Just happened on news of the untimely death of Asma Jahangir, the Pakistani human rights activist–a familiar face in Pakistan, but essentially unknown in the United States: telling, somehow, that we all know Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel Prize winner who fled Pakistan, but tend not to know Jahangir, the unsung hero who made the choice to remain. The vocabulary of “heroism” is probably overused, but genuinely applies here.
The truth is, though I followed Jahangir’s work in a sporadic way, and admired her from afar–in part because a cousin of mine worked for her organization–her death shocks me into the realization of how little I know the details. But I guess it also gives me the impetus to learn. I’ll use this space for the best material I encounter on her life and work.
h/t: Mariam Saroop
Not obituaries, but contemporaneous appreciations, in real time, of Jahangir’s life and work by the journalist William Dalrymple:
From The New Yorker, 2007: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/07/23/days-of-rage
From The New York Review of Books, 2009: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2009/02/12/pakistan-in-peril/
Voice of America (not to be confused with “the voice of American foreign policy”):
“Asma Jahangir, Through the Years,” 15 key documents by Jahangir, with annotation by Anish Gawande, at Chapati Mystery:
Jahangir herself on the atmosphere of religious fanaticism in Pakistan in The Herald (February 11, 2016):
BBC World Outlook (podcast):
A piece on the significance of Jahangir’s life and work to young women in Pakistan, by Sajeer Shaikh in Mangobaaz. There’s a quotation in there by my cousin Sabahat Zakariya (not the cousin mentioned in the original post), an NYU-trained journalist in Pakistan, whose work I mentioned here about two years ago. The quotation from Sabahat is about two-thirds of the way down.
Amartya Sen in The Wire:
Aitizaz Ahsan in Dawn:
Ammar Rashid in Dawn:
Omar Waraich in The Atlantic:
Isaac Chotiner in Slate:
Barbara Crossette in The Nation:
Jahangir giving the 2016 Gruber Lecture at Yale Law School:
Ahmed Rashid in Dawn:
Najam Sethi, The Friday Times:
Terry Gross, NPR: