Monday, September 2, 2019

A00113 - Fariduddin Ganjshakar, Punjabi Sunni Muslim Preacher and Mystic

Ganjshakar, Fariduddin
Farid al-Din Mas'ud Ganj-i-Shaka (b.c. April 4, 1179, Kothewal, Multan, Punjab, Ghurid Sultanate (present day Pakistan) - d. May 7, 1266 [5 Muharram 665 AH], Pakpattan, Punjab, Delhi Sultanate (present day Pakistan)) was a 12th-century Punjabi Sunni Muslim preacher and mystic who went on to become one of the most revered and distinguished Muslim mystics of the Golden Age of Islam.  He is known reverentially as Baba Farid or Shaikh Farid by Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus of the Punjab Region, or simply as Fariduddin Ganjshakar.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

A00112 - Fariduddin Masud, Revered Punjabi Sunni Muslim Mystic

Farīd al-Dīn Masʿūd Ganj-i-Shakar (b, c. April 4, 1179, Kothewal, MultanPunjabGhurid Sultanate (present-day Pakistan) – d. May 7, 1266 [5 Muharram, 665 AH], PakpattanPunjabDelhi Sultanate (present-day Pakistan)) was a 12th-century Punjabi Sunni Muslim preacher and mystic.who went on to become "one of the most revered and distinguished ... Muslim mystics" of the medieval period. He is known reverentially as Bābā Farīd or Shaikh Farīd by MuslimsSikhs and Hindus of the Punjab Region, or simply as Farīduddīn Ganjshakar.
Fariduddin Masud was a great Sufi master who was born in 1179 at a village called Kothewal, 10 km from Multan in the Punjab region of what is now Pakistan, to Jamāl-ud-dīn Suleimān and Maryam Bībī (Qarsum Bībī), daughter of Sheikh Wajīh-ud-dīn Khojendī. He was a Sunni Muslim and was one of the founding fathers of the Chishti Sufi order.  Baba Farid received his early education at Multan, which had become a center for Muslim education. It was there that he met his teacher Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, a noted Sufi saint, who was passing through Multan on his way from Baghdad to Delhi. Upon completing his education, Farīd left for Sistan and Kandahar and went to Makkah (Mecca) for the Hajj pilgrimage with his parents at the age of 16.
Once his education was over, he moved to Delhi, where he learned the Islamic doctrine from his master, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. He later moved to HansiHaryana.  When Quṭbuddīn Bakhtiyār Kākī died in 1235, Farīd left Hansi and became his spiritual successor.  He settled in Ajodhan (the present Pakpattan, Pakistan) instead of Delhi. On his way to Ajodhan, while passing through Faridkot, he met the 20-year-old Nizamuddin Auliya, who went on to become his disciple, and later his successor Sufi khalīfah. His nephew and disciple and successor Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari was amongst the greatest Sufi saints and from him the Sabiriya branch under Chisty order started.
Baba Farid had three wives and eight children (five sons and three daughters). One of his wives, Hazabara, was the daughter of Sulṭān Nasīruddīn Maḥmūd.
The great Arab traveller Ibn Battuta once visited this Sufi saint. Ibn Battuta reported that Fariduddin Ganjshakar was the spiritual guide of the Sultan of Delhi Sultanate, and that the Sultan had given him the village of Ajodhan. He also met Baba Farid's two sons.
Baba Farid's descendants, also known as Fareedi, Fareedies or Faridy, mostly carry the name Fārūqī, and can be found in PakistanIndia and the diaspora. Fariduddin Ganjshakar's descendants include the Sufi saint Salim Chishti, whose daughter was the Emperor Jehangir's foster mother. Their descendants settled in SheikhupurBadaun and the remains of a fort they built can still be found. 
Fariduddin Ganjshakar's shrine darbār is located in PakpattanPunjab, Pakistan.
One of Farīd's most important contributions to Punjabi literature was his development of the language for literary purposes.  Whereas Sanskrit, Arabic, Turkish and Persian had historically been considered the languages of the learned and the elite, and used in monastic centers, Punjabi was generally considered a less refined folk language. Although earlier poets had written in a primitive Punjabi, before Farīd there was little in Punjabi literature apart from traditional and anonymous ballads.  By using Punjabi as the language of poetry, Farīd laid the basis for a vernacular Punjabi literature that would be developed later.
The city of Faridkot bears his name. According to legend, Farīd stopped by the city, then named Mokhalpūr, and sat in seclusion for forty days near the fort of King Mokhal. The king was said to be so impressed by his presence that he named the city after Baba Farid, which today is known as Tilla Baba Farid. The festival Bābā Sheikh Farād Āgman Purb Melā' is celebrated in September each year for 3 days, commemorating Baba Farid's arrival in the city.  Ajodhan was also renamed as Farīd's 'Pāk Pattan', meaning 'Holy Ferry'; today it is generally called Pāk Pattan Sharīf.
Faridia Islamic University, a religious madrassa in SahiwalPunjab, Pakistan, is named after Baba Farid, and in July 1998, the Punjab Government in India established the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences at Faridkot, the city which itself was named after him.
There are various explanations of why Baba Farid was given the title Shakar Ganj[ ('Treasure of Sugar'). One legend says his mother used to encourage the young Farīd to pray by placing sugar under his prayer mat. Once, when she forgot, the young Farīd found the sugar anyway, an experience that gave him more spiritual fervor and led to his being given the name.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A00111 - Shirin Aliabadi, Iranian Artist Who Focused on Modern Iranian Women

