New Faces at the South Asia Center - 2011

-Emera Bridger Wilson

The South Asia Center would like to welcome Habib Sangar, the new instructor for Pashto; he joined the LLL faculty in Fall of 2010 to teach Pashto I. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Habib is a student in the Executive Master of Public Administration program and International Relations. Last year, his studies were funded by the Joint Japan/ World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJWBGSP).Habib Sangar Portrait

When asked about his time at Maxwell, Habib immediately compares Syracuse’s weather to that of his home town and that he misses the 200 days of sunshine that Kabul receives. Despite this, after reflecting on his academic experiences here at Maxwell, he states, “Being among a diverse community of international students coming from all around the world is something of a unique opportunity to learn about different parts of the world, about different peoples and their culture as well as providing them with information on my own….” Habib loves teaching and sharing his culture with his fellow students and the larger Syracuse community. “Even though Pashto is my native language and I did my most of high school and undergraduate studies in Pashto, I had never thought how complex but interesting it is to learn. I enjoy teaching language, which I believe is due to its relationship with culture. As a native speaker, I feel confident in describing and teaching this language with its culture context, which is widely varied from place to place in my country. Furthermore, I believe that it is two way of learning and teaching for me. Apart from what I teach to students, I also learn about their culture as well improving my English too.”

Before coming to Syracuse, Habib worked for the Afghanistan government in a variety of capacities, including being the Chief of Protocol for International Relations in the Wolesi Jirga (House of Representatives) and the Director of the Afghanistan Parliamentary Institute. He is originally from Kabul., Afghanistan.


The South Asia Center and Syracuse University were also pleased to host two international visiting scholars this past year whose research interests were based in South Asia—Matteo Rossini, University of Florence and Dr. Ahsan Habib, Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management.

Matteo Rossini PortraitMatteo Rossini is a doctoral student at the University of Florence; his dissertation work focuses on India-U.S. relations during Johnson’s presidency. He was able to be in residence at Syracuse through an exchange program between Syracuse University and the University of Florence. He had previously spent time at the Johnson archive in Austin TX as well as in Washington, D.C. In my conversation with Rossini, he told me that the time he has spent in the U.S. has been very fruitful due to the amount of archival sources to which he had access.

Dr. Ahsan Habib was in residence at Syracuse from February to June 2010 as a Fulbright Scholar. His research interests include Corporate Social Responsibility of Banks, and Green Banking. His wife, Pinky Shah and their son, Ishan accompanied him and he writes that they “are taking back home a benign face of American people. They received tremendous support and cooperation from the very first day of their stay at Syracuse.” He credits the cooperation of faculty of the University and bankers of Syracuse played the major role in the successful completion of his Fulbright project.Ahsan Habib Portrait