Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Supplement: Ma Hu-shan - Nasif al-Yaziji


Ma Hu-shan

Close relative and follower of the Dungan leader Ma Chung-ying. 

Ma Hu-shan attempted to organize an independent nation called Tunganistan possibly with the support certain Axis powers during 1937.

Following a truce, Ma Hu-shan proceeded to set up what was called by one Western observer "Tunganistan." -- a Tungan satrapy where Hui Muslims ruled as colonial masters over their Turkic speaking Muslim subjects.  This state within a state, with its capital in Khotan, was avowedly loyal to Nanking and remained in power until 1937.  Neither staunchly Islamic, as the TIRET (Turkish Islamic Republic of East Turkestan) had been, nor pro-Soviet, as Sheng Shicai's government was, it was merely another manifestation of teh rampant warlordism so prevalent in Republican China at the time.  The regime was characterized by autocratic rule, Chinese colonialism, strong militarism, and excessive taxation. 

The regime reported the presence of Japanese and German agents with purpose to advise at newest "independent" administration in Kashgar territory to attempt at finding independence. 

Meanwhile, Ma Hu-shan regularly received telegrams, ostensibly from his brother-in-law in the USSR, promising the leader of Tunganistan that Ma Chung-ying would soon return, thus stalling him in any move he might make against Sheng's forces.  Beneath this continuing Soviet deception lay a deeper stratum of diplomatic and military purpose, for by 1937, when Ma Hu-shan seems finally to have despaired of Ma Chung-ying's return to Sinkiang, Soviet control had been firmly established over Sheng Tunganistan from within.  As early as 1935, there were Uyghur uprisings and a Dungan mutiny in Tunganistan, evidence of the unstable nature of the warlord's domain. 

In April 1937, another attempt to establish an independent Muslim administration was set up.  As before, this revolt had a decidedly Islamic nature.  At the same time, uprisings broke out amongst the Kyrgyz near Kucha and once again in Kumul.  In this context, Ma Hu-shan decided to make his move from Khotan and captured Kashgar from the rebels in June.  The situation, however, did not last long.

5,000 Red Army troops, with airborne and armored vehicle reinforcements, invited by Sheng to intervene, were already on their way to southern Sinkiang, along with Sheng's forces and mutinous Dungan troops.  The Turkic rebels were defeated, Kashgar was retaken, and Ma Hu-shan's administration collapsed.  By October 1937, with the collapse of the Turkic rebellion and the Dungan satrapy, Muslim control of the south once again came to an end.  Shortly after, the rebellions in Kumul and amongst the Kyrgyz were also put down, thus establishing Sheng, for the first time, as the actual ruler of the whole province. 


Majid, Ali Hassan al-
Iraqi Defense Minister, Interior Minister, and chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service who became the governor of Iraqi occupied Kuwait during the Gulf War.

Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikritieh ʿAlī Ḥasan ʿAbd al-Majīd al-Tikrītī (November 30, 1941 – January 25, 2010) was a Ba'athist Iraqi Defense Minister, Interior Minister, military commander and chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service. He was also the governor of occupied Kuwait during the Gulf War.

A first cousin of former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein, Ali Hassan al-Majid became notorious in the 1980s and 1990s for his role in the Iraqi government's campaigns against internal opposition forces, namely the ethnic Kurdish rebels of the north, and the Shia religious dissidents of the south. Repressive measures included deportations and mass killings.  Al-Majid was dubbed "Chemical Ali" by Iraqi Kurds for his use of chemical weapons in attacks against them.

Al-Majid was captured following the 2003 invasion of Iraq and was charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. He was convicted in June 2007 and was sentenced to death for crimes committed in the al-Anfal campaign of the 1980s. His appeal of the death sentence was rejected on September 4, 2007, and he was sentenced to death for the fourth time on January 17, 2010 and was hanged eight days later, on January 25, 2010.

Ali Hassan al-Majid (Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikritieh ʿAlī Ḥasan ʿAbd al-Majīd al-Tikrītī) is thought to have been born on November 30, 1941 in al-Awja near Tikrit, although Ali claimed in court that he was born three years later.  The United States, the United Nations and the Bank of England also listed an alternative birth year of 1943.  Nevertheless, official Iraqi court documents and the vast majority of journalistic obituaries cite 1941 as his approximate year of birth.

Ali Hassan al-Majid was a member of the Bejat clan of the al-Bu Nasir tribe, to which his elder cousin Saddam Hussein also belonged.  Saddam later relied heavily on the clan to fill senior posts in his government.  Like Saddam, al-Majid was a Sunni Muslim who came from a poor family and had very little formal education. He worked as a motorcycle messenger and driver in the Iraqi Army until the Ba'ath Party seized power in 1968.

The rise of al-Majid, thereafter, aided by his cousin Saddam, was swift. He initially became an aide to Iraqi defense minister Hammadi Shihab in the early 1970s after joining the Ba'ath party.  He then became head of the government's Security Office, serving as an enforcer for the increasingly powerful Saddam. In 1979 Saddam seized power, pushing aside President Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr. At a videotaped assembly of Ba'ath party officials in July 1979, Saddam read out the names of political opponents, denouncing them as "traitors", and ordering that they be removed one by one from the room.  Many were later executed.  Al-Majid could be seen in the background telling Saddam, "What you have done in the past was good. What you will do in the future is good. But there's this one small point. You have been too gentle, too merciful."

Al-Majid became one of Saddam's closest military advisors and head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, Iraqi secret police known as the Mukhabarat. Following an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Saddam in 1983 in the town of Dujail, north of Baghdad, al-Majid directed the subsequent collective punishment operations in which scores of local men were killed, thousands more inhabitants were deported and the entire town was razed to the ground.

During the late stages of the Iran–Iraq War al-Majid was given the post of Secretary General of the Northern Bureau of the Ba'ath Party, in which capacity he served from March 1987 to April 1989. This effectively made him Saddam's proconsul in the north of the country, commanding all state agencies in the rebellious Kurdish-populated region of the country. He was known for his ruthlessness, ordering the indiscriminate use of chemical weapons such as mustard gas, sarin, tabun and VX against Kurdish targets. The first such attacks occurred as early as April 1987 and continued into 1988, culminating in the notorious attack on Halabja in which over 5,000 people were killed.

With Kurdish resistance continuing, al-Majid decided to cripple the rebellion by eradicating the civilian population of the Kurdish regions. His forces embarked on a systematic campaign of mass killings, property destruction and forced population transfer (called "Arabization") in which thousands of Kurdish villages were razed and their inhabitants either killed or deported to the south of Iraq. He signed a decree in June 1987 stating that "Within their jurisdiction, the armed forces must kill any human being or animal present in these areas."  By 1988, some 4,000 villages had been destroyed, an estimated 180,000 Kurds had been killed and some 1.5 million had been deported.  The Kurds called him Chemical Ali ("Ali Kimyawi") for his role in the campaign.  According to Iraqi Kurdish sources, Ali Hassan openly boasted of this nickname.  Others dubbed him the "Butcher of Kurdistan".

