Rita Cosby interviews The American International School System Founder Dr. Munr Kazmir on Friday, September 23, 2011 on WOR News Talk Radio about teaching American values and democracy in Lahore, Pakistan.
Rita Cosby: What is even more important, and I think even more heroic, out of what our next guest is doing, I want to bring in Doctor Munr Kazmir. He is the CEO and founder of I think one of the most incredible and important projects out there. It’s called the American International School System and it is a school breathing democracy and freedom – those important and powerful messages and guess where it is? In the heart of Pakistan. And joining us now is Doctor Kazmir. What a pleasure to have you on, sir.
Dr. Kazmir: Likewise, Rita.
Rita Cosby: How did you come up with this idea? I think it is so important especially as we hear the words of Mike Mullen talking about terrorism and maybe inter-relationships with the ISI behind maybe some attacks. Having an American school in Pakistan is courageous and I think so important Doctor Kazmir.
Dr. Kazmir: After 9/11 we came up with an idea to build relationships between children to children. And, that’s why we started the American school in 2007. And we have had another successful great year – thank God. We are growing an eighth grade. Our school will be starting an eighth grade and starting next year a high school. We have new students and so many new faces and I tell you that we are doing an amazing job: getting a scholarship to the children of law enforcement and the media and the poor children. And, we have a – through education, especially early education, we take children from the age of three or four and we teach them what America is all about and an American education and teach with American teachers. So it’s an amazing job we are doing. We have a plan to build the school housing for the American teachers. This year we will also be adding two hundred and seventy new students and building a boarding for the new students. Our high school can hold up to twelve hundred kids. And, this is important because we need to build a strong relationship between our two nations – children to children. And that is what we are focusing on. I agree with Mike Mullen because on one hand this is unfortunately what’s happening. But we continue to grow and educating their children and give them an American education and American values.
Rita Cosby: Well that’s what I was wondering Doctor Kazmir, do you think that you can sort of break the cycle by doing that especially starting at the younger and showing them there is this great way called democracy. And terrorism, poverty, those things are not the way to go. Having an education and having hope…
Dr. Kazmir: You know Rita, when you take kids three or four years old, and the youngest kids in the family, you teach them what America is all about – democracy, equal rights, opportunity, he is going to tell his family, brothers and sisters, parents and other family, and tell them American values – I think that is where we can start. And, we are doing an amazing job and I tell you, I thank all the listeners who helped us to build the library. We have a great library where we put American books and computers and all the modern technology. So we are doing this and I think it’s day-by-day but we are making a difference.
Rita Cosby: And, by the way, you have been honored by many people across the country. I know that Governor Chris Christie’s recognized your work. Representative Carolyn Maloney in New York. So many others have given you a lot of accolades. Why do you think, as an American, it’s important to do this? You obviously have such a passion and you such a devotion to this country. Why did you think it was critical?
Dr. Kazmir: Through education and what you’re mentioning all this happening because if we teach the child through early age, he understands what America is all about. And that is what we need. So I think we have – you know we spend a lot of money on universities and at colleges but we are not really focusing on the early education.
Rita Cosby: Where do you get the funds and how tough is it set to get this. Do people recognize the importance?
Dr. Kazmir: Well, some people they do. And, I am funding this one and we have a lot of friends from around the world, especially from the United States and they’re helping us by contributing through our foundation – AISSFoundation.org. They go and contribute. And through that we are making a difference. We have a lot of American teachers. We have a young man from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Missouri and Michigan and they traveled and they are making a difference teaching young Muslim children. And, I think if you called a hero it’s the young American at twenty-two, twenty-four or twenty-five years old they are teaching Muslim children day-by-day and making a difference. And our impact is not only in Lahore – we have a school in Lahore but we are beyond Lahore. We bring the teachers from all over the country to teach them and now they can go back and give the lecture to their classroom. And so the American School is doing amazing stuff.
Rita Cosby: Well you’re doing amazing stuff and I hope you inspire other people who are listening out there because it shows that one person can make a huge difference and you being in the heart of Pakistan with an incredible school called the American International School System. I really applaud you Doctor Kazmir and it’s great to have you on.
Dr. Kazmir: Likewise, Rita but it’s everybody. If I would say it’s a school and I am just a person, it’s about America. It does not belong to me – it’s America’s school so it’s everybody that’s a partner here. So please if you have – go to AISSFoundation.org.
Rita Cosby: OK so it’s AISS – as in American International School System – AISSFoundation.org to get more information about this amazing school which is making a huge difference in the heart of Pakistan – pushing for democracy, peace and, American values. Congratulations in all you do. Hope to have you back on again, sir.
Dr. Kazmir: Thank you; I look forward, Thank you, bye-bye.
Rita Cosby: And, everybody we will be right back. What an amazing person and I think really a message of making a difference.