Shakeel Ahmad Khan
Born in Ohio, Shakeel Ahmad Khan did most of his schooling there. Later on went to the northern Pakistan province of NWFP near the border with Afghanistan and lived in Dir (pronounced Dhir), Swat/Mingora, Batkhela, Chakdara/Malakand, Nowshehra, Mansehra, Timergara and Peshawar.
Shakeel Ahmad Khan attended numerous schools like Govt. Primary School Dir (Shagai), Govt. Middle School Dir Kas, FG Public High School at Batkhela, Sangota Public School in Swat, and two elementary schools in Ohio.
Colleges attended by Shakeel A. Khan were Govt. Degree College at Thana, Malakand Agency; Peshawar Public School, and College in Peshawar, Govt. Degree College Timergara in Dist. Dir (now Lower Dir) and Govt. College in Dir, Dist. Dir (now Upper Dir Dist.). Shakeel Khan graduated from Frontier Law College, Peshawar University in Peshawar. He completed his apprenticeship with the late ex Justice Peshawar High Court Salim Dil Khan Advocate at the Peshawar High Court and came back to the US to specialize in Intellectual Property Law with emphasis on Trademark and Copyright Laws. After completing courses in New York, Shakeel Ahmad Khan became interested in technology and decided to make that his career. Shakeel graduated with a degree in Information Technology from DeVry Institute of Technology and has worked in New York/New Jersey area before moving to where he lives today to the western coast of the USA.
When Shakeel came back to the US after many years he did not have any work experience to find a decent job. Not knowing anyone and relying completely upon himself, he started the barrage of odd jobs. He started by selling knives, picture frames and children story books, and then went onto selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door to door. Selling Kirby's was one of the most difficult jobs he had. Always having to lug around a heavy vacuum cleaner (no car) on the streets of New York (afraid someone might steal it from him) while demonstrating it to people who would let him into their houses, some of them even making him clean the whole house to prove it was a good vacuum only to end up not selling it,. Just to enter into peoples homes was hard he was a foreigner and looked "foreign." After giving that up along with a sore back, legs and no income (based on sales and commission), Shakeel then started working in Subway Salads & Sandwiches and later McDonald's and other fast food chains surviving on minimum wage. Then went on to waiting tables at better restaurants, better income but had to deal with snooty customers that could really get on your nerves. Shakeel Khan leaned a lot from the one always being served to being the one serving. That was an eye opening experience for him. That was OK but then school started and he had to balance work with school and being a waiter did not give him the flexibility he needed nor enough to survive on, so he started driving a taxi cab. Not owning a car of his own he had to learn how to drive, pass the tests and hit the streets of New York City as a member of the cabbie fraternity. Driving a cab was a more flexible job and he could work the night shift and weekends while attending classes during the day. Driving nights was a dangerous thing and was told by the many friends he made at the taxi garage not to drive during the night until he understood the business better. But taking the challenge on for what it was worth , made him witness to many incidents, some good and many bad. But then again...... danger and adventure were his middle names! In fact it was driving a taxi cab in New York that he met this helpful woman who offered him an internship. Shakeel worked there for almost a year and a half before for free before he received a job offer.
That was the past. Now Shakeel Ahmad Khan works as a consulting Advanced Services Networking Engineer with the Data Center Networking group of a global IT company and has worked with many large companies designing and optimizing their data centers. Because of his work he has been fortunate enough to travel the world.
The growing up between the different cultures and different peoples has groomed Shakeel into a much better person than he could have imagined. Shakeel Ahmad in many ways has become more accepting and understanding. Shakeel Khan has no problem looking at things from a different prospective and voicing his opinions about it. In fact he was an acclaimed debater on the national level in Pakistan winning in many competitions.
But constant change has had its effects. Always being the odd man out, Shakeel Ahmad Khan had a difficult time adjusting to the tribal life style of Pashtunwali or Pakhtunwali in Northern Pakistan, which made him rely on himself. Shakeel's views were different, his upbringing was different and his style was different. Shakeel saw the world, and experienced the American social life and grateful to it, held strong feelings for his experiences. If anything, Shakeel learned from growing up here was to always be true to himself. He tried explaining and removing the various misconceptions regarding America and to a certain degree was successful. Shakeel Ahmad's own mannerism helped a lot in this regard. Although you may find some saying he fit in the Pakhtun or Pashtoon culture like a glove, it was a strange relationship between accepting some customs and traditions, breaking from others while changing some. Shakeel Khan produced a challenge to those who had blind faith in everything from religion to customs and traditions. His outspokenness and nonconformity with the local customs and traditions, granted Shakeel Ahmad the title "LeVanay" roughly translated as "Maverick" among his elders and peers. His writings in various local English dailies may still be found.