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Eqbal Ahmad

Data de nascimento: 1933
Data de falecimento: 11. Maio 1999

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Eqbal Ahmad was a Pakistani political scientist, writer and academic known for his anti-war activism, support for resistance movements globally and academic contributions to the study of Near East. Born in Bihar, British India, Ahmad migrated to Pakistan as a child and went on to study economics at the Forman Christian College, after graduating Ahmad worked briefly as an army officer and was wounded in the First Kashmir War.

He moved to the United States in the mid-1950s as a rotary fellow at Occidental College. He then moved to study political science and middle east history at Princeton University where he earned his PhD in 1965. During his time at Princeton, Ahmad travelled to Tunisia and Algeria as part of his doctoral dissertation. In Algiers, he supported the revolution leading to his subsequent arrest in France. Ahmad went on to teach at the University of Illinois and at the Cornell University until 1968. During this time, Ahmad also became a prominet fellow of the anti-war Institute for Policy Studies.

His vocal support of Palestinian rights during the 1967 war led to his isolation within the academic community leading him to leave Cornell. From 1968 to 1972, he worked as a fellow at the University of Chicago. During this, Ahmad became a strong activist against the Vietnam War which lead Ahmad being charged as part of the Harrisburg Seven in January 1971, after the trial the jury acquitted Ahmad from all charges in 1972. He moved to Amsterdam in 1973, and headed the Transnational Institute until 1975. In 1982, he moved back to the United States and joined the Hampshire College as a tenured professor and taught here until he became a emeritus professor in 1997.

In 1990, he began splitting his time between Islamabad and Amherst and also began writing for Dawn. During this, he worked to established a liberal arts college named after Ibn Khaldun in Islamabad, however, failed. Ahmad was one of the most prominent left-wing academics in both Pakistan and the United States. His legacy is that of strong opposition to militarism, bureaucracy, nuclear arms and ideological rigidity, while a strong supporter of democracy and self-determination. Even-though a little known figure in Pakistan, Ahmad maintains a strong legacy within intellectual circles both in and outside Pakistan.

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