Al-Majid was appointed Minister of Local Government following the war's end in 1988, with responsibility for the re-population of the Kurdish region with Arab settlers relocated from elsewhere in Iraq. Two years later, after the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, he became the military governor of the occupied emirate. He instituted a violent regime under which Kuwait was systematically looted and purged of "disloyal elements". In November 1990, he was recalled to Baghdad and was appointed Interior Minister in March 1991. Following the Iraqi defeat in the war, he was given the task of quelling the uprisings in the Shi'ite south of Iraq as well as the Kurdish north. Both revolts were crushed with great brutality, with many thousands killed.

Al-Majid was subsequently given the post of Defense Minister, although he briefly fell from grace in 1995 when Saddam dismissed him after it was discovered that al-Majid was involved in illegally smuggling grain to Iran. In December 1998, however, Saddam recalled him and appointed him commander of the southern region of Iraq, where the United States was increasingly carrying out air strikes in the southern no-fly zone. Al-Majid was re-appointed to this post in March 2003, immediately before the start of the Iraq War.  He based himself in the southern port city of Basra and in April 2003 he was mistakenly reported to have been killed there in a United States air strike.

Al-Majid survived the April 2003 attack but was captured by United States forces on August 17, 2003.  He had been listed as the fifth most-wanted man in Iraq, shown as the King of Spades in the deck of most-wanted Iraqi playing cards.  In 2006, he was charged with genocide and crimes against humanity for his part in the Anfal campaign and was transferred to the Iraq Special Tribunal for trial.  He received four death sentences for his role in killing Shia Muslims in 1991 and 1999, the genocide of the Kurds in the 1980s, and ordering the gassing of Kurds at Halabja.

The trial began on August 21, 2006, in acrimonious circumstances when al-Majid refused to enter a plea.  He subsequently had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf by the court.

Al-Majid was unapologetic about his actions, telling the court that he had ordered the destruction of Kurdish villages because they were "full of Iranian agents".  At one hearing, he declared: "I am the one who gave orders to the army to demolish villages and relocate the villagers. The army was responsible to carry out those orders. I am not defending myself. I am not apologizing. I did not make a mistake."

During the trial, the court heard tape-recorded conversations between al-Majid and senior Ba'ath party officials regarding the use of chemical weapons. Responding to a question about the success of the deportation campaign, Ali Hassan told his interlocutors:

“ ... I went to Sulaymaniyah and hit them with the special ammunition [i.e. chemical weapons]. That was my answer. We continued the deportations. I told the mustashars [village heads] that they might say that they like their villages and that they won't leave. I said I cannot let your village stay because I will attack it with chemical weapons. Then you and your family will die. You must leave right now. Because I cannot tell you the same day that I am going to attack with chemical weapons. I will kill them all with chemical weapons! Who is going to say anything? The international community? ____ them! The international community and those who listen to them.

... This is my intention, and I want you to take serious note of it. As soon as we complete the deportations, we will start attacking them everywhere according to a systematic military plan.  Even their strongholds.  In our attacks we will take back one third or one half of what is under their control. If we can try to take two-thirds, then we will surround them in a small pocket and attack them with chemical weapons. I will not attack them with chemicals just one day, but I will continue to attack them with chemicals for fifteen days. Then I will announce that anyone who wishes to surrender with his gun will be allowed to do so. Anyone willing to come back is welcome, and those who do not return will be attacked again with new, destructive chemicals. I will not mention the name of the chemical because that is classified information. But I will say with new destructive weapons that will destroy you. So I will threaten them and motivate them to surrender.”

During the following few days of the trial, more recordings of al-Majid were heard in which he once again discussed the government's goals in dealing with the Iraqi Kurds.  In the recordings, Ali Hassan called the Iraqi Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani "wicked and a pimp," and promised not to leave alive anyone who spoke the Kurdish language.  Ali Hassan's defense claimed that he used such language as "psychological and propaganda" tools against the Kurds, to prevent them from fighting government forces. "All the words used by me, such as 'deport them' or 'wipe them out,' were only for psychological effect," Ali Hassan said.

On June 24, 2007, the court returned a verdict of guilty on all counts. The presiding judge, Mohamed Oreibi al-Khalifa, told al-Majid: "You had all the civil and military authority for northern Iraq. You gave orders to the troops to kill Kurdish civilians and put them in severe conditions. You subjected them to wide and systematic attacks using chemical weapons and artillery. You led the killing of villagers. You ... committed genocide. There are enough documents against you."

Al-Majid received five death sentences for genocide, crimes against humanity (specifically willful killing, forced disappearances and extermination), and war crimes (intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population). He was also sentenced to multiple prison terms ranging from seven years to life for other crimes.  Under Iraqi law, sentence was to be carried out by hanging, subject to the convictions being upheld following an automatic appeal.  Al-Majid was to be executed in the subsequent 30 days along with two others – Sultan Hashem Ahmed, military commander of the Anfal campaign, and Hussein Rashid Mohammed, deputy general commander of the Iraqi armed forces, assistant chief of staff for military operations, and former Republican Guard commander. However, the executions were postponed to October 16, because of the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan.  Al-Majid was supposed to be executed 16 October 2007, but the execution was delayed when Iraqi President Jalal Talabani expressed opposition to the sentences and refused to sign the execution orders.  He then entered into a legal battle with Nouri al-Maliki, and as a result the Americans refused to hand any of the condemned prisoners over until the issue was resolved.

In February 2008, an anonymous informant stated that Ali Hassan al-Majid's execution was finally approved by Jalal Talabani and the two Vice-Presidents.  This was the final hurdle in the way of the execution.

On December 2, 2008, al-Majid was once again sentenced to death, but this time for playing a role in killing between 20,000 and 100,000 Shi'ite Muslims during the revolt in southern Iraq that followed the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

On March 2, 2009, al-Majid was sentenced to death for the third time, this for the assassination of Grand-Ayatollah Mohammad al-Sadr in 1999.

The Iraqi Cabinet put pressure on the Presidential council on March 17, 2009 for Al-Majid's execution.

The situation was similar on January 17, 2010.  A fourth death penalty was issued against him in response to his acts of genocide against Kurds in the 1980s. He was also convicted of killing Shia Muslims in 1991 and 1999. Alongside him in the trial was former defense minister Sultan Hashem, who was also found guilty by The Iraqi High Tribunal for the Halabja attack and sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment. Al-Majid was executed by hanging on January 25, 2010.


