Zaher Wahab was born and schooled in Afghanistan, received a BA in sociology from The American University of Beirut, an MA in comparative education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an MA in anthropology and a PhD in international development education from Stanford University.
Dr. Wahab was the first person in his family’s history to attend the village school, a boarding school in Kabul, and receive scholarships to attend college in Lebanon and the US. Thus far, Dr. Wahab is the only Afghan with a PhD from Stanford University.
Dr. Wahab designed and taught about 40 graduate and undergraduate courses at Lewis & Clark, ranging from educational anthropology to international political economy. Dr. Wahab planned and led college-sponsored overseas studies programs to Sweden, Japan, Portugal, South Korea, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, India, and China. He served as a Fulbright scholar in Egypt, Turkmenistan and twice in Kazakhstan.
Dr. Wahab served as senior advisor to the Minister of Higher Education in Afghanistan 2002-2006 and as a visiting researcher-professor in a masters degree program for teacher education faculty from Afghanistan’s 16 teacher training colleges 2007-2010. Between 2002 and 2012, he spent about four months annually in his home country, before returning to live and work there permanently.
Dr. Wahab has written and presented numerous papers at regional, national, and international forums on education, and he is a frequent speaker at educational, civic and media organizations. Professor Wahab has been “professor of the year” and profiled in the Stanford Magazine, Academe, The Portland Alliance, The Oregonian, The Lake Oswego Review and Lewis & Clark’s The Chronicle Magazine for his achievements and for his services in the U.S. and Afghanistan.
“We live in an extremely troubling time. The majority of humanity is plagued by sickening poverty, disease, illiteracy, oppression and terror, while the minorities enjoy obscenely opulent and self-indulgent lives. Misery, oppression (and/or repression) reign even in so-called civilized democracies. Militarism, corporatism, consumerism and corruption dominate societies, leading to predatory individualism, narcissism, nihilism, ecocide and wars. Mindless materialism and ‘progress’ have destabilized nations, ruptured communities and disturbed the natural order. Conventional education, politics, economics and culture are now part and perpetrators of the multiple crises we face. A new and different education could enable us to redirect, or arrest our collective march toward the abyss.”
Ph.D. 1972, M.A. 1972 Stanford University, M.A. 1968 Teachers College, Columbia University, B.A. 1965 American University of Beirut
From the Newsroom
After 40 years at Lewis & Clark, Professor of Education Zaher Wahab is retiring to work full-time in his home country of Afghanistan.
Professor Zaher Wahab recently sat on a panel to represent Afghan perspectives on war at the recent U.S. Social Forum in DetroitProfessor Zaher Wahab represented Afghan perspectives on war at the recent U.S. Social Forum in Detroit, offering eyewitness accounts and analysis of U.S. alternatives to war.
Just a few months ago, Lewis & Clark professor of education Zaher Wahab was asked to take on a nearly impossible assignment—come to Kabul immediately and work with the deputy minister of education to revise Afghanistan’s literacy plan.