Death of a Hero; Remembering Naqib
<h5>Girish Sreevatsan and Saamia Aslam
Staff Writer & Contributing Writer</h5>
Naqib Ahmad Khpulwak, an ODU graduate, was killed during the attack at the American University of Afghanistan. Khpulwak died a hero at the hands of the very thing he was working hard to defeat, terrorism, while he was doing what he strongly believed was a path to peace, education. On Aug. 24, when terrorists attacked the American University of Afghanistan, Naqib, alongside 12 others students were killed in the attack, along with multiple people within the university injured. Naqib was only 31.
At Nangarhar University in Afghanistan, he was the top student in law and political science in the Department of Administration and Diplomacy. When Ahmad graduated in 2008, his diploma was handed to him by former President Hamid Karzai. A year later, he earned a certificate as a registered defense lawyer with the country’s Ministry of Justice.
Naqib came to Old Dominion University in 2010 as a Fulbright scholar and received his master’s degree in comparative politics and security studies in 2012. His professors remember him as an exceptional student who was very hardworking and successful. Earlier, he had graduated at the top of his class both in high school and college. Naqib’s friends considered him to be a well-informed person who had a firm grasp over regional politics in Afghanistan. He loved to read and also enjoyed cricket.
At the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), where Naqib taught, he was known for his immense dedication. He was also famous for his a kindheartedness and for his constant attempts to try helping other who needed it the most. He was reportedly working with AUAF to establish a series of merit-based scholarships for talented students who were too poor to pay the fees. He had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and was preparing to go to Oxford University to continue his studies.
Since July 2015, Naqib also worked closely with the United States Institute of Peace. In an article, the USIP remembered his contributions saying he brought unparalleled insight and true strategic vision to help them understand what they could accomplish as peacebuilders. Naqib helped manage their rule of law projects in Afghanistan. Naqib was considered a leader in the Afghan legal community. Naqib was also a member of the Norwegian Refugee Council’s office, a international non-governmental organization that works with refugees and displaced people. He served as a team leader and directed other lawyers.
Naqib was highly passionate about building peace in Afghanistan. He thought tirelessly about ways to rebuild his country after decades of war, and never paused his efforts to revive the country from the devastation. His death is an enormous loss to AUAF, to Afghanistan and the whole world. However, his ideas and goals continue to live through the minds of his students. The seeds he has passionately sown in the minds of his students will one day grow and bear fruits of peace.