Emir of Dubai (r. 1990-2006). 

Maktoum bin Rashid al-Maktoum was born in Shindagha, Dubai, in 1990.  He first became Prime Minister on December 9, 1971, and served until April 25, 1979, when he was replaced by his father, Rashid bin Saeed al-Maktoum.  Following the latter's death on October 7, 1990, Maktoum resumed his position as Prime Minister and also took over as ruler of Dubai.  He served in both positions until his death on January 4, 2006.

Maktoum also briefly served as acting President of the United Arab Emirates on November 2-3, 2004, following the death of Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan until Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan was proclaimed and installed as President of the United Arab Emirates on November 4, 2004.

Maktoum ran the emirate of Dubai with his two brothers, Mohammed (Crown Prince and Minister of Defense) and Hamdan (Minister of Finance) of the United Arab Emirates.  Internationally, he was also known as co-owner (with his brothers) of Dubai's Godolphin Stables, which competes in major horse races around the world.

Maktoum ruled Dubai for fifteen years beginning in 1990, a period which saw the tiny Gulf emirate blossom into the main center of commerce in the Middle East.  At the same time, Dubai, through a host of sponsorship and promotion deals, became a household name around the world.  In short, Maktoum put Dubai on the map.

The success of Dubai is attributable to the two prong policy of Maktoum: First, Dubai would open its doors to all who wanted to trade there and provide them with all the necessary facilities.  Second, for Dubai, politics would not be allowed to interfere with commerce.

Maktoum bin Rashid al-Maktoum died on the morning of January 4, 2006, suffering a heart attack while lodged at Palazzo Versace Hotel located on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.  He was succeeded by his brother, Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum as ruler of Dubai.


Malaika, Nazik al-
Iraqi poet.

Nazik Al-Malaika was an Iraqi female poet who was considered by many to be one of most influential contemporary Iraqi poets. Al-Malaika is famous as the first Arabic poet to use free verse.

Al-Malaika was born on August 23, 1922,  in Baghdad to a cultured family. Her mother was a poet and her father was a teacher. She wrote her first poem at the age of 10.

Al-Malaika graduated in 1944 from the College of Arts in Baghdad and later completed a Master's degree in comparative literature at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Al-Malaika published her first book of poetry Ashiqat al-Layl ("Night's Lover") after her graduation. Shazaya wa Ramad ("Sparks and Ashes") followed in 1949. She published Qararat al-Mawja ("Bottom of the Wave") in 1957 with her final volume "Tree of the Moon" being published in 1968.

Al-Malaika taught at a number of schools and universities, most notably at the University of Mosul.

Al-Malaika left Iraq in 1970 with her husband, Abdel Hadi Mahbooba, and her family following the rise of the Baath Party to power. She lived in Kuwait until Saddam Hussein invaded that country in 1990. Al-Malaika and her family then moved to Cairo where she lived for the rest of her life. Towards the end of her life, Al-Malaika suffered from a number of health issues including Parkinson's disease.

Nazik al-Malaika died in Cairo, Egypt on June 20, 2007 at the age of 84.


Malays, Australian

Malay laborers were brought over to Australia to work mainly in the copra, sugarcane, pearl diving and trepang industries.  In the case of Cocos Islands, the Malays were first brought as slaves under Alexander Hare in 1826, but were then employed as coconut harvesters for copra.  However, there were no historical facts that prove that the Malays settled in mainland Australia and east coast until the late 19th century, where they not only work in the trepang and pearl diving industry, but also in sugarcane plantations. 

In Western Australia and Northern Territory, Malay pearl divers were recruited through an agreement with the Dutch.  By 1875, there were 1800 Malay pearl divers working in Western Australia itself.  Most of them returned home when their contract expired.  The Immigration Restriction Act of 1901 severely curtailed the growth of the Malay community.

From the 1950s onward, Malaysians came to Australia to study under the Colombo Plan, with many choosing to stay in Australia after graduation.  Their numbers increased following the end of the Immigration Restriction Act in 1973.  As Malaysia's affluence increased, more students came to study as self-financed students.


Malays, Cape

Cape Malays form an ethnic group or community in South Africa, taking its name from what is now known as the Western Cape of South Africa and the people originally from the Malay archipelago, mostly Javanese from Indonesia, who were the founders of Cape Malay community in South Africa. 

The community's earliest members were slaves brought by the Dutch East India Company, followed shortly thereafter by political dissidents and Muslim religious leaders who opposed the Dutch presence in what is now Indonesia.  Starting in 1654, these resistors were imprisoned or exiled in South Africa by the Dutch East India Company, which founded and used what is now Cape Town as a resupply station for ships traveling between Europe and Asia.  They are the group that first introduced Islam to South Africa.

Because of the historical role of race in apartheid South Africa, the Cape Malay identity may best be considered as the product of a set of histories and communities at least as much as it is a real definition of an ethnic group.  Further, since many Cape Malay people find their Muslim identity to be more salient than their Malay ancestry, there have also been many instances in which people in one situation were described as "Cape Malay", and were in another situation described as present, some members of this community -- particularly those with a political allegiance to broader liberation movements in South Africa -- may refer to themselves as "black" in the terms of the Black Consciousness Movement.  The "Cape Malay" identity was also a subcategory of the so-called "Coloured" category in the terms f the apartheid-era government's classifications of ethnicity.  Like many South Africans, people described in some situations as "Cape Malay" are often the descendants of people frm many continents and religions.

The founders of the Cape Malay community were the first to bring Islam to South Africa.  The community's culture and traditions have also left an impact that is felt to this day.  Adaptatins of traditional foods such as bredie, bobotie, sosaties, and koeksisters are staples in many South African homes.  The Muslim community in Cape Town is large and vibrant, and has expanded beyond those exiles who started the first mosques in South Africa.

People in the Cape Malay community generally speak mostly Afrikaans but also English or local dialects of the two.  The Malay languages and other languages that their ancestors brought are no longer spoken, although various Malay words and phrases are still employed in daily usage.

"Cape Malay" music also became closely associated with this cultural group.  An interesting secular folk song type, of Dutch origin, is termed the "nederlandslied".  The language and musical style of this genre reflects the history of South African slavery.  It is often described and perceived as "sad" and "emotional" in content and context.  The nederlandslied shows the influence of the Arabesque (ornamented) style of singing.  This style is unique in South Africa, Africa and probably in the world.  Cape Malay music has been of great interest to academics, historians, musicologists, writers and even politicians.  The well-known annual Cape Town Minstrel or Carnival street festival is a deep-rooted Cape Malay cultural event.  It incorporates the Cape Malay comic song or "moppie" (often also referred to as "ghoema" songs.  The barrel-shaped drum, called the "ghoema" is also closely associated with Cape Malay music.

