08 April 2018

Meet ANSO student Abdullah All Shakil

Born and raised in Bangladesh, Abdullah All Shakil holds a Bachelor in Anthropology from Jahangirnagar University (Bangladesh). He previously worked with EcoHealth Alliance in Bangladesh for two years as Research Officer, and has been involved with the Bangladesh Youth Environmental Initiative, serving as the Director of Programmes. Abdullah is also co-founder of a Hong-Kong based social enterprise: Development Innovation Insider (read more). Working with people and the environment has always been in his blood.

Why did you choose to apply to the Graduate Institute?
I have always been keen to integrate insights from theories to solve practical problems. My decision to study a Master in ANSO reflects that interest as this is one of the very few institutions of the world where learning is done juxtaposing theories and practices. The learning environment here is unique because of the diversity of the students and strategic location of the Institute. The scope for research and academic excellence is enormous as the faculty is so great and supportive. I’ve found the perfect way to fulfill my dream through this opportunity and I have fallen in love with the Institute since experiencing its welcoming learning environment. 

How has this scholarship made a difference for you?
Without the Alumni Community Scholarship, I simply wouldn’t be able to be here. This scholarship was the entrance towards a vast learning process, and versatile cultural and ethnic amalgamation, which is ideal for any ANSO student.

What is the focus of your studies at the Institute?
Having experience in the field of environmental education and public health research, I am interested in conducting my research on epidemics and the conception of body in biomedicine from a medical anthropology perspective. In recent decades, epidemics have become a burning issue because of climate change and humanitarian crises. Western conceptions of medicine are struggling to access or treat the human body due to cultural constructions of the body. My research will focus on the conception of body between doctor and patient in an epidemic condition.

What are your plans for your professional career after your studies?
As I have always been interested in working on practical life problem solving, my career will be a combination of both academics and field-based work. After my Master I want to work with humanitarian aid organisations on health and emergency support. My goal is to develop understanding on emergency situations and make use of the experience for a PhD idea. Eventually, in the long run I want to pursue a career in academia and social entrepreneurship.

This interview originally appeared in Globe No. 21, Spring 2018.