The essay is an autoethnographic account of my relationship with Abdul Qayum, a long-time friend from Gilgit, northern Pakistan. The story conveys some of the many ways Qayum constitutes himself as a transcultural subject, as well as my own intimate involvement in his process of self-constitution. I present the narrative as a way to refute notions of “civilization identity” and the so-called “clash of civilizations,” which in the present context continue to nourish one-dimensional geographical imaginations and offer stereotyped portrayals of Islamic subjects and cultural forms.

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