May 27 book event for Dr. Nyla Khan’s ‘Educational Strategies for Youth Empowerment’ spurs reflections on possibilities

Patrick B. McGuigan 
To celebrate the formal release of Dr. Nyla Ali Khan’s newest book, a SPECIAL EVENT is scheduled for Thursday evening, May 27 at 5:30 p.m. Complimentary refreshments will be served for the gathering at Commonplace Books in downtown Edmond (21 S. Broadway 73074).

Dr. Nyla, who often contributes to as a commentator or reporter, is a respected Oklahoman. 
A native of Kashmir, she became an American citizen only a few months ago. 

In a review of Dr. Nyla’s book, Professor Stephen Morrow from Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) observed: 
“Professor Nyla Ali Khan’s newest book, ‘Educational Strategies for Youth Empowerment in Conflict Zones: Transforming, not Transmitting, Trauma’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), is a call to action: action formulated in a deep consciousness of understanding and caring.
“Composed out of her own inborn care for the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir and their trauma of insurgency and counterinsurgency, Professor Khan asks of her readers to develop a deeper consciousness of the suffering and alienation of the young people there and beyond.
“Simply put, as readers, we are asked to care.”

In his review, Morrow also wrote: 
“I refer Dr. Khan’s work, first and foremost, to the Western reader though her inclusive research and analysis of trauma take us around the historically traumatized globe.
“This consciousness of care is set out through the researchers, thinkers, sociologists, psychologists, and organizations who make it their life work to care for the traumatized.
“Khan’s insights lay out the deeper human condition that traumas impose damage upon. A fragility of life, that once aware of and conscious of, gives greater insight to the connection and responsibility we have to each other across the globe.
“The care work she calls us to are transforming the ills of trauma to the agency of well-being and change agent.”

Speaking for myself, I appreciate Dr. Nyla Ali Khan. 
She has a heart for the dispossessed — especially for students living in zones of conflict around the world. For those who read her works regularly, this may seem like a statement of the obvious. That’s ok: Stating the obvious, as I have written elsewhere, can be an act of courage in many circumstances.

Since first I met her in June 2019 (after having read through some of her works in the months before), each exchange of more than a few minutes has turned to our shared concerns for contemporary students in America, and in many other places. 
While flowing from the tradition of her past scholarly works, there is in this new work a deeper personal and reflective tone. 

Yes, this new book is an academic work. Still, the intelligent non-academic can study it with deep benefit, should they possess or if they fashion a heart open to practical, methodical, caring steps toward a better world. 

Americans are blessed – privileged, if you will – to live in a country where ideas are actually taken seriously, at least by many of us. 
Noble titles as a means to privilege are banned here, yet noble spirits have the liberty to explore and flourish. And, each American has the freedom to recognize, and honor, the best among us.
History teaches lessons, but the past does not bind anyone to pre-determined outcomes. Social conditions can seem limiting, yet America is a place uniquely open to the shattering of expectations for those born without fortune or a famous last name. 
America is a place where a woman of special merit, an immigrant, can emerge as a local leader within a matter of years – a mere fraction of one human lifetime. 
America is a land of possibilities – as was intended by the best of our ancestors.  

Nyla Ali Khan is a brilliant example of possibilities, many of which are realized already. 
Her book offers means to help others. It is a book for we, the living, reaching for a brighter future. 

Note: Be sure you go to the proper location! This Thursday’s event is at Commonplace Books, 21 S. Broadway in the heart of downtown Edmond.