Akbar at Yale

Said Hyder Akbar in Slate:

051116_cw_group_tnHere at Yale, most students turn to teachers and friends for advice in figuring out what they really want from college. But for me, the person who really helped me understand what I wanted was a guy writing to his wife in 1780. John Adams, in a letter to Abigail Adams, wrote, “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.” The quote, which I first read at the library while researching for a paper, really resonated.

When my native country, Afghanistan, was turned upside down in the fall of 2001—my senior year in high school—I became involved with a place I had never seen before. (I call it “native” because I was born a refugee in Pakistan, and my parents lived in Afghanistan for most of their lives.)

More here.  [Akbar is on the right in the picture.]