Usman’s interest in the human condition is deeply shaped by his personal experiences and circumstance. Having lived under various socioeconomic conditions and amongst people from all walks of life, he has an intrinsic understanding of human suffering and the way it is experienced by different people. Living in drastically different places like Pakistan, Canada, Singapore and the Netherlands over the past decade has only strengthened his understanding of the culturally variant ideas of suffering, pain, power and violence.
Most recently, Usman graduated from Utrecht University’s prestigious liberal arts college UCU, where he followed Anthropology and Human Geography in a multidisciplinary bachelors program. His final thesis, “Practicing Traditions: An Ethnography of a WEIRD People and their Practice of Schuetzenfest”, is a tangible demonstration of his analytic skills, mastery of Ethnographic research techniques, and enthusiasm for research in Anthropology. Furthermore it highlights his strength in writing creatively and with a moral conscience.
With the help of MAHASSA, Usman aims to strengthen his personal and academic interest in Anthropology. He plans to make use of the interdisciplinary environment to broaden his knowledge, while deepening his understanding of the field of Medical Anthropology at the same time.
Usman’s interest in the geographic region of South Asia however, is not because of some nationalistic, ethnic or some other “constructed” identity or affinity. In fact, he only considers himself a Pakistani as far as state systems of “citizenship” are concerned and a Muslim, only by name.
Rather, Usman wants to focus on the region because, his cultural, lingual and experiential knowledge of the region coupled with his multinational academic and cultural interests give him a unique mix of an “insider” as well as “outsider” perspective - a perspective that will also benefit his peers and professors at SAI.