When I picture a snapshot of Maktab in my head, I see some students sitting under a tree with their lunch boxes chatting about their passions ranging from robotics to painting to physics to literature to entrepreneurship. They have different physical abilities but all love sports. They are actively involved in Maktab’s Community Initiative, an outreach programme that teaches computer programming to the children from the neighbouring villages. There are kids painting in the fruit orchard, some children are working on a mechanics experiment in the science lab, two students are discussing a problem in Diophantine theory, some student is in the music room experimenting with the tabla. A group of students have a technology start-up and are trying to convince their friends and family to invest in their amazing new company. There are some children lazily lounging about in the library browsing books. There is real camaraderie between the students. They understand that they are at a truly exceptional place. Fifty years later when they are grandparents, they will come back from all over the world to meet their closest friends and for a few moments to reminisce about the amazing years that they spent at Maktab. These grandparents are certainly still far from retiring; they are just taking a breather at Maktab, before they go off on their next journey to change the world for the better.
Dr. Irfan Chaudhary