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East-West Center Oral History Project: Muhammad Ibrahim

Muhammad Ibrahim

Muhammad Ibrahim was born into a family of farmers near Lahore, Pakistan, where his sisters and brothers still live in the village. After getting his master's degree and while working for Punjab's Department of Agriculture, he applied for an EWC scholarship from an ad in the newspaper. Ibrahim came to EWC in 1977 as an Open Grants grantee and got his M.S. and his Ph.D. in Tropical Agriculture.  He remembers running field experiments in Palolo and Waimanalo with UH supervisor Dr. Kanehiro.  While living in the dorm and participating in the international fairs, he learned how to cook and sometimes writes poetry about his experiences with South Asian co-op friends in Hale Manoa. After returning home, Ibrahim re-joined his department in the Punjabi government and started the first Pakistani EWC Alumni chapter. He has remained actively connected to EWC for over 25 years, most recently becoming regional coordinator of alumni chapters in South Asia.

Read Ibrahim's interview narrative (pdf).

  • Personal Background
  • Life at EWC - Arrival, 1970s - Graduate Work, Tropical Agriculture - Community Service
  • EWC’s Impact - On Perspectives, Career
  • Ties That Last - Pakistani Alumni Chapters - Forging an Alumni Network

Interview Quotes
"At East-West Center, in fact, I came to know how to volunteer, you know, how to do community service.  So I led three to four projects, you know.  Manoa Stream forestation, you know, I led that.  And we cleared under the trees and put a very nice little tree in Manoa Stream. Then I visited, you know, several schools.  Especially schools in Hawai‘i, and I used to go there as a volunteer.  Then there was also one more program where you help the immigrant."

"When I came back, I think this is the first activity I started. I collected my addresses of my old East-West Center alumni in Faisalabad. So I made a small organization which is called “chapter.” I think this was the first [Pakistani EWC alumni] chapter, which was much more active and motivated in Pakistan since 1985.  Since then I'm associated with the East-West Center very actively through e-mails and letters, and I think I'm the first Pakistani attending the most East-West Center international conferences. Recently, you know, we have an active region of people, and developed three or four more chapters in Pakistan and then, you know, in the Japan conference I was nominated as the region director, so we worked very actively."

These narratives, which reflect interviewees’ personal perceptions, opinions and memories, may contain errors of fact. They do not reflect positions or versions of history officially approved by the East-West Center.