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Humaira Zafar, Class of 2000.

Attorney in Virginia.


“I graduated from Penn in 2000, and went on to Law School at Temple where I received a J.D in 2004. My early legal career focused on medical malpractice, and after some time I began to broaden my professional interests and am now working on healthcare issues. Furthermore, I am currently involved in consultancy work and the development of Muslim American political awareness in Pennsylvania.

Studying at Penn, I believe that I received an unparalleled education. In my freshman seminar I took a course on Women in Islam and learned about my religion, my cultural heritage, and where I came from – and this brought many things together for me intellectually and personally.  My appetite for and interest in the study of South Asia grew, and I continued to take further courses on a diverse range of topics including the Mughal Empire, the Quran, and Urdu language courses. Overall, I was taking at least 2 courses each semester, which deepened my knowledge of the region.

Studying in the department was a great experience for me and I think that more South Asian students should learn about their heritage –particularly in the post 9-11 world that we live in to really understand the world and its complexities. While taking classes, I really enjoyed the course work and the readings that were assigned. The atmosphere in the classroom was one that was open --where free thought was encouraged -- and you learned from your peers and your teachers.  It was a truly international community –with students of all cultural denominations in the courses. There were great opportunities and resources in the department, which allowed you to engage at a highly stimulating level. To have the opportunity to study the extensive range of South Asia related courses and languages as an undergraduate is a real privilege.”