Gentrain Society.

The Gentrain Society is a volunteer auxiliary of Monterey Peninsula College

Note from the President

Oregon Shakespeare FestivalFINALLY!!

We are thrilled to announce that the beloved Gentrain trip to Ashland, is ON AGAIN!!

Join the Gentrain Society and Dr. Alan Haffa, Director of Gentrain, as we visit Ashland, Oregon, for the annual Shakespeare Festival, July 2 through 7, 2024Click here for details.


To me, the most puzzling fact about internet, phone, and both email and paper mail fraud, is how frequently I hear and know of it. In my last note, I wrote I would share with you what I consider the most insidious fraud  that “tricked” me, and I am pretty savvy about suspicious communications. My husband helps me, and my son works at Microsoft for heaven’s sake, but I am a trusting soul, so here’s how I was “caught”.

A Costco page appeared in my email and it advertised a special offer on iPhones. I have an executive membership, and they have my credit card, so I was not surprised to receive a special offer. They had my email address, so I decided getting a new iPhone for $99 was a reward for all my spending. I clicked on the tab and entered personal information. Then the response for payment came back and it wasn’t $99. I became suspicious. I decided to call Costco and ask about this offering. The agent said it was fraudulent. I quickly went back to the pay page and cancelled my order. I then received a reply that my credit card would be charged for the tax, $6.19, but they cancelled the order. I was relieved and grateful I had used my common sense. Then I carefully looked at the original email address and saw a strange combination of letters and numbers. I used that address and found a beauty supply company. This kind of scam surprised me. So, under the false sale of an iPhone, I uncovered the real benefactor, and I did not report it, although the Federal Communications Commission wants us to report these scams. I consider myself lucky, and watchful. I never open an email if I don’t recognize a legitimate address. You can find a lot of examples of fraud in your spam folder. I still get emails about “pictures” of my brother and he’s been dead for two years. Another note:  if a robo call on your phone asks for your name, don’t say “yes”. That yes can be transferred to a false order for a product. I’m looking for a speaker for Gentrain to address these issues, and Legal Aid for Seniors may have suggestions. I’ll keep you posted. Trust your family members to help you and stay sm

Who We Are

The Society was formed in 1983 to help financially support the Gentrain Program at Monterey Peninsula College. The dues of $35 per person and $50 per couple, are paid annually and assist the Society to provide programs which include: a special lecture given on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month (free of charge), field trips and special events, and a scholarship fund. The Gentrain Society lends its support to the Gentrain Courses given in four-week, two-hour units on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:45 to 10:50 AM

What We Do

The Gentrain Society is a non-profit organization established as volunteer auxiliary of Monterey Peninsula College. It

Upcoming Events

Aquaculture to the Rescue

Aquaculture is increasingly being used for conservation purposes throughout California and beyond. Once only considered for food production, aquaculture is now recognized as a viable

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Join the Society

Enjoy all the benefits of membership in the Gentrain Society. Join Today!

Travel & Study

Special Events

Sample some local and regional cultural events or spend a few hours socializing with other Gentrainers. We make all the arrangements; you enjoy.


What has made western civilization what it is today? What critical ideas shaped our world? Let our Gentrain faculty lead you on a journey of discovery.


Did you ever want to read a book you have heard about, but never tracked down a copy? Or explore a topic in depth, but did not know where to start? Books, CDs, and other resources, all selected by our faculty to augment class discussions, are at your fingertips in the Gentrain Library.


Special Events

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Najm Akbar

I am Muhammad Najm Akbar. Call me Najm.
Born in Multan, Pakistan, I had my initial education there.
In the United States, I have graduated twice from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, MA 1995 and MALD, 2011, and have a graduate degree in History from Fresno State, 2022. Middlebury awarded me an MA in Teaching of Foreign Language, in 2009.

Alia and I have lived In Monterey since 2005. Our children are married and engaged in their professional lives in New York.

Our biggest delight is our two granddaughters, the eldest turns four soon, and the youngest is about a year and a half old.

I remained part of the Pakistan Foreign Service for two decades and at the Defense Language Institute taught Urdu for thirteen years until 2018.

I joined the MPC pool of adjunct history instructors in 2022 and have taught courses in Gentrain, World History, US History, and History of World Religions. 

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