My Fall 18 Skype Course for Emerson College Students


In the fall semester of 2018, Dr. Zia Ahmed, a dear friend, invited me to co-teach an undergraduate course on postcolonial studies.

He teaches at the Government Emerson College, a historical liberal arts and sciences college in Multan, Pakistan. I agreed to participate and my lectures were delivered in real-time through Skype. Considering the time difference, we arranged for me to come online at 11:00 pm every Thursday; this enabled Dr. Zia’s students to join the class at 9:00 am on their Friday. This was my first time offering something more than an occasional lecture.

While on my end not much coordination was needed, as I just used my office computer to deliver the lectures, Dr. Zia was instrumental in organizing things at his end. In the whole process, his colleagues and the college principal, Dr. Mohammad Salim, were exceptionally supportive of our venture.

I found Dr. Zia’s students to be exceptionally motivated, curious, and engaged throughout the semester. Not only did they display a deep desire to learn, they also asked me some really thought-provoking questions. I must admit that I enjoyed this weekly exchange so much that I anxiously waited for the Thursday evenings.

My weekly exchange also strengthened my belief that there is a huge desire to learn amongst Pakistani students and all they need is better resources and better access to knowledge. I am grateful to Dr. Zia and his students for sharing their time and thoughts with me.

I must also point out that teachers like Dr. Zia are pretty rare everywhere, but especially in Pakistan and thus should be honored and rewarded for their efforts for their students.

I am still in touch with Dr. Zia and hope to do this again for him and his students.

Leave a Reply

  1. Dear all:
    Thank you so much for taking the time in leaving your comments on this post. I am deeply grateful to all of you for your kind words and for participating in the exciting class organized by Dr. Zia. It is young people like you who always inspire me and give me hope for the future of Pakistan and the rest of the world. I hope to some day see all of you. Meanwhile, I wish you all the best of success in all your endeavors.

  2. Online lectures were very informative and interesting. Dr.Raja is very easy to communicate with and very interesting with real life examples of the course materials.I enjoy learning about this material and obviously it helped me alot to understand actually what post colonialism is.By attending your lectures i can say you are one of those people who never ever makes boring subject boring.Thankyou!
    Special thanks to Sir Zia who gave us this zealous activity and opportunity to experience first and we got much for sure.
    Dr.Raja and Dr.Zia both of you did great job I am happy and satisfied too.
    Stay blessed and keep going on

  3. Apart from lectures i wanna say something about ur personality..once u wore red shirt u were looking awsome.. I must say about ur smoking pipe its also a charm.. Ur way of delievring lecture is also nice.. Nw about lectures sir g we all are very grateful to u n sir zia also he took a gd initiative 4 us people.. U both are very sincere towards ur responsibility to make ur students able to understand and create n involve in these lectures.. I talked less in classroom so its a gd way to express all whatever i said.. N one more thing i got inspiration from Dr. zia he is jst a kind professor i’v ever seen in this clg ..God bless u both

  4. I am living proof that all your efforts were not in vain.Thank you for your precious time . We have met many teachers and truly Prof Dr Masood Raja and Prof Dr Zia Ahmad are outstanding . I am grateful to you for all the things that you taught us this semester. I enjoyed the talks we had in class. Thank you for understanding and always helping us . This semester was so great. I learned a lot of new things from you. You’re a good teacher because you explain things so well…Thank you Sir

  5. Dr.Raja you are the real mCcoy. Your lectures enabled me to think outside the box. I have learnt a lot of things from you. I thought only WHITE men subjugated and vanquished us.But not only White men our own people colonize us.Bonded labour is the example .post-colonization doesn’t mean colonization is over.IMF and World bank are modern tools to exploit the world.I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sincere efforts and great work you do.ACCEPTS OUR THANKS.Dr.Zia you may have no idea about how important role you play in students’ life. Classroom can’t rum without inspirational teachers like you.I’m so grateful you are my teacher. No one can beat your enthusiasm. It may seen difficult is think college students could be alive and attentive for 8am class.we attended lectures because you were excited to teach. SIR you do more than what is required of you as an instructor.

