Short profile of Zubair Torwali

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Zubair Torwali is the co-founder and executive director at IBT, a nonprofit advocacy and research organization in Swat Pakistan. He attended the University of Peshawar, Peshawar and studied English literature and language and then joined a number of institutes to study linguistics and anthropology. He has published widely in various areas of linguistics, language revitalization, peace and security issues, cultural studies, education and literacy.  He has a particular interest in anthropology and linguistics. His prior books include Torwali Alif Be Te (2007), Muffled Voices: Longing for a Pluralist and Peaceful Pakistan (2015), Last Vestiges of Torwali Culture (2015), Surbuland (2021 as editor) and Torwali English Dictionary for Students (2023). He has led a team of researchers and writers to prepare course books in Torwali, produced dictionaries and folkloristic books of Torwali. He has also translated Torwali poetry into Urdu and English. He has been invited as a speaker to various international and national venues related to endangered language revitalization, language policies and culture.  He has contributed chapters to a number of books including Routledge book Teaching Writing to Indigenous Languages (2019), Poems on the Edge of Extinction: An Anthology of Poetry in Endangered Languages (2021), Reforming School Education in Pakistan: The Language Dilemma (2021) Sustainable Development in a Digital Society (2021), Brill’s book Teaching and Learning Resources for Endangered Languages (2023), Beyond the Mountains: Social and Political Imaginaries in Gilgit-Baltistan (2023). He has been contributing articles to The News International, Dawn, The Friday Times, The Express Tribune, the Criterion Quarterly in Pakistan. He has also been contributing to various international journals and magazines like Aeon, Culturico and others.

Zubair is fellow of Japan’s Asian Leadership Fellow Program (2013), Lead Pakistan Fellow (2008), Acumen Pakistan Fellow (2017), Malala Fund Education Champion for Pakistan (since 2017), Global Leader for Young Children (2023) by World Forum Foundation.

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