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Personal: Recapping an unforgettable September to December (2012)

The teaching season here at Trinity College Dublin has come to an end. I’m flying back home to Needham tomorrow, so I wanted to take some time to reflect on life since I arrived back to Dublin in September.

For the past 12 weeks, I’ve taught five tutorials per week for the Researching Society course.  I’ve recently received my evaluation and had nearly perfect scores. I’m thankful that I was able to create a learning atmosphere where students could enjoy their time and learn a thing or two about creating a research project.

Since September, I’ve had a bunch of publications regarding my documentary, Journey into America, and my new One Film 9/11 interfaith initiative.  I’m happy to have finally cracked the Huffington Post. I’m most proud of the publication in Pakistan’s The Frontier Post, which is published in the tribal areas, or where the U.S. government is currently engaged in a controversial drone war.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the great opportunity of sharing Journey into America and One Film 9/11 at the U.S. Embassy in London and at the School of Oriental and African Studies, which is also in London. We received incredible feedback and met tons of people who were really impressed with both of our projects. People of all backgrounds are literally lining up to help support our interfaith cause.

In November, I was invited by the U.S. Embassy in Dublin to participate in a discussion on U.S. foreign policy. The discussion happened right before the Presidential election, so I said a thing or two about the differences – or lack thereof – between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

My beautiful Melony and I had several excursions. Our first was a hike through Bray and Greystones, which are two beautiful coastal villages near Dublin. Our second trip was epic. We travelled to the great city of Rome. I was able to see the Vatican for the first time. We hope to live in Rome someday.

Since September, I’ve also been conducting interviews in the field for my doctoral thesis. I’ve met some really interesting people over this time. Some of these people include an immigrant from Balochistan who is involved with migrants rights in Dublin and an Irish born Pakistan who has devoted his life to the Sufi spiritual path.  Not only have these people enriched my study, but they’ve also enriched my own spirituality.

I’m sure many more memorable things have happened since September. In essence, all I need to say is that I’ve been blessed; blessed with the company of an amazing woman in Melony; an amazing intellectual mentor in Professor Ahmed; an amazing group of friends that have made me a better man; and, most importantly, good health and happiness.

It’s now time to head back to my other blessing – my family in Needham.

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