The two largest Cape Malay communities are located in Cape Town and Johannesburg.  The picturesque Malay Quarter of Cape Town is found on Signal Hill, and is called the Bo-Kaap.  Many Cape Malay people also lived in District Six before it was demolished.  After its demolition, the Cape Malays of District Six moved to so-called Coloured Townships on the Cape Flats.  The Claremont Road Mosque, frequented by many Cape Muslims, was an important center of anti-apartheid activity. 


Malays, Cocos

Cocos Malays are a community that form the predominant group of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, a group of  Indian Ocean islands located midway between Australia and Sri Lanka, which is now part of Australia.  Despite the fact that they all have assimilated into the ethnic Malay culture, the Cocos Malays are named in reference to the Malay race, coming from places such as Bali, Bima, Celebes, Madura, Sumbawa, Timor, Sumatra, Pasir-Kutai, Malacca, Penang, Batavia, and Cinbon.

The first Cocos Malays are believed to have arrived and settled in the Cocos Islands in 1826 when Alexander Hare, an English adventurer brought his Malay harem and slaves there.  in 1827, John Clunies Ross changed the lives of the Malay slaves when he settled the islands with his family.  The existing Malays and a large number of newly arrived Malay immigrants that Clunies-Ross brought with him were employed to assist with the harvesting of coconuts for copra. 

For 150 years, the Clunies-Ross family ruled the Cocos Islands as a family fiefdom.  In 1972, a report issued by the Australian government alleged that the control exercised by the Clunies-Ross family over the Cocos Malays amounted to slavery.  These allegations led to efforts being made by the Australian government to terminate the control of the islands by the Clunies-Ross family.

In September 1978, the Clunies-Ross family sold the Cocos Islands to the Australian government. 

Most Cocos Malays follow the Sunni branch of Islam.


Malays, Indonesian

Indonesian Malays are ethnic Malays living throughout Indonesia, as one of the indigenous peoples of the island nation.  Indonesia has the largest ethnic Malay population, the second is Malaysia.  Historically, Indonesian, the national language of Indonesia, was derived from the Malay spoken in Riau, a province in eastern Sumatra.  There were a number of Malay kingdoms in Indonesia that covered the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan, of which some of the well-known ones were Srivijaya, Melayu Kingdom, Sultanate of Deli, Johor-Riau and the Sultanate of Sambas.


Malays, Singapore

The seventeenth-century Malay chronicle, the Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals), tells of the founding of a great trading city on the island of Temasek in 1299 by a prince from Palembang.  Palembang was the capital of the diminishing Srivijayan Empire.  The prince, Sri Tri Buana (also known as Sang Nila Utama), was said to be a descendant of Alexander the Great and an Indian princess named Shahru al-Bariyah.  Legend states that Sri Tri Buana renamed the trading city "Singapura" ("lion city") after sighting a strange beast that he took to be a lion.  However, there is no real historical evidence that confirms that the legend is based in fact. 
In the mid-fourteenth century, Singapura suffered raids by the expanding Javanese Majapahit Empire to the south and the emerging Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya to the north, both at various times claiming the island as a vassal state.  Around 1388, the ruler of Palembang, Parameswara, came to Singapore to flee from Majapahit control.  He murdered the king and seized power.  It was a futile act.  The Srivijayan Empire, already in decline, finally met its end when Majapahit attacked its capital Palembang in 1391.  In 1396, Majapahit or Ayutthaya forces drove out Parameswara, who fled northward and founded the kingdom of Malacca in 1400.

When the Portuguese captured Malacca in 1511, the last Malaccan sultan, Mahmud Shah, fled to Johore, where he established the new Johore Sultanate.  Singapura became part of this sultanate.  In 1613, however, the Portuguese reported burning down a trading outpost at the mouth of the Temasek (Singapore) River, and Singapura passed into history.

The territory controlled by the Johore Riau Lingga Pahang Sultanate in the late eighteenth century still included Singapore as part of its territory.  The sultanate had become increasingly weakened by a division into a Malay faction, which controlled the peninsula and Singapore, and a Bugis faction which controlled the Riau Archipelago and Sumatra.  When Sultan Mahmud Riayat Shah III died in 1812, the Bugis had proclaimed the younger of his two sons, Abdul Rahman, as sultan instead of the elder son, Tengku Long.  While the sultan was the nominal ruler of his domain, senior officials actually governed the sultanate.  In control of Singapore and the neighboring islands was Temenggong.  Abdul Rahman, Tengku Long's father-in-law.  In 1818, he and some of his followers left Riau for Singapore shortly after the Dutch signed a treaty with the Sultan Abdul Rahman, allowing the Dutch to station a garrison at Riau.

In 1819, Tengku Long signed a treaty with the British led by Sir Stamford Raffles.  In exchange for British protection and recognizing him as Sultan of Johore, Tengku Long agreed to allow the British to establish a trading post in Singapore.  Proclaimed as Sultan Hussein Shah, he became the Sultan of Johore.

In 1835, Sultan Hussein Shah died and was succeeded by his eldest son, Tengku Ali.  Sultan Hussein had signed away his rights over the island in exchange for the land at Kampong Gelam plus an annual stipend for his family.  After the Sultan's death, disputes broke out among his descendants.  In the late 1890s, they went to court, where it was decided that no one in the family had the rights as the successor to the sultanate and the land at Kampong Gelam should be reverted to the state.  This ended the reign of the Malay kings in Singapore.

Singapore was not uninhabited when Sir Stamford Raffles came in January 1819.  The waters of Telok Blangah, the Kallang River and other rivers had been home to the Orang Laut (or Sea Nomads) for a very long time.  There were also Malay settlements along the Kallang River Basin and the Singapore River.   There was an estimated 1000 people living in Singapore.  There were about 500 Orang Kallang, 200 Orang Seletar, 150 Orang Gelam, 100 Orang Lauts, 20-30 Malays (who were the followers of Temenggong Abdul Rahman), and about 20-30 Chinese.

The Orang Kallang (also called the Orang Biduanda Kallang) lived in the swampy areas in the Kallang River.  They lived on boats and sustained their lives by fishing and collecting other materials from the forests.  After 1819, they were relocated by Temenggong Abdul Rahman to the northern Singapore Straits at Sungai Pulau.  Tragically in 1848, the Orang Kallang were wiped out by a smallpox epidemic.

The Orang Seletar lived in the river swamps and the small islands surrounding mainland Singapore.  They would often gather on the coastal areas especially on the estuary of the Seletar River.  They lived a nomadic lifestyle until the 1850s when they started living on land and followed the lifestyles of others living in Singapore. 

