Professor Ashiqali is a strong believer in giving back to the community. “There must be a good balance between work and the life outside of work,” says Professor Ashiqali. With that Dr. Ashiqali has always strived to join organizations that help him to achieve these goals.

Currently, Dr. Ashiqali is a Board Member for Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), Fundraising Committee for Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), and a volunteer for Youth Engagement, Education, and Sports for the Ismaili Center in Glenview and Chicago.

Get to know more about Professor Ashiqali!

What are your hobbies outside of work?

“I enjoy traveling to rural areas and learning about the ways people live in different societies and environments. I appreciate the openness to learning about people from all walks of life.”

“I’m also an active member of a band as a lead drummer and a percussionist for over 20 years. I’m a member of a volleyball team and am a coach and a trainer for the women’s throwball team in Midwest. I’m also the national head referee for the USA Throwball Association. I also like swimming, football, biking, boating/kayaking, rafting, and hiking.”

Who is someone who inspires you in life?

“If there is one leader, one selfless individual that inspires me the most, and the one that drives me the most, it is the Aga Khan IV, the founder and chairman of The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). He has lived his entire life building pluralistic communities across the world for the well-being of humanity and quality of life is at the top of the list of priorities. I have witnessed his work to improve the lives of those that need it the most. Building infrastructures in cities with resources that would help current and many future generations to come. I am committed to education and supporting educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. We should all strive to educate ourselves and others so we could help multiple generations of the future.”

What is a motto that you live by?

“’If it’s to be, it’s up to me.’ I’ve got to want it bad enough for me to manifest it to the universe to make it happen. Another is, ‘We’re all in this together.’ We must think of ourselves as one team (of humanity) that is working to make ends meet. Let’s work on this together. Let’s support each other in the process and on this journey.”

If you could recommend one book to your students, what would it be?

“The Way of the Wizard by Deepak Chopra. I read this book almost 20 years ago and still refer to it about the way we see the events in our lives and how each event prepares us for what’s coming next. Also, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. We all have a purpose, and we shouldn’t lose sign of that. Have you ever wondered what we’re all doing here? This book has helped me, among so many other books, to continue to keep focus on this aspect of our lives. As in, what is our purpose?”

If you could have lunch with any historical figure, who would it be?

“Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was the founder of my country, Pakistan. He advocated for Hindu-Muslim unity in the early 1900s to help Indians and Pakistanis become free from being ruled by England. It would be fascinating to learn from Jinnah what his strategies were given his position. Why and how he decided to take the necessary steps at the right time to move these pieces to come to fruition. To have a voice in congress, especially during those times, would’ve been a difficult task to accomplish. Gaining the trust, helping them to realize, and signing agreements were some amazing feats. Now that would be an interesting lunch with such a great leader.”