Aliabadi, Shirin
Shirin Aliabadi (b. March 10, 1973, Tehran, Iran – d. October 1, 2018, Tehran, Iran) was an Iranian contemporary visual artist.
Aliabadi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1973. She studied art history and archaeology at the University of Paris. 
Aliabadi was married to the artist Farhad Moshiri.  She was represented by The Third Line gallery in Dubai.
Aliabadi died on October 1, 2018, from cancer, in Tehran, Iran.
Aliabadi's art, which includes photographs and drawings, explores the competing effects on young urban Iranian women of traditional values, religious restrictions and globalized western culture. Her work appeared in solo exhibitions in Dubai, Tehran, London, Switzerland and Denmark and in group exhibitions at the Institut des cultures d'Islam in Paris, the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, at Frieze New York, at the Chelsea Art Museum, and in Monaco, Rio de Janeiro, Copenhagen, Italy, Norway, Estonia, Germany, Switzerland and Spain.
Her work is held in the collections of Deutsche Bank AG in Gerrnany, the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery and the Farjam Collection in Dubai.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A00110 - Abbas Amir Entezam, Deputy Prime Minister in Bazargan Cabinet

Entezam, Abbas Amir
Abbas Amir Entezam (Persian: عباس امیرانتظام‎, b. August 18, 1932, Tehran, Iran – d. July 12, 2018, Tehran, Iran) was an Iranian politician who served as deputy prime minister in the Interim Cabinet of Mehdi Bazargan in 1979. In 1981 he was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of spying for the United States, a charge critics suggest was a cover for retaliation against his early opposition to theocratic government in Iran. He was the longest-held political prisoner in the Islamic Republic of Iran. As of 2006 he had been in jail for seventeen years and in and out of jail for an additional ten years, altogether for 27 years.
Entezam was born into a middle-class family in Tehran in 1932.  He studied electro-mechanical engineering at the University of Tehran and graduated in 1955.
In 1956, Entezam left Iran for study at Institute of France (Paris). He then went to the United States and completed his postgraduate education at the University of California in Berkeley. 
After graduation, he remained in the United States and worked as an entrepreneur.
Around 1970, Entezam's mother was dying and he returned to Iran to be with her. Because of his earlier political activities, the Shah's Intelligence Service would not allow him to return to the United States.  He stayed in Iran, marrying, becoming a father and developing a business in partnership with his friend and mentor, Mehdi Bazargan.  Bazargan appointed him as the head of the political bureau of the Freedom Movement of Iran in December 1978, replacing Mohammad Tavasoli.  In 1979, the Shah was overthrown by the Iranian Revolution.  The revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini, recently returned to Iran, appointed Bazargan as prime minister of the provisional revolutionary government.  Bazargan, in turn, asked Entezam to be the deputy prime minister and the official spokesperson for the new government. 
While serving as deputy prime minister, in April 1979, Entezam actively advocated the retirement of army officers above the rank of brigadier general.  In 1979, Entezam succeeded in having the majority of the cabinet sign a letter opposing the Assembly of Experts, which was drawing up the new theocratic constitution where democratic bodies were subordinate to clerical bodies. His theocratic opponents attacked him and, in response, in August 1979, Bazargan appointed Entezam to become Iran's ambassador to Denmark.