  6. Dr. Raja you are the real mccoy. Your lectures enable me to think out side the box.I thought only White people subjugated and vanquished us.But your lectures change my standpoint. I have learnt a lot of things from you. Post-colonization doesn’t mean colonization is over.Our own people also hegemonize us .Bonded labour is the example. IMF and world bank are modern colonial tools to exploit the world. Accepts our thanks.Thank you for the great work you do .Dr. Zia you may have no idea about how important role you play students’ life.I’m so grateful you are my teacher.Classroom can’t run without inspirational teachers like you .No one beat your enthusiasm. It may seen difficult to think college students could be alive and attentive for 8am class.we become enthusiastic because you were excited to teach. .I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.Dr Zia you do more than what is required of you as an insturctor.☺

  7. Dear Dr Zia,

    When I first saw you walk into our classroom, I saw the kind of person I was proud to call my teacher. Every day you came to class with a smile on your face and a kind word for all of your students. That means a lot. Your love of learning ignited our own curiosity and made learning much more fun! You taught us all to appreciate clarity of mind through proper writing form and how to pay attention to the bigger picture. You will never know how much your guidance has helped me, but I wanted you to know that you have made a big difference in my life.

     Thank you for creating such a great environment to learn and where we were encouraged to express our own thoughts and opinions.

     Any amount of thanks wouldn’t be enough… Therefore, I’m just passing you my wishes… My future is brighter because of you.

    • Dr. Zia is a great teacher and scholar and deserves recognition by his students and his institution.

  8. Dr Masood I wish I’d had a chance to say a proper thank you in person to you for being such a great teacher.

     Sir, you teaches us in a great way, making us capable of facing and solving challenges that come our way and also making us better human beings, you put a great effort to teach us and makes our future better.

     Ordinary teachers teach their students to be good human beings by asking them to read inspirational books. Great teachers like you teach their students to be good human beings by being an inspiration themselves.

    Dear teacher… we may not say this every day but your inspirational words are like beautiful footprints that have been etched in our hearts and minds forever. Thank you.

  9. When I first heard of this idea from our PROACTIVE Dr. Zia that he was going to arrange some online lectures for us with you straight from US, it blew me away.
    I mean the man never ceased to amaze me since the day he started teaching us, the efforts he made, and how diligently he worked for the department. He nearly brought TABDEELI, JO BAAT HAI.

    Then, you were introduced to us, glowy Dr. Raja, I must say. I personally liked how you related things to the context of Pakistani literature, history and personalities. Calm and easy in your answers, you really inspired us.
    I personally liked your hair and that red/maroon shirt as well..

    The most important thing is, you gave us your time without asking anything in return. Apart of your knowledge, I was really touched by this humbleness and dedication of yours towards us Pakistani students. THANK YOU FOR THAT!

    Lastly, I hope you’d never lose your this affection towards students of Pakistan, even if you don’t find them up to the mark. We need people like you and Dr. Zia as our mentors. STAY WITH US 🙂

  10. Attending your classes was always like taking a deep dive into an ocean full of knowledge and wisdom…It was a great experience!Thankyou so much Sir Zia and Sir Raja…

  11. Bundle of thanks dear sir Zia sb for online lectures from USA ..we have learn many more things from those lectures..once again thank you sir

  12. Thanks a lot sir for your precious time . We are very lucky to have such a great experience of postcolonial literature with you . You shared your views & experiences about post colonialism which are undoubtedly very informative. N definitely I would like to mention here that you gave the lectures (through Skype) without any cost & it’s your kindness so thank you so much . Sir I would like to request you to please carry on this online session with our juniors also so they may also learn from your experience. N lastly a biggggggg thanks to Dr.zia who made possible all that for us . Thank you so much to both of you Dr zia & Dr Raja n also thnx to our faculty….

  13. Dear sir Raja sb, thank you for energy you put into work that found its way into our brains some how, some way. It was sometime easy but when it was hard, you rarely allowed it show .. once again thank you so much sir Raja sb for giving us your precious time..

  14. Thank you so much Dr.Masood for making my experience in postcolonial wonderful! You are
    a great teacher and we’re really going to miss you. Thanks for making those lectures so much
    informative and for explaining the material so well. I would recommend those lectures for
    future classes, without a doubt.
    And how can i forget about our own Dr.Zia!He is one of the blessings of Allah upon us.We Love You Sir ❤

    • Thank you for your interest in my lectures; I will continue offering these for future students as well, as long as I have a willing partner like Dr. Zia.

  15. Thank you so much Sir. It was an amazing activity for us. Your lectures were interesting and engaging. You presented relevant information about post colonial literature. we really enjoyed and have great experience. I would also like to thank Dr Zia who arranged online class for us.

