Title and Organization:
Ali Khan Mahmudabad currently teaches political science and history at Ashoka University (India). He received his Mphil and PhD from the Univ. of Cambridge and before this he studied Arabic at the Univ. of Damascus in Syria and did a double BA (Hons) from Amherst College in America. Ali has been writing a column in Urdu for the national daily Inqilab in India for 11 years and has also been writing columns and editorials for various English newspapers and magazines. His first book was published by Oxford University Press in January 2020 entitled ‘Poetry of Belonging: Muslim Imaginings of India 1850-1950.’ In 2021, Penguin (India) published his translation of a novel- Aghaaz-e Sahar or The Break of Dawn-, which is set in 1857. Ali also spends time lecturing in schools, colleges and universities as well as advising policy think-tanks on a wide-range of subjects including political, religious and security related issues in South Asia as well as greater West Asia (the Middle East). He speaks and conducts research in a number of languages and has appeared on English, Hindi and Urdu television programs and radio shows. He is a member of the Samajwadi Party and was their national spokesperson during the 2019 national elections. Currently, Ali is spearheading a project to revive a post-graduate Madrassa in Lucknow which is more than 100 years old. He envisions the Madrassatul Waizeen becoming a knowledge hub to counter misinformation about Islam and also hopes to make it a centre for inter-faith dialogue. Ali is a trustee of the Sitapur Eye Hospital and is president of the Shoulder 2 Shoulder Foundation, which is a not for profit foundation set up in order to promote intra-faith as well as inter-faith harmony. He has spent the last 6 years working to preserve the cultural traditions of the town and region he is from and is running projects to digitise pre-modern manuscripts, preserve regional cuisine and document oral history.