In December 1979, Bazargan asked Entezam, who had been serving as ambassador to Sweden, to come back quickly to Tehran. Upon returning to Tehran, Entezam was arrested because of allegations based on some documents retrieved from the United States embassy takeover, and imprisoned for a life term.  He was released in 1998 but in less than 3 months, he was rearrested because of an interview with the Tous daily newspaper, one of the reformist newspapers of the time.
In smuggled letters, Entezam related that on three separate occasions, he had been blindfolded and taken to the execution chamber - once being kept "there two full days while the Imam contemplated his death warrant." He spent 555 days in solitary confinement, and in cells so "overcrowded that inmates took turns sleeping on the floor - each person rationed to three hours of sleep every 24 hours." During his imprisonment, Entezam experienced permanent ear damage, developed spinal deformities, and suffered from various skin disorders.
Entezam died of a heart attack in Tehran on July 12, 2018. He was buried the following day in Behesht e Zahra cemetery, with Ayatollah Montazeri's  son leading the funeral prayer.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A00109 - Adel Mahmoud, Developer of HPV and Rotavirus Vaccines

Mahmoud, Adel
Adel Mahmoud (b. August 24, 1941, Cairo, Egypt – d. June 11, 2018, New York City, New York) was an Egyptian-born American doctor and expert in infectious diseases.  He was credited with developing the HPV and rotavirus vaccines while serving as president of Merck Vaccines.  After retiring from Merck he became a professor at Princeton University.  
Mahmoud was born on August 24, 1941 in Cairo, Egypt.  His father Abdelfattah Mahmoud, who worked as an agricultural engineer, died of pneumonia when Adel was ten. Adel had been sent to buy penicillin, but when he rushed home his father had already died. He was profoundly influenced by the experience. Mahmoud graduated from the University of Cairo in 1963 with an M.D. His mother, Fathia Osman, had been accepted by the university's medical school but was prevented from attending by her brother, who thought women should not be doctors.
While a university student, Mahmood actively participated in politics and served as a leader in the youth move
ment of President Gamal Abdel Nasser.  As the political climate changed, he moved to the United Kingdom to continue his education, and earned a Ph.D. from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1971. In 1973, he emigrated to the United States and became a postdoctoral researcher at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, and eventually rose to chair the university's Department of Medicine in 1987.
In 1988, Merck & Co. recruited Mahmoud as president of its vaccine division. During his tenure, Mahmoud oversaw the development of several vaccines important to public health, including the rotavirus vaccine and the HPV vaccine.  The former prevents potentially fatal diarrhea for young children caused by rotavirus, while the latter (Gardasil) prevents several cancers, most importantly cervix cancer, caused by the human papillomavirus.  His role was considered pivotal as he overcame significant doubt about the viability of the vaccines and succeeded in bringing them to market.
After retiring from Merck in 2006, Mahmoud became a policy analyst at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs of Princeton University in 2007, and professor of Princeton's Department of Molecular Biology in 2011.
On June 11, 2018, Mahmoud died from a brain hemorrhage at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital in New York City.
Mahmoud met Dr. Sally Hodder, also an infectious-disease expert, at Case Western Reserve in 1976. They married in 1993. He had a stepson, Jay Thornton.
Mahmoud had a sister, Olfat Abdelfattah, and a brother, Mahmoud Abdelfattah, both doctors.

