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Summary of Syed Mafiz Kamal

Syed Mafiz Kamal (fondly known as Onik) is an international public policy enthusiast and a foreign affairs wonk. He is currently the Managing Editor of South Asia Journal. Formerly Syed has worked extensively with the UN system in various capacities; namely at the United Nations Global Compact (with the Business For Peace platform), the Office of Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations, the TEDxUNPlaza and Friendship Ambassadors Foundation (as the leader organizer of Youth Assembly at United Nations along with youth policy advocacy at the UN). Outside the UN sphere, Syed has been a researcher at US State Dept. supported Joint Research Project in Iraq of New York University & University of Duhok, a research assistant at NYU and at Economic Transformations Group. Syed is the founder of Arts For Peace, an organization aimed to integrate war-affected youth in Sierra Leone. Syed completed his education from New York University, Earlham College, United World College in Hong Kong, Mayo College in India and early education in Bangladesh. Additionally, Syed has worked and volunteered in Vietnam, China, Jordan, Thailand and Spain. Syed is a Davis Scholar, StartingBloc Fellow and Peter Birge Scholar. He speaks 6 languages. In his spare time Syed likes to listen to TEDTalks, paint and play soccer.

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Youth in Iraq: from risk to opportunity in spillover of Syrian War


A focus on refugee integration         The manifestation of the Syrian conflict has three major elements: a humanitarian crisis, an unending civil war, and an existential threat from ISIL. It would be myopic to think that the three are not interlinked. While weighing on policy interventions, our view needs to remain pragmatic to this quagmire. One effective approach is to focus …Read more »

My Mother’s Interview on her Leadership in Women Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh


My mother Kohinoor Kamal, is an inspiration for me and my family. She has helped us 3 brother in many ways. And she has helped me to better myself by realizing my flaws while making me understand that no matter what I do I will always be an imperfect being.  She is not just an inspiring women to me. She …Read more »

“Denouncing feminism” is far different from “I am not a feminist” – Contributed by Samira Sadeque


  Following is a blog contribution by Samira Sadeque. Samira is an internationally educated journalist, who often writes on critical issues. Disclaimer: The posts are solely the thoughts and perspectives of Samira Sadeque and by no means reflect my personal views. Click to view Samira’s personal blog (Pretty sure I’ll lose some friends after this but) No, I still don’t …Read more »

Giving thanks for America’s veterans – Contributed by Subroto Mitro

veteran's day

Following are the blog contributions by Subroto Mitro. Subroto Mitro is a very highly experienced senior and a mentor to me. They are precious thoughts and stories to be treasured with personal emotional touch. This post is a letter in form of a poetry on 2014 Veteran’s Day in America, sent to high-level US public officials including Speaker of the …Read more »

India 2020: The Political-Economy, Foreign Affairs & Internal Development of a rising power

The famous India Gate in Delhi.

India is growing at a global stage, both as an economic actor and a strategic decision maker. Foreign policymakers outside India and policy wonks within India are increasingly intrigued by the dynamism that India’s political economy manifests. The notion of an “Asian Century”, and subsequently an “Indian Century”, may be ever more visible. This analysis explores the good and the …Read more »

Personal Reflections on Jane Mayer’s Book “The Dark Side”


After I read Jane Mayer’s nuanced book “the Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals”, when it came out in 2008/2009, I was like “okaaay”! But I thought it was another piece contributing to the wave of the political discourse in American policy during the times. With various aspect …Read more »

Tax Evasion Is A Planetary Emergency


Why Is Tax Evasion An Issue? Dodging taxes has been a major problem around the globe especially because countries are increasingly piling up debt and many countries are going into budget deficit. In developed world nations, such as the US, “tax loopholes” are often pointed to for the reason of many financial imbalances. It doesn’t take an policy analyst to …Read more »

IMPEDIMENTS AND POTENTIAL OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE: Constructing a viable Global Trade Regime for the Future

Globe Flags White

Hereby in this post, I will discuss the advantages and the difficulties that the international trade regime faces. It will analyze the existing conversations on how the international trade regime should be shaped. It analyzes that international trade has neither been free nor fair. Thereafter, it argues that international trade will attain its full potential only when it is truly …Read more »

Looking back: A Bangladeshi finding peace in the post-war Sierra Leone

Bangladeshi Peace Keeping Troops

The 10-year rebel war in the West African nation of Sierra Leone, started in 1991, caught the eyes of the international community in 2000 when the intensity of the atrocities were thoroughly covered because the war reached the capital city of Freetown. The UN deployed a peacekeeping mission in 1999 to maintain oversight of stability until a peace breaks out …Read more »

