Founding Chancellor and patriarch of the Habib household Rafiq M. Habib mentioned that he had recognized Ali Suleman since his delivery they usually had labored collectively for some 40 years. “I have lost my son and my right hand,” he mentioned earlier than providing Fateha for the departed soul.
Wasif Rizvi, president of Habib College, hosted the webinar.
Revealed in Daybreak, Could 17th, 2020