Nasir Gord was born and raised in war-torn Afghanistan surrounded by senseless deaths, the destruction of social fabric, and the demolition of economic infrastructures.
Seeing the need for “more tolerance and deeper understanding of each other's needs,” he applied for a Fulbright scholarship for his graduate studies in the US. “Today, Afghanistan needs young professionals and educated leaders with qualifications in areas such as conflict resolution and post-war reconstruction. I chose to study conflict resolution at the University of Massachusetts Boston believing that the exposure will assist me in managing conflicts that I see daily in my country.”
As part of his Fulbright training, Gord was invited to attend the recent Fulbright Afghan Social Entrepreneurship Seminar at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this annual enrichment seminar brings together Afghan Fulbright graduate students in the United States to develop sustainable networks for future collaboration with their countrymen, to learn about the fields of development and entrepreneurship, and to dialogue with local community members to increase mutual understanding and knowledge of each other’s cultures.
To achieve these objectives, seminar participants were divided into groups and each given a theme and a short assignment to prepare a presentation. With a fictitious budget of $1M, they were asked to develop an entrepreneurial idea that could have a significant impact in a post-conflict poor country.
With the theme of engineering development, Gord’s peer group proposed a procurement, adverting, and training plan for Project SPEED (Solar Powered Energy Efficient Drive) centered around a three-wheeled solar-powered vehicle as an inexpensive and environmentally friendly public transportation system.
Gord praises both the Fulbright program as well as his graduate program at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies as catalysts for lessons in leadership, mutual understanding and problem solving, and professional growth. “International programs such as Fulbright expose young people like me to a world of reasoning and tolerance. I am confident that UMass Boston will give me some valuable knowledge through its wonderful program of conflict resolution that I can later apply in my private and professional life to bring a little more peace to the Afghan community.”