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.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A00106 - Abbas Attar, Iranian Photographer Who Documented the Impact of Extremism

Abbas Attar
Abbas Attar (Persian: عباس‎; full name: عباس عطار ʿAbbās ʿAṭṭār; b. March 29,1944, Khash, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran – d. April 25, 2018, Paris, France), better known by his mononym Abbas, was an Iranian photographer known for his photojournalism in Biafra, Vietnam and South Africa in the 1970s, and for his extensive essays on religions in later years. He was a member of Sipa Press from 1971 to 1973, a member of Gamma from 1974 to 1980, and joined Magnum Photos in 1981.
Attar, an Iranian transplanted to Paris, dedicated his photographic work to the political and social coverage of the developing southern nations. Beginning around 1970, his major works were published in world magazines and included wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Ulster, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa with an essay on apartheid.
From 1978 to 1980, Abbas photographed the revolution in Iran, and returned in 1997 after a 17 year voluntary exile. His book iranDiary 1971-2002 (2002) is a critical interpretation of its history, photographed and written as a personal diary.
From 1983 to 1986, Abbas travelled throughout Mexico, photographing the country as if he were writing a novel. An exhibition and a book, Return to Mexico, journeys beyond the mask (1992), which includes his travel diaries, helped him define his aesthetics in photography.
From 1987 to 1994, Abbas photographed the resurgence of Islam from Xinjiang to Morocco. His book and exhibition Allah O Akbar, a journey through militant Islam (1994) exposes the internal tensions within Muslim societies, torn between a mythical past and a desire for modernization and democracy. The book drew additional attention after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
When the year 2000 became a landmark in the universal calendar, Christianity was the symbol of the strength of Western civilization. Faces of Christianity, a photographic journey (2000) and a touring exhibit, explored this religion as a political, a ritual and a spiritual phenomenon.
From 2000 to 2002 Abbas worked on Animism. In our world defined by science and technology, the work looked at why irrational rituals make a strong come-back. He abandoned this project on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Abbas' book, In Whose Name? The Islamic World after 9/11 (2009), is a seven year quest within 16 countries.  As set forth in this book, opposed by governments who hunt them mercilessly, the jihadists lose many battles, but they may be winning the war to control the mind of the people, with the "creeping islamisation" of all Muslim societies.
From 2008 to 2010 Abbas travelled the world of Buddhism, photographing with the same sceptical eye for his book Les Enfants du lotus, voyage chez les bouddhistes(2011). In 2011, he began a similar long-term project on Hinduism which he concluded in 2013.
Before his death, Abbas was working on documenting Judaism around the world.
He died in Paris on April 25, 2018.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A00105 - Asma Jahangir, Pakistani Human Rights Lawyer and Social Activist

Asma Jilani Jahangir (Urdu: عاصمہ جہانگیر‎, transliteration 'Asimah Jahangir,  January 27, 1952 – February 11, 2018) was a Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist who co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.  She was widely known for playing a prominent role in the Lawyers' Movement and served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur  on Freedom or Belief and as a trustee at the International Crisis Group.
Born and raised in Lahore, Jahangir studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary before receiving her B.A. from Kinnaird and LLB from the Punjab University in 1978. In 1980, she was called to the Lahore High Court, and to the Supreme Court in 1982. In the 1980s, Jahangir became a democracy activist and was imprisoned in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy against the military regime of Zia-ul-Haq. In 1986, she moved to Geneva, and became the vice-chair of the Defence for Children International and remained until 1988 when she moved back to Pakistan.
In 1987, Jahangir co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and became its Secretary General until 1993 when she was elevated as the commission's chairperson. She was again put under house arrest in November 2007 after the imposition of emergency. After serving as one of the leaders of the Lawyers' Movement, she became Pakistan's first woman to serve as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association. She co-chaired South Asia Forum for Human Rights and was the vice president of International Federation for Human Rights. Jahangir served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion from August 2004 to July 2010, including serving on the United Nations panel for inquiry into Sri Lankan human rights violations and on a fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements.  In 2016, she was named as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, remaining until her death in February 2018.
Jahangir's prominent writings include The Hudood Ordinance: A Divine Sanction? and Children of a Lesser God.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A00104 - Shadia, Egyptian Actress and Singer

Shadia
Fatma Ahmed Kamal Shaker (Arabic: فاطمة أحمد كمال‎), better known by her stage name Shadia (b. February 8, 1931, Sharqia Governorate, Egypt – d. November 28, 2017, Cairo, Egypt), was an Egyptian actress and singer. She was famous for her roles in light comedies and drama in the 1950s and 1960s. Her first appearance was in the film el-Aql Fi Agaza (The Mind on Vacation), and she retired after her last film La Tas'alni Man Ana (Don't Ask Me Who I Am).

Born Fatma Ahmed Kamal Shaker in 1931, in the Sharqia Governorate, in Egypt. Her father, Ahmed Kamak Shaker, was an Upper Egyptian man whose family moved to El Sharqia and her mother was from a family of both Egyptian and Turk origin. She began acting at the age of thirteen.
Shaker was given the stage name "Shadia" by the film director Helmy Rafla. In her heyday during the 1950s and 1960s, Shadia acted in numerous melodramas, romance, and comedy films. However, it was her musical talent as a singer that established Shadia as one of the most important Egyptian cinema stars of her era.
Overall, as "Shadia", she performed in more than 100 films. She starred in more than 30 films with the actor Kamal el-Shennawi, and sang opposite Farid al-Atrash and Abdel Halim Hafez,  such as in "The People's Idol" (1967). She also appeared with Faten Hamama in "An Appointment with Life" (1954), and in "The Unknown Woman" (1959) she played the role of Fatma in a heavy melodrama. Other notable films she starred in include "The Thief and the Dogs" (1962) and in her comedy roles in films "Wife Number 13" (1962) and "My Wife the General Manager" (1966). Indeed, Shadia was often cast in cunning and cheeky roles, however, she also played serious roles, such as in "The Road" (1964), and in the stage version of "Raya and Sakina", which was based on the true story of two Alexandrian serial killers and directed by Hussein Kama (1953).
After retiring from acting, Shadia joined a number of Egyptian actresses who took on the veil (hijab) in an act of Islamic resistance and salvation.
Shadia is considered one of the most popular and most talented singers and actresses in the Arabic movie and entertainment industry. Her songs and movies are still sought after, and her songs are popular among all generations.
Shadia was hospitalized on November 4, 2017 after suffering a massive stroke in Cairo. 
On November 28, 2017, Shadia died from respiratory failure caused by the pneumonia.