Interview with alum Basit Muhammadi
November 8, 2021
Basit Muhammadi, Class 2018
Please introduce yourself, for those who do not know you. Is there anything specific that comes to your mind when you think back to the two years that you spent at UWC Maastricht?
My name is Basit, and I come from Afghanistan. I graduated from UWC Maastricht in 2018. Looking back, I remember UWC as a place where I first formed my values and principles around climate justice, global security and human well-being. I was challenged to confront my own beliefs and have difficult yet necessary conversations with my friends around issues of structural inequality and race-related inequities. I also cherish my memory of UWC since it was a place where I made lifelong friends with whom I have remained in touch since my graduation.
What have you been up to since graduation?
After UWC, I went to Brown University in the United States. Here, I am studying Economics and International Relations. In my free time, I like reading interesting books. Recently, I read Still Alice by Lisa Genova whose exquisite writing makes her work an instant page-turner. I also really liked reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson who has been a role model for me. Stevenson’s book is an eye-opening read for anyone interested in the American criminal justice system. I also really enjoy traveling. I have been to several US cities, with San Diego being my favorite. I like writing as well. In the past, I have written a few analytical articles for Brown Political Review, a student-run magazine at Brown University. In these articles, I have focused on international security issues, especially as they relate to Afghanistan and the Middle East.
Can you take a moment to tell us what your life would be like if you had not gone to UWC?
Had I not gone to UWC, I would have never been able to meet the amazing people I met during my time in Maastricht. The UWC experience was an excellent opportunity for me to explore a wide array of cultures and traditions. I got to meet with students from all over the world, enabling me to understand a variety of worldviews and narratives. During my time in Maastricht, I learned how to empathize and connect with people who were different from me culturally, racially and religiously. UWC allowed me to develop a strong sense of integrity and respect for people, irrespective of how they looked and appeared. Finally, I would have missed out on the opportunity to get a quality education in the form of the IB curriculum.
How have you kept in touch with the UWC movement?
I have remained in frequent contact with my friends, teachers and other acquaintances from UWC Maastricht. In the future, I would love to be even more involved in the UWC movement and, if possible, help more Afghan students avail this opportunity. UWC was a very meaningful experience for me, so I would like to help other young people to learn about the movement as well.
In what ways do you think you live the UWC mission in your daily life?
In my personal daily life, I embody the UWC values by promoting international peace through my writing and publications. I have also become more climate-conscious because of the values I formed during my time in UWC.
You are now supporting the “UWC for Afghan Youth” fundraising appeal. Please tell us a little bit more about it and please add why other alumni should think of donating to this campaign.
UWC’s campaign to bring more Afghan students to its campuses is a welcome and laudable objective. Many Afghan students only need a shot at a better life. There is no other means as meaningful and impactful as offering them a quality education in a loving community. Afghanistan’s young students represent the country’s future. That future can only be bright and hopeful if we enable today’s students to thrive and excel in a safe educational environment. Because UWC is uniquely positioned to provide Afghan youth that safe educational environment, it is important that the international community actively supports the UWC campaign to provide more Afghan students scholarships to join a global community of future leaders.