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Experiencing America: New Book by Fulbrighters

Experiencing America: Through the Eyes of Visiting Fulbright Scholars: Stories of Foreign Fulbrighters in the United States by Zeeshan-Ul-Hassan Usmani
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This year we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Fulbright Exchange Program. The Fulbrighter Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani and his partner Omer Idrees have just published "Experiencing America: Through the Eyes of Visiting Fulbright Scholars: Stories of Foreign Fulbrighters in the United States" which contains essays of Fulbright grantees from around the world.
Eric S. Howard, Executive Director of the Fulbright Academy of Science & Technology has written the introduction. The foreword was written by Harriet Mayor Fulbright, the President of the J. William & Harriet Fulbright Center, a non-profit organization which serves to advance the work of Ms. Fulbright’s late husband, Senator J. William Fulbright, and to continue her own lifework; more at her website.
The book includes the following essays: "New York - The Big Apple Seen From its Very Core" by Alessandra Seggi (Italy), "From Makerere to Stanford: The Experience of a Fulbright Scholar" by Winnie Tarinyeba (Uganda), "Five Definitions of America - My Fulbright Journey" by Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani (Pakistan), "From 'Criminal' to Fulbrighter: In the Land of Spartans" by Raymund Espinosa Narag (Philippines), "It’s Fun to Live Your Dream" by Marina Lukanina (Russia), "The Odyssey of a Fulbrighter" by Louis-Marie Ngamassi Tchouakeu (Cameroon), "Fulbright Experience of Love, Selfunderstanding and Selfemancipation" by Lynette J. Chua (Malaysia), "Get back to where you now belong" by Katja Ziehmayer (Austria) and "My Second Life" by Anouk Bachman (Netherlands)
PRESS RELEASE from the Publisher:

New Collection of Essays Examines Life, Culture from Foreign Points of View

MELBOURNE, Fla. - To help mark the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright Exchange Program, Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani and Omer Idrees announce the publication of their new book, Experiencing America: Through the Eyes of Visiting Fulbright Scholars - Stories of Foreign Fulbrighters in the United States (now available through AuthorHouse).

The book offers a rare perspective on this internationally known program and is comprised entirely of essays gathered from among the ranks of those who have come to the United States to study as Fulbright Scholars. Each author’s experiences and definitions give readers an image of America from a foreigner’s perspective. Scholars from Italy, Uganda, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Cameroon, Austria and the Netherlands have contributed essays.

“The book can give you so many interesting definitions of America, its people and culture (that) you have never heard of,” explains Usmani. For example, he points out that some of the “obvious” and acceptable things that pervade American culture can be offensive to people from other countries. Thus, the book’s overall theme is one of mutual understanding among nations and people.
“At the end, (everyone) loves peace, friendship and love, and life is all about our struggle to cope with different cultures, meanings, settings, people and places,” he explains. “To understand others is the key to living a peaceful life.”

Throughout the pages can be found the words of Usmani’s contemporaries. In “Five Definitions of America,” a student who came from a remote region of Pakistan describes the United States as “a new planet.” Even more profound, however, is how his perception changed during his stay. Primed by his hometown media to view America as “the land of prejudice,” he was reluctant to discard such sentiments right away. His story is a timely and insightful examination of the struggle between reality and perception, and how people and their culture combine to give an impression of an entire nation.

“The world is a collection of diverse cultures and people. We should not try to make them one. Instead, we should be open enough to accept them as they are,” says Usmani.
Usmani, 27, is a native of Pakistan. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in computer science at the Florida Institute of Technology, where his field of interest is swarm intelligence and complex systems. He was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship in 2004. Usmani is also the author of two more books, both of which are written in his native Urdu.

Contact: Tel: 1-571-265-1262, Email:

To buy the book at Amazon for 15$ or 13.50 € (current price), click on this direct link or this one


Atlantic Review on : At which American Universities do Fulbright Grantees Study and Teach?

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Buy at Kauf bei In July, the Atlantic Review recommended the new book Experiencing America: Through the Eyes of Visiting Fulbright Scholars. Don, an American living in London and a regular reader of the Atlantic Review, w


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Pinkerton on :

Congratulations on your 60th Anniversary of the Fulbright Exchange Program. After reading the resume of Harriet Mayor Fulbright, I was amazed at all she has done for children and education. Truly, an amazing woman!

Don on :

Interesting. My first thought upon reading this piece was "Palo Alto and New York City: what a broad slice of America. They're missing a lot!". On second thought that seems too harsh. I'm not sure how the Fulbright program works but I suspect that the Ivy Leagues and the better public and private universities in the US get the lion's share of the feed, which is a shame in a way because places like Princeton, Palo Alto, and Ann Arbor aren't very typical of the US. But then I considered the Fulbright scholars in light of the 'experiences' of a typical BBC 'US reporter': Washington DC cocktail parties, New York, and New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina - and not much else. Perhaps a little slumming for an amusing piece about a meal in a declasse US chain restaurant once in a while. Alistair Cooke they aren't, most of them. When one looks at it in that light the Fulbright experience (even at Princeton) looks far preferable. Were I to design a visiting scholars program to spread knowledge about the US I'd send most of the scholars to places more typical of where the average American goes to college. North Carolina - Greensboro rather than Chapel Hill, Michigan - Dearborn rather than Ann Arbor. Perhaps the University of Arkansas where Fulbright himself went to school (I think). They aren't as good a school but you're going to see a wider spectrum of Americans at those places. Republicans are running the country but you don't find very many Republicans in Princeton - and virtually none of the ones you do meet are cultural Republicans (as opposed to the economic variety). Another possibility are work-study internships - possibly including night school classes at urban universities. One meets the elite and the highly politicised at Columbia - but the real story is going on in night school at CCNY and NYU. Or at my alma mater Wisconsin - Milwaulkee.

David on :

" don't find very many Republicans in Princeton" Maybe there is a correlation with intellect?

Don on :

And maybe not. Once upon a time our grandfathers and great grandfathers made these kinds of statements about other groups. In the 1860s the Irish were generally regarded to be a stupid, superstitious bunch full of idle Popish cant. By 1910 the 'backward' group was Eastern European Jews. In the 40's many supposed that Black people were slow - now that has been disproven. Nevertheless the less-enlightened parts of the populace persevere in their illusions despite having been proven wrong. Repeatedly. The truly amazing thing is how much of this drivel comes out of Ivy League academic types. Take heart, gentlemen! You're only following the sterling example of your purblind forebears!

Pinkerton on :

David "Maybe there is a correlation with intellect?" Good one :D

Chicago Villan on :

I think this book is great. I hope I will be able to buy it in my country. Ander at [url=]learn how to jump higher[/url] guide.

joe on :

More insight from David. I was hoping you were going to address the intellect of Mr. Kerry.

David on :

Dear Joe, I am always happy to clear up the confusion.

Don on :

The confused leading the confused, David? ;)

Tom on :

As a comment I would like to say that German Fulbrighters are distributed equally among the many universities and colleges of the US. The budget is limited and therefore only one or two out of 140 actually end up in Princeton, Harvard, etc. Experience in " places more typical of where the average American goes to college" is an essential part of the German Fulbright Program.

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