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Tibet and the Himalayan Communities

Date: Saturday, March 25, 2023
Time: 2:30 pm (New Delhi). 2:45 pm (Kathmandu). 10:00 am (Zurich)

The Himalayas and the edge of the Tibetan plateau stretches from Gilgit-Baltistan in the west to Arunachal Pradesh in the east. The ties between the Tibetan and other communities inhabiting this region are ancient as many of these communities share a common history, religious heritage, culture and ecology. Caravan routes facilitated the movement of goods and people across this vast region. How did Tibet and the Tibetan civilization contribute to Himalayan culture? What were historical, socio-cultural and economic ties and interactions amongst the Tibetan, Ladakhi, Nepalese Newari and other ethnic groups? Who are the Lhasa Khaches (Muslims) and Tibetan Newars? Tibet and the Himalayan Communities will cover both a macro view of Tibet’s ties with some of the Himalayan communities as well as personal stories of shared ties spanning several generations.


Dr. Siddiq Wahid
Historian/Expert on Tibet’s Relations with the Himalayas 
Sayeed Ahmed Baba
Founder of
Tashi Shakya
Representative, Tibetan Newar Community, Kathmandu, Nepal


Sakina Batt
Host, Freedom Hour, AFI

Streaming Link:


Dr Siddiq Wahid

Dr. Siddiq Wahid is a historian and native of Ladakh. He is currently a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) in New Delhi; an Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) in Delhi; and former vice chancellor, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Kashmir. He has taught in the United States and India, and has lectured widely in South Asia, Europe and the United States in his field of study. He received his PhD in the field of Inner Asian and Altaic Studies at Harvard University where he specialized in Tibetan and Central Asian political History. He has published widely in his fields of interest in India and the United States. Dr. Wahid has taught Central Asian Studies and Comparative Literature at Harvard University and at Metropolitan University in London. He has authored a book on Ladakh, and articles on Central Asia and Tibetan Civilization.

Sayeed Ahmed Baba

Sayeed Ahmed Baba is a retired IAS officer and currently serves as the Chairperson of the West Bengal Administrative Tribunal in Kolkata. He also served as India’s Consul General in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and held other Government of India positions. Sayeed’s parents migrated from Lhasa in 1960 and settled down in Kalimpong and Darjeeling. His eldest brother, Abdullah, worked for many years in the Central Tibetan Administration. His mother ran a shop in the Barkhor area of Lhasa and his father was a leader of the Tibetan muslim community in Lhasa. Sayeed started and manages a web portal which archives materials on the Tibetan Muslim community in Tibet. Sayeed has a Masters from the University of Delhi and a M.Phil from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). 

Tashi Dolma Shakya

Tashi Dolma Shakya is a Nepali woman of Tibetan and Newar heritage born in Kathmandu. She attended high school at the Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamsala, India. After completing her studies, she went on to pursue her undergraduate education at Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi, India, where she obtained a B.A. in English Honors. She later moved to New York City, where she earned a B.A. Program in Liberal Arts and a Masters in International Affairs from The New School in New York. Tashi’s professional career spans various fields, including journalism, education, development, and international affairs. She worked as a sub-editor and reporter for The Kathmandu Post from August 2000 to December 2002, before moving to New York. She returned to Nepal in 2016 and currently teaches at IBDP – Ullens School in Kathmandu. Tashi’s husband and maternal grandfather are Newars.

Sakina Batt

Sakina Batt is a producer at Meeting Point, a leading audio visual production house and buying agency in Nepal. She directs promotional videos, does voice overs, writes scripts and copywriting for the videos in Meeting Point. Sakina worked for Tibet TV at the Central Tibetan Administration in India for four years (2017-2021) where she served as a news presenter and an interview host. She also made short documentaries for the channel, wrote scripts, conducted research, edited videos and anchored the show In Conversation with Tibet TV. Sakina has a Masters in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and a bachelors from Delhi University.