The Orang Selat lived in the harbor waters of Keppel Singapore.  They were believed to have traversed the waters of Keppel Harbour since the early 16th century, making them one of the earliest settlers of the island.  They sold fish and fruits to the trading vessels that passed the area.

The Orang Gelam came from a tribe in Batam Island.  They were brought by the Temenggong of Johor together with a group of his followers to establish a settlement in the first decade of the 19th century.  Mary of the Orang Gelam who lived along the Singapore River served as boatmen for merchant ships while their womenfolk wore fruit sellers on boats. 

The Orang Laut differed from the Malays in that they lived in a nomadic lifestyle and lived at sea in their boats whereas the Malays lived in settlements in the villages on the land.

When Raffles came to Singapore, there were already hundreds of indigenous Malays living there.  They were made up of the nobility that were headed by the Temenggong, the palace officials and his followers as well as the Orang Laut.  Subsequently, the numbers increased with the arrivals of other Malays from Malaya and the Malay Archipelago.

In a matter of several months, hundreds of Malays from Malacca came to Singapore, encouraged by the British who wanted to develop Singapore as a center for trade and administration.  When Singapore became more developed and there were better economic opportunities, many Malays from Riau, Sumatra, Penang, Malacca, and Johore came to Singapore.  Many of these Malays lived in the towns and worked there.  The census for 1931 showed that the total number of Malay men working there were as many as 11,290. 

In the 1930s and 1950s, many Malay residents from Malaya were working in the British uniformed services.  In 1957 alone, there were more than 10,000 Malays working in the uniform services because the British preferred them to the Javanese or Malays from Indonesia.  However, during the period 1957-1970, most of them returned to Malaysia when their terms of services ended.

The second largest Malay group were the Javanese.  They came from Java in the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia).  In the 1931 population census, the number of Javanese in Singapore was 16,063.  The 1981 population census, however, showed that they made up six percent (6%) of the Malay population.  However, many Javanese had actually registered themselves as "Malay."  It is likely that the actual percentage of the Javanese within the Malay population was much higher.  The Javanese came to Singapore in stages.  In the mid-19th century, they came and worked as ironsmiths, leather makers as well as spice merchants and religious books dealers.  There were also a group of Javanese printers and publishers in the Arab Street area.  There were also community of pilgrim brokers that played an important role in encouraging the migration of the Javanese to Singapore.

The political situation in the Dutch East Indies created by the Dutch government caused many Javanese to go through Singapore to travel to Mecca to perform the hajj.  From the mid-19th century until 1910, between 2,000 to 7,000 Javanese travelled to Mecca through Singapore until the regulations were eased.  Usually, these pilgrims would work in Singapore for several months or years before or after performing the hajj to earn money or pay their debts to their pilgrim brokers.  Many of them stayed on in Singapore and became part of the Muslim community in the city.

A number of Javanese also came to Singapore with the help of the pilgrim brokers.  They came voluntarily and a majority of them were young men who stayed in the lodgings of the pilgrim brokers until they found work.  They worked as food sellers, gardeners, and provided labor for the pilgrim brokers to build lodging homes for them.  The pilgrim brokers also took in bonded laborers who worked for Malay or Javanese employers to clear forests to set up settlements in Johore, Malaya.  The activities with these bonded laborers continued until the 1920s.  From 1886 until 1890, as many as 21,000 Javanese became bonded laborers with the Singapore Chinese Protectorate, an organization formed by the British in 1877 to monitor the Chinese population.  They performed manual labor in the rubber plantations.  After their bond ended, they continued to open up the land and stayed on in Johore.

After the Second World War, the total number of Javanese coming to Singapore continued to increase.  The first wave consisted of conscript labor that were brought by the Japanese and their numbers were estimated to be about 10,000.  The second wave were those who moved to Singapore through Malaya.  The 1970 census showed that a total of 21,324 Malays who were born in Malaya (later Malaysia) had moved to Singapore in the years 1946-1955; and as many as 29,679 moved to Singapore from 1956-1970.  Interviews conducted showed that a majority of them were young men of Javanese descent from Johore who wanted to find a better life in Singapore.  Most of them were not educated and not highly skilled and worked as manual laborers in the post war years.
The majority of Malays in Singapore are Sunni Muslims belonging to the Shafi'i sect; share a similar culture with those in Peninsula Malaysia; and speak the Johore-Riau variant of Malay similar to that spoken in the west Malaysian peninsula rather than that of Indonesia.


Malays, Thai

Thai Malays are ethnic Malays in Thailand.  Thailand hosts the third largest ethnic Malay population after Malaysia and Indonesia, and most Malays are concentrated in the Southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, Songkhla, and Satun.

Ethnic Malays in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla due in part to cultural differences from the Thai people as well as past experiences of forced attempts to assimilate there into Thai mainstream culture after the eventual annexation of Pattani Kingdom by the Sukhothai Kingdom.  On the other hand, ethnic Malays in Satun are less inclined towards separatism.  Ethnic Malays in Satun are more proficient in Thai as compared to the Malays from the other states, and their dialect have strong affinities to those of Perlis. 

People of mixed Thai and Malay ancestry are known as Samsam, which forms the bulk of Satun's population but also a significant minority in Phatthalung, Trang, Krabi, Phang Nga and Songkhla as well as in the Malaysian states of Kedah, Perak and Perlis.  Samsams are generally adherents of Islam but culturally Thai, although Malay influences are co-dominant.  Phuket and Ranong, home to a sizeable Muslim population, also has many people who are of Malay descent.  A sizeable community also exists in Bangkok itself, having descended from migrants or prisoners who were relocated from the South from the 13th century onwards.


Malek Jahan Khanom
A Persian princess of the Qajar dynasty.

Malek Jahan Khanom (Mahd-e Olia or Mahd-i-'Aliua) (1805-1873) was the consort of Sultan Mohammad Shah Qajar of Persia (reign 1834-1848), and the mother of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar.

Malek Jahan Khanom was the granddaughter of Fat′h-Ali Shah Qajar of Persia and the cousin of her spouse, Mohammad Shah Qajar.  Her name means "Sublime Cradle". She was the regent of Persia from September 5 until October 5 in 1848, between the death of her husband and the accession to the throne of her son. She exerted political influence during the reign of her son from 1848 until her death in 1873. She is described as having a strong personality and as being politically gifted. She supported and strengthened the Qajar nobility against merited commoners.


Malik al Salih
13th century
Founder of the first Muslim state of Samudera Pasai in the year 1267. 

