Dr. Nyla Ali Khan

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

“Women’s groups can… pave the way

for sustainable peace, universal

human rights, and security….”

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan serves on the Advisory Council of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. She knows well the power of her pen. The writings and the books of this University of Oklahoma professor and granddaughter of a former Kashmiri prime minister are making headlines in both India and Pakistan.

Dr. Khan is the author of four critically acclaimed books:

The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism, in which she critiques the nostalgic support of subversive elements by the affluent diaspora from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between India and Pakistan examines the seminal spiritual and political role of women in Kashmir, while also highlighting the plight of Kashmir generally as a gnarled bone of contention between India and Pakistan.

A major anthology, The Parchment of Kashmir: History, Society, and Polity, develops an understanding of the region’s culture, resilience and fate as a political pawn.

Photo: Shejar.com

Her fourth book, The Life of a Kashmiri Woman: Dialectic of Resistance and Accommodation, is on her maternal grandmother, Begum Akbar Jehan Abdullah. It was released in June 2014.

Dr. Khan’s goal is to engage in reflective action as an educator working with diverse cultural and social groups questioning the exclusivity of cultural nationalism, the erosion of cultural syncretism, the ever-increasing dominance of religious fundamentalism, and the irrational resistance to cultural and linguistic differences.

She prefers not simply to live in her grandfather’s shadow but to “stand up for myself and be taken seriously express my anger without being labeled an ‘Islamic militant’ legitimately question things I don’t understand,” as she stated in a 2010 interview related to the release of her second book.

Nyla lives, breathes and exudes human rights through her writing.

In a recent article, Dr. Khan compared the situation of women in Oklahoma with women in Kashmir. She wrote:

“Not just in Kashmir, but in Oklahoma as well, women can play an important role in establishing a more inclusive democracy and new forums for citizen cooperation. Female leaders can lead the way by offering new ideas, building broad-based political coalitions, and working to bridge organizational divides.“In this way, women’s groups can thus pave the way for sustainable peace, universal human rights, and security from violent threats of all kinds.” 

(See the article, “Women in Oklahoma and Kashmir: A Comparative Study,” at the Oklahoma Observer website … https://okobserver.net/women-in-oklahoma-and-kashmir-a-comparative-study/)

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.

Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

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