June 14, 2016

Students From NU-Q In Qatar Study Dual Identity In The UK

Two Northwestern University in Qatar students will have the opportunity this summer to further their research thanks to grants provided by the university. Northwestern’s Office for Undergraduate Research and the Buffet Institute have provided Basmah Azmi and Meher Matab financial support to fund their research project on Pakistani identity, which will be conducted in London.
Mehtab and Azmi, students in NU-Q’s journalism program, plan to use the grants to research the cultural assimilation of Pakistani migrants in the United Kingdom and its implications on identity.

The grants will allow Mehtab and Azmi to travel to Great Britain to conduct qualitative-research on generations of British–Pakistanis who have lived in the UK since the country’s separation from India in 1945.

Research opportunities that are available to Northwestern students in Evanston are also offered to NU-Q students, which was revealed to the two students following a meeting with the director of undergraduate research who visited Doha earlier this year.

Their research process started with the simple idea of identity and its fluid nature. The students say that they were fascinated by the very concept of how strong cultural identity can be for diaspora.

The students competed with 322 applications for the grant from the undergraduate research office and attributed their success to the guidance they received from NU-Q faculty Ibrahim Abusharif and Christopher Sparshott. “They asked us questions that helped us think deeply about how our experiences and knowledge could give us an edge in the competition,” Azmi said.

Mehtab and Azmi will spend two-months conducting interviews and capturing the everyday experiences of British-Pakistanis; their findings will be presented on an interactive website when they complete their research.

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