Also known as Malik Al Saleh, Malik ul Salih or Malik ul Saleh, his original name was Mara Silu, Merah Silu, Muerah Silu or Malikul-saleh.  It was said that he saw an ant as big as a cat, caught it and ate it.  He named the place Samudera, meaning ocean in Sanskrit (samudra).  King Mara Silu later converted to Islam, given an Ayyubid name of Malik Al-Salih.  He married the neighboring Perlak (Peureulak) Kingdom's daughter and had two sons.  According to Hikayat Raja-raja Pasai, Malik al Salih met Muhammad in a dream which prompted his conversion to Islam.  Another source claimed a prince Malik from Aceh sailed across the sea to Beruas (Gangga Negara) and established a sultanate there.  


Malik Ayaz
Eleventh century
Turkic slave who rose to the rank of officer and general in the army of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (also known as Mahmud Ghaznavi). 

The son of Aymaq Abu'n-Najm, Malik Ayaz's rise to power was a reward for the devotion and love he bore his master. The romance of the Sultan and his slave boy Ayaz is part of Islamic legend.  The Sultan is seen as an example of the man who, because of the power of his love, becomes "a slave to his slave."  Ayaz became the paragon of the ideal beloved, and a model of purity in Sufi literature.  The two gained pride of place among the favorite pairs of lovers in Persian literature. 

In 1021, the Sultan raised Ayaz to kingship, awarding him the throne of Lahore, which the Sultan had taken after a long siege and a fierce battle in which the city was torched and depopulated.  As the first Muslim governor of Lahore, Malik Ayaz rebuilt and repopulated the city.  He also added many important features, such as a masonry fort which he built in 1037-1040 on the ruins of the previous one, demolished in the fighting, and city gates (as recorded by Munshi Sujan Rae Bhandari, author of the Khulasatut Tawarikh in 1695).  The present Lahore Fort is built in the same location.  Under his rulership, the city became a cultural and academic center, renowned for poetry.  It is said that in old age Sultan Mahmud spent his whole time in the society of Malik Ayaz, neglecting the business of the state.  The tomb of Malik Ayaz can be found in the Rang Mahal commercial area of Lahore.


Maliki, Nouri Kamel al-
Prime minister of Iraq. 

Nouri Kamel al-Maliki was born on July 1, 1950, in Abu Gharaq, a southern Iraqi town lying between Karbala and Al Hillah.  He attended school in Al Hindiyah and received a bachelor's degree at Usul al-Din College in Baghdad, and a master's degree in Arabic literature from Baghdad University.  Al Maliki's grandfather, Muhammad Hasan Abi al-Mahasin, was a poet and cleric who served as Iraq's Minister of Education under King Faisal I. 

Al-Maliki lived for a time in Al Hillah, where he worked in the education department.  He joined the Islamic Dawa Party in the late 1960s while studying at university.  Following a crackdown on the Dawa Party in the 1970s by Hussein, Maliki fled the counry, residing first in Iran and later in Damascus, Syria.  Maliki returned to Iraq around the time of the United States led invasion in 2003.

In early 2003, United States led coalition forces overthrew Saddam Hussein, the ruler of Iraq, and occupied the country.  Iraqis in January 2005 elected a National Assembly to draft a constitution for a new government.  Maliki was elected among a block of United Iraqi Alliance members, who made up the largest political grouping in the assembly.  In October 2005, Iraqi voters approved the draft constitution submitted by the National Assembly.

In late October 2006, Maliki announced that he represented the interests of Iraqis -- not the United States -- and refused to agree to demands laid down by the administration of United States President George W. Bush.  He also ordered United States troops out of Sadr City, a Baghdad neighborhood believed to harbor various Shi'ite militia members.

Iraqi voters in December 2005 elected a new permanent Council of Representatives to replace the National Assembly.  The UIA, which again won the largest bloc of seats, nominated interim Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari to continue as prime minister, but Jafari withdrew his candidacy in April 2006.  The UIA then nominated Maliki, who was subsequently approved by the council.  Maliki's government faced increasing threats from violent sectarian conflict between Shi'ites and Sunnis, members of the two major branches of Islam.

Mālikī’s prime ministership was marred by instability. Violent and intractable warfare between Sunni and Shīʿite militias and a rampant anti-American and anti-government insurgency together created economic paralysis and a lack of security in the country. An increase in United States troop levels in early 2007 had some initial success in stemming the violence, but Mālikī failed to achieve any significant political progress. In March 2008 in Baghdad he met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose country supported Mālikī’s government. It was the first visit by an Iranian leader to Iraq in nearly 30 years. Later that month Mālikī launched a government operation against the Shīʿite militia of Muqtadā al-Ṣadr in Al-Baṣrah. The fighting ended only after Ṣadr ordered a cease-fire. Although Mālikī called the offensive a success, many believed that his government had been further weakened. In the country’s March 2010 parliamentary election, Mālikī and his State of Law coalition—comprising the Daʿwah Party and other groups of various ethnic and religious backgrounds—were narrowly defeated by the secular coalition of former prime minister Ayād ʿAllāwī. Even before results were released, Mālikī requested a recount, which was denied. After the results were released, he continued to mount legal challenges to ʿAllāwī’s apparent victory.


Maloof, Samuel Solomon
Furniture designer and woodworker. 

Samuel Solomon Maloof (January 24, 1916 - May 21, 2009) was born in Chino, California, to parents who emigrated to the United States from Lebanon. He attended high school first at Chaffey High School in Ontario, California, where he took his first woodworking class and was recognized by his art teacher as having extraordinary skill. Later he attended Chino High School. Shortly after completing high school, he began working in the art department of the Vortox Manufacturing Company in Claremont, California. He was drafted into the United States Army on October 11, 1941. After serving in the Pacific theater and then transferring to a post in Alaska, Maloof left the army in 1945 to return to Southern California.

Maloof married Alfreda Louise Ward on June 27, 1948 and the couple moved into a house at 921 Plaza Serena, Ontario, California where Sam set up a furniture workshop in the garage. Mostly from necessity, Maloof designed and built a suite of furniture for his home using salvaged materials. Commissioned pieces followed, and from 1949-1952 Maloof continued working in the garage of his Ontario home. In 1953, Maloof relocated to Alta Loma, California where he built a studio to continue making furniture.

Maloof's work is in the collections of several major American museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 1985 he was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" grant. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan have both owned Maloof rockers.

Sam Maloof resided in Alta Loma, California, a neighborhood community in the City of Rancho Cucamonga. On a former citrus orchard are his home, his furniture shops and the site of the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts.

He was described by the Smithsonian Institution as "America's most renowned contemporary furniture craftsman" and People magazine dubbed him "The Hemingway of Hardwood." But his business card always said "woodworker." "I like the word," he told a Los Angeles Times reporter, his eyes brightening behind large, owl-eyed glass frames. "It's an honest word."


