In 2001 the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, NYU, with financial support from the Hagop Kevorkian Center was the first one in the country to separate the Hindi/Urdu language track and establish independent Hindi and Urdu language course continua, in spite of initial criticism from colleagues in the field. However, over the years other universities have followed NYU's example of responding to the new demographic, cultural and political realities in the South Asian language classes. This decision has helped NYU in creating a unique profile of its Urdu program among the academic circles, students and the community along with stimulating a strong interest in Pakistan's languages, literature and culture.
NYU has developed strong connections with the community especially since 2008, when it established a yearly summer training program for Urdu teachers, sponsored by STARTALK, and it has extended its support for creating and conducting Urdu summer programs for school students in Brooklyn, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, etc. It has worked with the following community-based organizations: Allama Iqbal Community Center (www.allamaiqbalcommunitycenter.org), National Youth Organization of Pakistan (www.nyopinternational.org), Aligarh University Alumni New Jersey Chapter, Halqa-e-Arbab-e-Zauq, etc. Several educational and literary events were attended by the Consul General of Pakistan and received the attention of the U.S.-based Pakistani community media.
New York University's long tradition of forging links with the community is based on collaborations and partnerships. The events are often hosted and/or co-sponsored by the following Departments and organizations at NYU: the Hagop Kevorkian Center, the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, the Department of Comparative Literature, the South Asian Faculty group, Institute for Public Knowledge, South Asian Studies Program Initiative and Pakistan Student Association. In addition, NYU has offered several educational workshops and literary events in collaboration with outside institutions as well, such as the Board of Education of New York City and of New Jersey, ACTFL as well as Columbia University, Yale University, University of Texas, Austin, and University of Pennsylvania.
Structure – The organization will be run by a chair and an executive committee consisting of a faculty advisor, coordinator, treasurer and a secretary.
Goal - The Organization aims to promote knowledge and understanding among the peoples of Pakistan, South Asia and the United States, Canada and Great Britain.
Activities - The Alliance for Pakistan and Urdu Studies will:
- Work with community leaders, members and organizations, journalists, academics and experts to encourage a dialogue with representatives of different communities;
- Conduct educational workshops for community and school teachers;
- Organize events celebrating Pakistani literature and culture (such as centennial celebrations of writers and poets, movie screenings, festival celebrations, etc.)
- Sponsor speakers;
- Provide an online forum to promote discussion.
For more information, see https://wp.nyu.edu/virtualurdu/apusnyu/