What is “Change the World” – Contributed by Rida Mawla


Disclaimer: This post is written by Rida Mawla. It by no means reflects the opinion of Syed Mafiz Kamal “Onik”, the domain holder of this blog. In this post Rida provides a critical observation on the notion of “changing the world”. It’s a short note but a thought-leaving read. Bio of Contributor: Rida (fondly known as Bilal by many) is …Read more »

OPCW rightly awarded Nobel Peace Prize and Malala didn’t get it – Contributed by Sameer Kanal

Dr. Francis Crick's Nobel Prize Medal on Heritage Auctions

Disclaimer: This post is reflection comment by Sameer Kanal. It may or may not reflect the opinion of Syed Mafiz Kamal “Onik”, the domain holder of this blog. In this post Sameer addresses various cries in wake of granting the 2013 Nobel Peace Price to “Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons” and not to Pakistani teenager and universal education advocate …Read more »

Affordable Health Care Act aka Obamacare and US Government Shutdown saga – Contributed by Kyle William


Disclaimer: This post is reflection comment by Kyle William. It may or may not reflect the opinion of Syed Mafiz Kamal “Onik”, the domain holder of this blog. In this post Kyle provides a personal reflection after the end of partial-government  in America . It’s a short note but underlines his honest frustration. Bio of Contributor: Kyle is a graduate …Read more »

LPC UWC and UWC at-large: A journey, An Experience, A Subtle Idealism.

Me with my LPC UWC friends on a "block trip" to Lantau Island in Hong Kong

Those unfamiliar with United World College (UWC) movement, may wish to refer to the following for a better context of reading this post: UWC Wiki Page, Official UWC Site, LPCUWC Wiki Page & Official LPUWC Site. United World College (UWC), a global movement, to connect youth through leadership and cross-cultural understanding has been prevalent for past five decades. What started …Read more »

Reflection on Youth Generational Effect of the Syrian War – Contributed by Rida Mawla

A Syrian youth from the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain reacts in front of the border fence near Turkish soldiers in a military vehicle at the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar

Disclaimer: This post is written by Rida Mawla. It by no means reflects the opinion of Syed Mafiz Kamal “Onik”, the domain holder of this blog. In this post Rida provides a personal, insightful and nostalgic reflection of the effect of politics and war on youth in Middle East. It’s a short note but a thought-leaving read. Bio of Contributor: …Read more »

The “2%” Impact of India’s Companies Bill: “Creative Capitalism” for Development


The contextual brief of the Companies Bill The Indian government has been working on a reform bill to enhance corporate accountability and foster investment for over 10 years. The Bill is called “Companies Bill”. In recent years, the Companies Bill has been unable to pass Indian Parliament in 2008 and in 2009. Finally in 2011 the Indian Corporate Affairs Minister …Read more »

What does an increasingly market-democratized Myanmar mean for Bangladesh?

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with President Thein Sein of Burma at the Burma Parliament Building in Rangoon, Burma

With constant eruptions of the “Rohingya Problem” in Bangladeshi public discourse, it is easy to lose sight of an increasingly liberal and an increasingly democratic Myanmar. Myanmar, our next door neighbor, has been an intriguing case in international affairs, not just in the neighborhood but in the world community. In the recent past, we have seen American President Barak Obama …Read more »

Obama: Disregard “Pivot to Asia”


  Let’s revisit some old school “high politics”, take another look at the world map and ask ourselves: what is Obama’s foreign policy doctrine? In other words, what is the next 10-year signature foreign policy grand strategy of America? After more than a decade long grand strategy based in Middle East, engulfing Afghanistan, the strategists in Washington are ready to …Read more »

StatingBloc Fellows’ Profile: 2013 New York Institute


Check out me & my fellow StartingBloc Fellows Profiles. Quite Awesome. Humbled to be among such fascinating young people & social innovators. For more info on StartingBloc, visit their website www.startingbloc.org NY ’13 Candidates Bios 6.3.13 from Lora_Stoyanova

Broken “Breaking News”, RIP journalism: case USA, alert Bangladesh


Living in America, it is easy to forget what wire news is like. Now so, more than ever before! Well, information and news have exponentially proliferated but our news sources are shrinking. What am I getting into? It is apparent that majority of the people in America rely on information from one to three sources. Should that be a problem? …Read more »

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