Friday, June 15, 2018

A00108 - Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin, Founding Member of The Last Poets

Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin (b. July 24, 1944, Brooklyn, New York – d. June 4, 2018, ) was an African American poet and musician. He was one of the founding members of The Last Poets, a group of poets and musicians that evolved in the 1960s out of the Harlem Writers Workshop in New York City.
Nuriddin was born Lawrence Padilla on July 24, 1944, in Brooklyn and grew up in a housing project in the Fort Greene neighborhood. Information on survivors was not immediately available.Earlier in his career he used the names Lightnin' Rod and Alafia Pudim. He is sometimes called "The Grandfather of Rap".
He cofounded the Last Poets in May 1968, with fellow poets Omar Ben Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole, and percussionist Nilijah.

The Last Poets, the critically-acclaimed spoken-word group, won early hip-hop fans over with their political rap vocals behind percussion accompaniments in the early 1970s.

Nuriddin, under the name Lightnin' Rod, also appeared on a 1973 solo album "Hustlers Convention," an album considered to be a cornerstone in the development of what is now a part of global and hip-hop culture.

"Hustlers Convention" became one of the most sampled albums ever made, with groups like the Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys, and Red Hot Chili Peppers lifting ideas from it.

At some point in 1973, Lightnin' Rod transitioned to the name of Jalal Mansur Nuriddin.

Music icons like Miles Davis and Quincy Jones hailed the Last Poets as groundbreakers in the genre that became rap and hip-hop music.  After converting to Islam, the artist changed his name from Alafia Pudim to Jalal Mansur Nuriddin. When Hassan and Oyewole left the Last Poets in 1973, poet Sulaiman El Hadi joined and the group and started using poetry over tribal percussive beats, to an all-out band with spoken word at its core.

Jalal died after a long battle with cancer on June 4, 2018.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A00107 - Maya Jribi, Tunisian Fighter for Democracy

Jribi, Maya
Maya Jribi (b. January 29, 1960, Bou Arada, Tunisia – d. May 19, 2018, Rades, Ben Arous Governorate, Tunisia) was a Tunisian politician. From 2006 to 2012, she was the leader of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).  From PDP's merger into the Republican Party in April 2012, until her resignation in 2017, she was the Secretary-General of the centrist party.
Her father was from Tatouine, while her mother was from Algeria.  She followed her studies in Radès Tunisia, before studying biology at the University of Sfax, from 1979 to 1983. During that period, she became involved in, and an active member of, the student union, known as UGET, and the Tunisian League of Human Rights. She wrote for the independent weekly Erraï and later for the PDP-newspaper Al Mawkif.
Together with Ahmed Najib Chebbi, Maya Jribi co-founded the Progressive Socialist Rally, established in 1983, which was later renamed into Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).  After 1986, Jribi was a member of the party's executive. On December 25, 2006, Jribi was appointed Secretary-General of the PDP.  She was the first woman to lead a political party in Tunisia.
From October 1 to 20, 2007, Jribi, along with Najib Chebbi, engaged in a hunger strike to protest against the forced move of the party's headquarters from Tunis, which caused serious health implications for her.
Jribi headed the PDP’s electoral list in Ben Arous for the Constituent Assembly Elections in October 2011. The PDP list received one seat in Ben Arous according to preliminary election results. On April 9, 2012, the PDP merged with other secularist parties to form the Republican Party and Maya Jribi became the leader of this party.
Maya Jribi was an outspoken feminist.  She labeled Israel as a "Zionist construct", and proposed to disallow Israeli pilgrims to visit the El Ghriba synagogue on Djerba island. 
Maya Jribi, announced her retirement, during the Republican Party convention in 2017.

On May 19, 2018, Maya Jribi died of cancer.