Asif Khoja: My Story

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If Gilgit Baltistan is the heaven on earth, then certainly a piece lurks in Haramosh as well. With mountains, lakes and trees, it has all the attractions of the rural utopia for any city dwelling visitor. The Kutwal Lake nestled by the beautiful Haramosh Peak, Laila Peak and Dobani Peak give an impression of bliss, serenity and majesty to any visitor who comes to explore its natural beauty.

That physical beauty of the area is so obvious, manifested and dispersed though that anyone could see it. However, if one delves a bit further, by invoking his compassion along with his aesthetics, then he can easily notice what deeply afflicts this remote area- its heart-rending poverty and impoverishment. Almost half the people are afflicted by it. The whole area almost is involved in some kind of agricultural activity, which beyond providing a mere sustenance can’t give other facilities of modern education and health-care.

And as a native of Haramosh, I could not have escaped from its throes. Yet unlike others, I refused to remain in its web for long. Not that I was a brilliant student, only that I was very determined and committed. Therefore what I lacked in genius, I made up through my relentless efforts and struggles.

Yet without a proper direction, all this would not have born any fruits. Luckily for me, I had my uncle to guide me. He had gone through all the struggling phases as myself, therefore he understood my condition very well. On his recommendation, I chose Chemical Engineering and got admission in BUTEMS.

Things changed enormously for me when I came to NUST for my Masters. The beautiful, enormous University campus had all the strands of a fine learning environment. It was as diverse as the country itself, with representations not only from the five provinces but also from the classes in which the country was divided.

That diversity was manifesting itself in its degree programs as well. Primarily an Engineering University, NUST had students from Business, Social Science, Architecture and Bioscience too. Its best faculties along with the best facilities were ranking it one of the best in the country.

In all this perfect picture of academic learning and exploration, if there was a single fault or blemish then it was my poverty, which was nagging me along everywhere. Yet I kept my wheels running with what scholarships would grant me along with what I could earn myself. After finishing my Post-graduation in Energy Systems Engineering, I got appointed as an instructor BPS 18 (BUITEMS) in a very short span of time.

Yet the love of learning drew me towards NUST once again. I left the security of my job and tried my luck in the academic circle again. As an FDP Scholar of NUST, I got the privilege to study from University Technology Malaysia (UTM) for my PhD.

Here, the professors are friendly, the labs well-furnished and the ambience quiet and pleasant. And I have had the pleasure of publishing my papers in well reputed and high impact factor journals. Next year, I will be back at NUST to assume my responsibilities as an Assistant Professor.  Please pray for the coming Journey.

There is nothing wrong with dreaming big dreams, just know that all roads that lead to success have to pass through hard work and determination.

 

 

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