The United States Institute of Peace mourns our friend and colleague Naqib Khpulwak, who was killed in the attack on the American University of Afghanistan on the night of Aug. 24-25. His death is a terrible loss. In addition to teaching at the university, Naqib was a cornerstone of USIP’s rule of law initiatives in Afghanistan. Since coming to USIP in July 2015, he brought unparalleled insight to our programming, and a true strategic vision for what we could, and should, accomplish in our mission as peacebuilders. 

Naqib collage
Photos courtesy of social media.

Naqib also was a scholar. A proud university graduate in Afghanistan, he received a Fulbright scholarship to study at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and was a visiting scholar at Stanford University Law School in Palo Alto, California. He was a leader in the Afghan legal community, and deeply dedicated to his students at the American University of Afghanistan. A voracious reader and lover of knowledge, Naqib was preparing to further his education at Oxford University, where he was shortly to begin further study.

Naqib helped manage USIP’s rule of law projects in Afghanistan, which included initiatives to strengthen the ability of civil society organizations to serve as observers in community courts and to analyze and advocate on constitutional issues. The work is part of USIP’s broader efforts to help address violent conflict by advancing the understanding and application of rule of law in Afghanistan and other countries, including Myanmar, Pakistan, Iraq, Tunisia, South Sudan and Colombia.

Naqib was a passionate builder of peace in Afghanistan. He thought tirelessly about how to rebuild his country after decades of war, and never ceased in his efforts to heal the many wounds that war has inflicted. He was dedicated not only to promoting rule of law, but also to contributing to all USIP programming and the community at American University of Afghanistan.

Finally and most importantly, Naqib was a son, a brother and a friend. Outside of work, he was an avid reader and fan of cricket, and greatly enjoyed spending time with his family.

The war in Afghanistan has now tragically claimed Naqib’s life and that of at least 12 others killed in the same attack at the American University of Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all their friends and family during this difficult time.

We are working to support Naqib’s family and our colleagues in Afghanistan, and to memorialize Naqib’s sacrifice. His loss represents the courage of USIP staff and their partners who work in some of the world’s most volatile regions to research and develop ways to resolve conflict without violence.

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