Mamadou II
d. 1559
Mansa ("king of kings") of the Mali Empire (r. 1496-1559).

Mansa Mahmud III, also known as Mamadou II, was mansa ("king of kings") of the Mali Empire from 1496 to 1559. He was the last mansa to rule from Niani and is known as the mansa under which Mali suffered the most losses of its territory.

Songhai forces under the command of Askia Muhammad defeated the Mali general Fati Quali in 1502 and seized the province of Diafunu. In 1514, the Denanke dynasty was established in Tekrour. It was not long before the new kingdom of Great Fulo was warring against Mali’s remaining provinces. To add insult to injury, the Songhai Empire seized the copper mines of Takedda.

In 1534, Mahmud III received another Portuguese envoy to the Mali court by the name of Peros Fernandes. This envoy from the Portuguese coastal port of Elmina arrived in response to the growing trade along the coast and Mali’s urgent request for military assistance against Songhai. However, no help was forthcoming and Mali saw its possessions fall one by one.

Mansa Mahmud III’s reign also saw the military outpost and province of Kaabu become independent in 1537. The Kaabu Empire appeared every bit as ambitious as Mali was in its early years and swallowed up Mali’s remaining Gambian provinces of Cassa and Bati.

The most defining moment in Mahmud III’s reign was the final conflict between Mali and Songhai in 1545. Songhai forces under Askia Ishaq’s brother, Daoud, sacked Niani and occupied the palace. Mansa Mahmud III was forced to flee Niani for the mountains. Within a week, he regrouped with his forces and launched a successful counter-attack forcing the Songhai out of Manden proper for good. The Songhai Empire did keep Mali’s ambitions in check, but never fully conquered their old masters.

After liberating the capital, Mahmud III abandoned it for a new residence further north. Nevertheless, there was no end to Mali’s troubles. In 1559, the kingdom of Futa Touro succeeded in taking Takrur. This defeat reduced Mali to Manden proper with control extending only as far as Kita in the west, Kangaba in the north, the Niger River bend in the east and Kouroussa in the south.


Mamadou Lamine Loum
b. 1952
Senegalese political figure.

Mamadou Lamine Loum (b, February 3, 1952) is a Senegalese political figure. Considered a technocrat, he served as Prime Minister of Senegal from July 3, 1998 to 5 April 5, 2000.

Loum was born in Mboss. After completing his education at Senegal's National School of Administration and Magistracy, he became an inspector at the Treasury in 1977 and then Treasurer-General of Senegal in 1984. He was Director-General of the Treasury from 1991 to 1993, then Minister Delegate to the Minister of Finance in charge of the Budget from June 1993 to January 1998. He was named Minister of Finance in January 1998, serving in that position for six months until being appointed Prime Minister.


Mansur Muhammad bin Abdallah
An imam of the Zaydiyya sect in Yemen.

Al-Mansur Muhammad bin Abdallah (December 16, 1802 - February 8, 1890) was an imam of the Zaydiyya sect in Yemen who claimed the imam title in the period 1853-1890, and ruled briefly in the capital San'a in 1853.

Muhammad bin Abdallah al-Wazir was a Sayyid of the Al Wazir lineage from Wadi'l-Sirr. He was a 23rd-generation descendant of the imam ad-Da'i Yusuf (d. 1012). His career coincides with a period of great disorder in the Zaidi state in Yemen which was founded in 1597. The realm of the imam was confined to part of the highlands while the lowlands were ruled by the Ottoman Turks. The imam al-Hadi Ghalib was deposed in 1852 by the population of San'a, who appointed a governor called Ahmad al-Haymi. In the next year 1853, the ulema and notables acknowledged Muhammad as their new imam. As such, he adopted the title al-Mansur Muhammad. He conducted a military campaign to disperse the Arhab tribesmen who had occupied Haima. However, the expedition proved fruitless. Al-Mansur Muhammad himself was expelled from San'a after a very short tenure. When he left the city he cursed the inhabitants. And actually a series of calamities befell the urban population, since cattle and grapes were struck by disease, and the plague ravaged the region in the following year. Al-Mansur Muhammad returned to Wadi'l-Sirr where he continued to pose as imam until 1890, handling disputes among the people which were voluntarily brought forward to him. However, he only wielded local importance, and the political initiative went over to other claimants to the Yemeni imamate, in particular al-Mutawakkil al-Muhsin.


Mardin, Arif
Turkish American record producer. 

Arif Mardin was born March 15, 1932, in Istanbul, Turkey, into a renowned family that produced statesmen, diplomats and leaders in the civic, military and business sectors of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic.  His father was a partner in a petroleum gas station chain.  He graduated from the Istanbul University in Economics and studied at the London School of Economics. 

An avid jazz aficionado, Arif first encountered jazz by listening to his sister's records.  Upon sensing some talent for his son's nascent love of music, Mardin's mom took him to a piano teacher.  While not a good piano player, Arif used his music training to pick notes and write tunes.  When Dizzy Gillespie's orchestra came to Turkey in 1956, Mardin became acquainted with the trumpet player in Gillespie's orchestra, a fellow by the name of Quincy Jones.  Arif later sent Jones a tape of three of his compositions (recorded with funding from Voice of America).  Jones was so impressed that he named Arif Mardin the first recipient of the Quincy Jones Scholarship at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. 

In 1958, Arif and his wife, Latife, left Istanbul for Boston, Massachusetts.  They arrived at Boston and Arif began his studies at Berklee.  It was at Berklee that Arif Mardin further developed the necessary skills to produce and arrange.  After graduating in 1961, Arif taught at Berklee for one year before moving to New York City to try his luck.  But with regards to Berklee, Arif was eventually made a trustee of the school and was awarded an honorary doctorate. 

In 1963, Arif Mardin met Nesuhi Ertegun, the Atlantic Records executive, at the Newport Jazz Festival and one day Ertegun (a fellow Turk) called Arif up and asked him if he would like to become his assistant.  Since his dream was to have his compositions and arrangements played, the couple moved to New York and Arif Mardin joined the small fledgling label called Atlantic Records. 

Arif began a fruitful relationship with Atlantic that would see him work with the company for more than thirty years.  He began to arrange and was assigned by the label to arrange for the Young Rascals.  When the Young Rascals hit paydirt with the "Good Loving", Arif became bitten by the pop world and placed his jazz work on the back burner. 