  16. We are really blessed to have professors like DR Zia and Sir Raja. I am sure our Juniors will also learn from them the way we gained knowledge.
    Thank you so much

  17. Learned professors Are the great Blessing from God, and v people are blessed Alhmdulilah in our academic career to have the teachers like Dr masood raja sb and Dr zia sb ,the multitalented personalities, I’m really thankfull to both of you for your guidance, Thank you ,stay blessed !

  18. Dr zia and Dr. Raja both are asset of students worldwide…we had a great experience with you sir…thank You for being with us..

  19. And Thank you so much Dr. Zia Ahmed sab for offering such a wonderful class and for all your attention and assistance.. Again thanks to Dr. Masood Raja & Dr. Zia Ahmed❤❤

  20. Thank you for everything this year…for being both a great teacher and a person. I have thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from being a student of yours. You are truly the most remarkable professor I have encountered in my academic journies! God bless you and your family.

  21. Its an honour for me that i am student of Dr Zia and its just because of him that we (students) got the opportunity to attend the lectures of a gem like Dr Masood Raja.

  22. Sir, It will be honour for us to receive lectures from you. We are grateful to you that you will teach us and also thanks to Sir Zia .we are really lucky that a professor like Dr.Zia Ahmed is teaching us.

  23. Passionate teachers are distinguished by their commitment to achievement of their students. Commitment is an essential element of successful teaching. Committed teachers are concerned with the development of their students and they profoundly struggle how to keep students’ learning. They cultivate students’ curiosity and interest in learning. Showing commitment to student learning can be an important factor in motivating students. A great teacher recognizes and endeavor to fulfill his responsibilities to his students. Dr Zia Ahmed no doubt in to say is very much pssionate and committed with his job and always dwell in seek of knowledge and try to find new ways for their student . Dr Ashraf Raja and Dr Zia Ahmed are doing a great job for the development of their students. A big salute for both .

  24. Doctor Masood Raja, a learned professor, is very much devoted for we students, and his special contributions, devotions to transform his knowledge and make us expert in developing critical thinking, problem solving skills, and collaborative learning skills must be praised. We are very grateful to you Dr Raja.

  25. Sir, It will be honour for us to receive lectures from you.We are grateful to you that you will teach us from your precious time.
    Thanks to Sir Zia who is working so hard for students.
    We are really lucky that a professor like Dr.Zia Ahmed is teaching us.
    I can openly say that in my acquaintance he is the only man who is a pure teacher.Teaching is his passion.I can also say that Dr. Zia is “education conscious” because he is the man who is worried about our future and education.

  26. Doctor Zia Ahmed, is really a real gem, he is very much beneficial for the students of Emerson College, I can say that, his sincerity and effort can bring revolution in The Emerson College Multan, as his personal efforts to motivate students in learning and academic achievement is bringing excellent results. These lectures through Skype are very usefull for learners.

  27. The participation of Dr. Raja in the previous semester 8 BS English course Postcolonial literature proved a big success in teaching and enlightening my students. The college authorities are obliged to Dr. Raja for his time and contribution. The students are feeling elated because of the international exposure they got out of it. The real time Skype lectures by Dr. Raja were possible not only because of my personal interest in such technologies but mainly because Dr. Raja sacrificed his leisure time for my students.

    The students specially loved the references discussion by Dr. Raja about the major theorists of the Postcolonial studies like Ngugi, Fanon, Bhabha etc and also when Dr. Raja inter-related the Urdu and Persian Literature of South Asia. The QA session was another golden opportunity for the students to discuss the issues related to their studies.

    The faculty, like Dr. Adnan and Dr. Athar Munir and Prof. Altaf Qamar regularly interacted with Dr. Raja during Skype sessions and interestingly the professors of Linguistics started to develop interest in postcolonial literature because Dr. Raja made it so convincing with his knowledge and skills.

    Dr. Raja is an asset in the field of postcolonial literatures and carries loads of bags of such discussions and can talk for hours on Postcolonial studies. I wish I could teach, Work, and Research with him in every semester of my students in Pakistan or his students in USA.

    I was overjoyed when internationally renowned Professors like Prof. Dr. Amritjit Singh and Prof. Dr. Farida Nor, hailed as a big success in the area of global sharing of knowledge.
    I hope my future students will benefit a lot from Dr. Raja. I must say, HATS OFF for Dr. Raja.
    For me, personally besides academic benefits, It was a dream come true.

    • Dr. Zia: it was a pleasure to interact with your students. Thank you so much for making this possible. Let us work together again!