Adil Khan is one of my closest friends. He was a Millionaire once, lost it all due to the stock market and other events, struggled quite hard for several years, and nothing worked for him. Then he chose to pull himself up by his bootstraps, went against all odds, and earned his Ph.D. on 6/29/21 on his 60th birthday. Congratulations, Adil, for your commitment; you are an exemplary role model.
Some of his friends walked away from him as if he did not exist. However, I believed in Adil, he did not give up. He is my friend for the last 37 years.
Adil surprised me with the quote from Steve Jobs on his profile, “Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” And this from Jobs, “I made a promise to myself: I said, ‘I’m not going to let this money ruin my life.” So, Jobs chose to pursue work throughout his career that ignited his passion instead of chasing paychecks. Indeed, these are the quotes that motivated me to come to Washington DC to establish the Center for Pluralism.
That is Adil, a genuine man who cares for others and not the money. He wrote on his site, “I am doing my best to plant the seed of education for the unprivileged. It will grow into a big tree, maybe not in my lifetime.” That is him, and that is me.
It reminds me of the wisdom from Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), who explained what a good deed was. Let me paraphrase it, “When you plant a sapling, and when it grows to be a tree and provides shade or fruit, you don’t know if you are the beneficiary, but you do it for others, as others have done for us before.”
He did not have much money at one time but went and bought medicine for his friend. When he sees a good deal, he knows which one of his friends needs it; he calls them, sends the coupon or the link. He is such a caring guy.
Goethe said the best on commitment. “Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.” And this is what drove Adil and me to achieve success in the pursuit of our happiness, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy… All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.… Whatever you can do or dream that you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
Yes, Adil is a motivational story, and he has a gold mine of educational tools that he is ready to mine. A philanthropist who does not care for the return on money but wants to change the world can do that with Adil. I wish I could join him, but I am passionately committed to opening people’s hearts and minds towards each other through the Center for Pluralism.
I asked, Adil, what was the motivation or inspiration for such a drastic change in life? Adil said that his life turned upside down when he lost his beloved daughter Zahra Khan in a short battle with cancer. His heart; his motivation, his mentor; his best friend was gone. While in high school, she made a foundation in her name, “ZKAAP Foundation – Zahra Khan Adopt a Patient Foundation.” She used to adopt cancer patients and be with them, encourage them, motivate them, and be there as their family, but who knew that she would become one of them one day. After her parting from this world, my wife and I continued her legacy. We rejuvenated our daughter’s foundation and are now doing the same tasks she used to do. We adopt terminally sick patients and their families and help them in whatever needs they have, financial, medical, moral, and everything else.
Besides the ZKAAP Foundation, Zahra used to tutor school children. Out of her legacy, he took that venture to educate the third world’s disadvantaged and needy students. In addition, he created a sister organization named Afro-American Services under Zahra Khan Foundation and is presently helping students from Africa and other parts of the world come to the United States for higher education.
Unfortunately, very few of the poor students could take advantage of his services due to higher education costs in the USA. So, when he realized that if they could not afford to come to the U.S., he decided to go to them. This enormous task could only be achieved by offering education online with the assimilation of Artificial Intelligence. Therefore, he is in the process of creating an accredited global online institution. This grand endeavor required training in the field of learning technology. He didn’t have that expertise and asked many scholars to help, but no one did. So he decided that he will get his Ph.D. himself.
Adil, added, “This Doctoral program at the University of North Texas, one of the top ten in the nation, encouraged me to pursue my daughter’s legacy and get trained in the area to help educate the underprivileged.”
He continues, “I have always believed that my commitment to serve humankind will take me there to improve people’s lives. Because of all the difficulties I have encountered and the opportunities I have been given, educating the deprived became my obvious choice.”
His words follow
The traumatizing, life-changing incidents that I have come across have led me to follow my goal no matter what stage of life. I want to be a guide to prevent things that I went through from happening to others; I should be a compassionate person to be involved in changing the lives of people in need; I must become a world-class educator because I care, and I will be the beacon of light in the darkness of illiteracy.
My efforts are changing the lives of people. A state-of-the-art, high-quality United States K-12 school starts in rural Punjab, Pakistan; an online K-12 school is developing. Many underprivileged but deserving students from Africa are already getting higher education in U.S. colleges with my help. I am developing an AI-based Digital Tutor to reach the students in remote areas of the world, where schools are scarce, but there is a yearning for education.
I am fueled by my desire to take hold of this great opportunity. Goethe inspires me, and his words are always echoing me: “Whatever you can do or dream that you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” My journey has just began
I am planting the seed of literacy now that would grow into a tree. Maybe not in my lifetime, and when I would be standing in front of Allah SWT on the day of judgment, I will ask Him, I did all this for your sake, to help your creations. As a reward, please let me join my daughter in Jannah.
Adil A. Khan
- Ph.D. Learning Technology 2021
- College of Information
- University of North Texas
- Ph.D. Research Concentration:
- Artificial Intelligence in Education, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Gamification, Teaching with Hologram, Smart Classroom
- Purpose of Doctorate: Educating the underprivileged with the same quality of education that only the rich can afford. Educating the masses using AI
- Dissertation Title: The Digital Tutor – An Educational Technology Marvel: A Futuristic Analysis of a Modern Intelligent Tutoring System using Soft System Methodology