I met Mojeeb in Italy in 2010, where we became colleagues of the European development program CoDe. I was telling you earlier about one of my muslim friends Sayed and as I wrote in that interview, now it’s Mojeeb time, and his story his amazing.
Mojeeb Stanikzai was born on November 30, 1977 in his village Maghul Khel. When he was in his five years age, his father who was a Doctor passed away in a blast in his district. He along with his two brothers, sisters including an 11 month old young brother started to learn and live the roaming life alone. There was a time that during 1980 that his village was totally empty. His uncle and relatives already left the village. His mother manage to sell all what they have including mattress, quilt and father’s medical tools to find a way to rent a horse to the little brother and litter sister can ride on to go to Pakistan.
Mojeeb Stanikzai with his family after three days and night travel by foot, terror of Russian attacks made it to Pakistan. He worked hard with his older brother and mother to study and work after hours to feed the whole family and study for the better future. He told me his story in Italy, and each time I was reading in media or hearing about bomb attacks I ask him if his familly is ok.
Rigorous, careful, very professional, involved in all discussions you can see easy his experience in management and communication. Formed and trained in West he become a leader of his country which he represented with pride. For some time he moved to the States with all the family. I asked him to answer some questions and look what came out.
Who are you and what are you doing now?
My name is Mojeeburahman Stanikzai. I have started my work as a development practitioner since my graduation in 2003 form Medical University. Now, I am a development professional and working for Conflict Mitigation, Post Conflict Development, Local Driven Development and Stabilization programs. I have worked in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar, and Sudan.
What did you study and where?
I had completed my primary, secondary and high school in Peshawar, Pakistan. I had also completed my pre-medical and first two and a half grade of medical school in Peshawar Pakistan. I move to Afghanistan in 1999 and graduated as a medical doctor in curative Medicine from the Kabul Medical University in 2003. I have got my masters in Comparative Local Development in 2012 from Erasmus Mundus Joint European Master in Comparative Local Development program in Italy.
How was your life abroad, when you study and work?
My life was good where ever I worked and study. I easily overcome the cultural shocks and manage to find my ways to live and adjust my life accordingly. I always managed to find Halal food and restaurants in my study and work places and always have got support from local community.
What about your family and your children?
It is the first time that my family and children are out of their home country Afghanistan other than being in Pakistan. We are happy that we live with around 13 Afghan families here in US. We find the local community here supportive and respectful. My children are going to school and getting adjusted to the new study system and methods. They get support from their teachers as they need.
How was your life in Afghanistan? What type of projects did you developed there?
Life in Afghanistan is always full of challenges. Everyone living there have their own challenges. Some of the common challenges that are hazard to everyone are the insecurity, conflicts and political civil war run by different power holders and companies. Since graduation in 2003 from Medical faculty, I did not start to work as a medical doctor but rather a development practitioner. I had worked in different conflict resolution, governance, local driven development, social outreach, and stabilization programs. I had gradually been promoted as a development practicing professional and then development professional. I have managed project from a $33 million to $178 million portfolios in the past eleven years and a staff number up to 600 national and 20 international staff.
Tell us about recent history of your country?
The country is still suffering from recurrent conflict and political civil war. Insurgency and mass killings are the daily stories. Bringing peace is hopeless as the conflict there have many dimensions and many power holders are in one way or another involved.
What do you think about the recent events from Paris?
I condemn what happen in Paris recently. But I do not stop there. I also condemn the act of whoever who is using the wrong meaning of freedom in speech. I condemn the act of the magazine that made it very easy for people with such injustice act. I believe that no one has the right to make fun of any religious leader under the freedom of speech clause.
Some people consider that Islam and terrorism is the same thing. What would you say to these people?
Islam is the religion of peace and gives the right to everyone to live in peace. I always become disappointed that why some of such activities when a Muslim is involved in it are getting linked with Islam but others that a non-Muslim is involved are not linked with their religion. I don’t need to give examples as media is full of the examples. I do not need to give more details here as everyone can read about Islam and find out more. I don’t think that any injustice should be linked with any religion. It is about personally, a small group and faction mentality rather than religion. In short, see Islam in literature and not in Individuals.
Tell us about your work as a development expert.
I live my work as a development expert. The good thing is that you working people as human beings rather than a specific group. You always feel happy when you see the smile on people faces when you help them develop their society.
How is the situation now in Sudan?
The situation in Sudan is ok. There are some conflicts at the borders that government with international community are trying to mitigate them.
What are your future plans?
I am continuing my work as a development expert as it is a tension free job treating people equally.
How you see development in the future, in the evolution of a more globalized world?
Development in future is much linked with political insecurity and civil war. One reason of increasing conflict is the globalized world. People know quickly and react quickly without a full research. This gives advantage to the opportunists who are after their own benefits. From my perspective, conflicts are increasing in future as there is no side the remain neutral who can act as a mediator in any of current global conflicts.
An Afghan national, innovative, dynamic, and results-driven manager with over ten years’ experience directing and designing complex emergency, stability, relief and development programs in challenging environments. Have field experience in almost all provinces of his native Afghanistan as well as Pakistan, Myanmar and Sudan. He possesses an unparalleled knowledge of Afghanistan’s political and social realities. His international education and extensive experience leading and supporting internationally funded programs across the globe provides him with the unique ability to effectively mitigate local programmatic hurdles while meeting donor-established targets. Mojeeb Stanikzai holds a Doctorate of Medicine degree from Kabul Medical Institute and completed his MA in Comparative Local Development from the Erasmus Mundus Joint European Master’s Program in Italy and Hungary.
He had successfully overseen USAID, World Bank, OSI, BPRM, and UNDP funded programs with managing as many as 530 local and nine international staff and budgets up to $88.4M. Recently, he was managing Technical and Field Program implementation of the USAID funded AECOM International Development Inc. SIKA-E project with US$ 177 million portfolio over the course of three years with 18 months base and 18 months option period and staff with a peak of 350 national and 13 expatriate.
With CoDe friends
With family and colleagues