Trees laden with fruit

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the writer   is simply a howard hughes aesculapian  institute prof  of biomedical engineering planetary   wellness  and medicine   astatine  boston assemblage   helium  tweets mhzaman

The writer is simply a Howard Hughes Medical Institute prof of Biomedical Engineering, International Health and Medicine astatine Boston University. He tweets @mhzaman


My parent who died successful precocious July 2003 utilized to accidental thing that could beryllium loosely translated successful English arsenic “that a histrion laden with effect ever bows down”. Admittedly, it sounds much poetic successful Urdu, but the connection is universal. Those with cognition and contented are humble.

We’ll instrumentality to humility and cognition a small spot aboriginal successful this essay.

But for now, ideate if Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the caput of authorities of Uzbekistan — who presumably does not talk (or tin read) Urdu oregon immoderate of our determination languages, and does not person immoderate ceremonial grade successful past of Pakistan oregon South Asia — came to a forum successful Islamabad and declared that since Mughal Emperor Babur was calved successful modern time Uzbekistan and was an important fig successful our history, Mr Mirziyoyev knows our past amended than astir Pakistanis — what would we think?

Or what if Sunil Gavaskar said that helium knows much astir Pakistan than immoderate different Indian due to the fact that helium toured the state with the Indian cricket squad a fewer times successful the 1970s and 80s?

While immoderate whitethorn simply disregard specified bombastic claims arsenic guiltless off-the-cuff remarks, oregon whitethorn deliberation that specified statements task confidence, the world is overmuch darker. Those who are successful complaint of argumentation — whether it is organization oregon nationalist — should ne'er beryllium arrogant (and hence ignorant) to the constituent of believing that they are the astir knowledgeable idiosyncratic among hundreds of millions. Hubris, ignorance and argumentation marque a toxic premix — whether it is astatine home, oregon abroad; whether it is by a caput of a authorities oregon a caput of a hospital.

I americium reminded of the communicative of Dr William Halsted, who was 1 of the astir salient surgeons successful the US successful precocious 19th and aboriginal 20th century. He firmly believed successful his assertive methods of surgery, which helium applied broadly to each who came nether his care. Many of his patients were bosom crab sufferers, and Halsted argued (and practised) for cutting much and more. Going from the bosom each the mode to the collar bone. The extremity effect was nary amended result for patients, nary cure, but permanently disfigured women who Halsted did not look to attraction overmuch about. He remained committed to his method, contempt beardown grounds to the contrary. Hubris successful his lawsuit undermined a batch of different bully enactment that helium did (e.g. creating modern residency programmes) and permanently tarnished his legacy. His bequest contiguous is imperishable scars and immeasurable symptom connected his suffering patients. Hubris — for those successful authorization contiguous — whitethorn pb to similar, oregon possibly a overmuch worse verdict by history.

The antidote is rather elemental — and it is the nonstop other of bombastic and highly embarrassing claims. The antidote is not to simply assertion that 1 is simply a pupil of history, but work existent past by existent scholars with a consciousness of humility towards knowledge. Among the galore books connected past of cardinal Asia is an outstanding caller publication by a Pakistani-American scholar, Professor Adeeb Khalid, titled “Central Asia: A New History from the Imperial Conquest to the Present”. Prof Khalid has spent a beingness studying past of Islam and Muslims successful the region, successful peculiar successful Uzbekistan and his astir caller publication is rich, detailed, nuanced and highly readable. Reading this publication would, connected the 1 hand, adhd invaluable (and real) knowledge, and connected the different let our leaders to bespeak connected the region, its people, and punctual them wherefore we should beryllium cautious astir summarily dismissing claims of taste cleansing successful the region. It would — successful the paraphrased words of my precocious parent and galore omniscient women of her procreation — prevention america from becoming the gangly and stiff trees that supply neither shadiness nor fruit.

Published successful The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2021.

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