In 1969, Arif became a Vice President at Atlantic and subsequently served as Senior Vice President until May 2001.  Arif worked closely on many projects with founder Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler, two legends who were responsible for establishing the "Atlantic Sound."  His collaborations with the Bee Gees led to the group developing their famous falsetto which was used with great effect on the smash hit "Jive Talkin'." Arif's other charttoppers include "Pick Up The Pieces" by Average White Band, "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins and "Separate Lives," a duet with Marilyn Martin and Phil Collins, and "I Feel For You" by Chaka Khan. 

In 1974, Arif composed and arranged the music for Khalil Gibran's book, The Prophet, recited by the late Richard Harris. 

In his more than forty (40) year career, Arif Mardin collected over 40 gold and platinum albums, over 15 Grammy nominations and eleven Grammy awards.  In 1990, Mardin was inducted into the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.  In the same year, Arif received the the Turkish American of the Year Award from the Assembly of Turkish American Associations.  His acceptance speech was later entered into the Congressional Record.

In 1992, Arif received the Shofar of Peace Award from the Sephardic Community of Los Angeles, commemorating 500 years of peace and friendship between the Jewish and Turkish communities.  In 1992, he also produced the music for Bette Midler's ABC-TV movie, "Gypsy." 

Arif composed and arranged the music for "Her Infinite Variety: Women of Shakespeare" recited by the world renowned stage actress Irene Worth.  This recording was released in 1993. 

1n 1996, Arif earned his sixth Grammy for his production of the "Original Broadway Cast Album of Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller."  The following year, he received a Grammy nomination for the platinum album, "The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Rent."

In December 1997, Arif was one of the recipients of the NARAS Heroes Award presented by Atlantic Records' Ahmet Ertegun.

Other projects in 1997 included Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" starring Whitney Houston and Brandy that aired on ABC television.  Productions for Patti Labelle as well as Barbra Streisand's multi-platinum album "Higher Ground" were all in the same year.

In 1998, Arif served as Music Producer for the soundtrack for the Warner Brothers Motion Picture "Why Do Fools Fall In Love."   Other projects included: productions for Bette Midler's "Bathhouse Betty" as well as on Diana Ross' "Everyday Is A New Day,"  plus the ABC-TV movie "Double Platinum" starring Diana Ross and Brandy.  Mardin also produced two tracks on Barbra Streisand's "A Love Like Ours."  Arif closed the millennium with Jewel's "Joy: A Holiday Collection," an album of Christmas and inspirational songs.

In 2001, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences bestowed upon Arif Mardin a Trustees Award -- a special merit lifetime achievement Grammy conferred on individuals for significant contributions other than performance.  Mardin was named "Man of the Year"  by the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Foundation, a charitable organization that provides music therapy to autistic and other severely disabled children.  He also received the Ertegun Impact Award as presented by the Boston Music Awards, and delivered the Keynote Address at the NEMO Conference.

Arif retired from Atlantic Records in May 2001.  In September 2001, EMI Recorded Music North America entered into a unique multi-faceted arrangement with Arif Mardin along with friend and partner Ian Ralfini.  The two men were appointed to the newly created positions of Co-Vice Presidents and General Managers of the re-instituted Manhattan Records label.

Arif's first production project there was with the very talented young singer-song writer-pianist Norah Jones for her debut album.  The album entitled "Come Away With Me" was a mega-hit, multi-platinum work.  For that achievement, Arif Mardin received a Grammy for Producer of the Year.  

Arif's second project for the Manhattan label was the debut album for the very talented stage star, Melissa Errico. The album, entitled "Blue Like That," is a collection of classic and original pop songs.  In the same year, he also finished an album with the great jazz singer, Dianne Reeves.

In 2003, Arif Mardin was honored with the Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart Award which was presented by the Peace Meditation Group at the United Nations and goodwill advocate Sri Chinmoy.

Arif Mardin died on June 25, 2006, in New York City, New York.  He was survived by his wife Latife, his son Joe and his daughter Julie.



Maruf Karkhi
d. c. 815
Pivotal figure in Sufism.

Maruf Karkhi, whose full name is Abu Mahfuz Maruf Ibn Firuz al-Karkhi, is connected to Shi'i Islam through the eighth Shi'a Imam, Ali ibn Musa Ar-Rida, who converted him to Islam.

Maruf was born in the district of Wasit or Karkh in Baghdad. His father's name Firuz or Firuzan suggests that he was of Persian origin. His original religion is not clear but it is possible that it was Zoroastrianism, Christianity or Mandeanism.

In Sufism, Marufi orders are those connected to Maruf Karkhi. The overwhelming majority of Sufi spiritual orders claim him as part of their golden chain. He forms a penultimate link in what is known as the golden chain (silsilah) of Sufism, the initiation line which forms an unbroken chain to the Prophet of Islam.


Tehran-born singer of Persian traditional music.

Marzieh was born Ashraf os-Sadat Mortezai in Tehran in 1924. Her father, a moderate Muslim cleric, and her mother, who was descended from a family of artists and musicians, encouraged her to pursue a life in music. She studied for years with some of the greatest masters of Persian song before beginning her career in 1942 under the stage name Marzieh, a popular Iranian name meaning laudable or agreeable.

Marzieh started her singing career in the 1940s at Radio Tehran and collaborated with some of the greatest 20th century Persian songwriters and lyricists like Ali Tajvidi, Parviz Yahaghi, Homayoun Khorram, Moeini Kermanshahi and Bijan Taraghi. Marzieh also sang with the Farabi Orchestra, conducted by Morteza Hannaneh, one of the pioneers of Persian symphonic music in the 1960s and 1970s.

After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Marzieh no longer appeared onstage and eventually would leave her homeland in the 1990s due to the political repression. She would also joined the Mujaheddin-e Khalq organization (MKO).

Soon after she left Iran, Marzieh performed several concerts in Los Angeles, California and Royal Albert Hall (London) in 1993, 1994 and 1995. The Paris-based composer Mohammad Shams and the tar soloist Hamid-Reza Taherzadeh were the main musicians who worked with Marzieh in exile.

Marzieh died in Paris on October 13, 2010, from cancer.


Mashaqqah, Mikha'il
A Lebanese writer and historian.

Mikha’il Mashaqqah (Mikhail Mishaqa) (1800-1888) was born to a family of Greek origin in Dayr al-Qamar.  He was taught the principles of secondary education by his father, Jirjis, and then traveled to Egypt, where he studied music.  He returned to Mount Lebanon and worked for the Shihabi family.  He later relocated to Damascus, where he established ties with the British and American delegations.  In 1845, in Cairo, he studied medicine on his own, passed a state exam, and earned a medical degree.  He returned to Damascus and worked as a deputy to the American Council while practicing medicine.  He wrote a detailed chronicle of the 1860 events in Syria.  The book was translated into English.


Masud, Tareque
Award-winning Bangladeshi independent film director.

Tareque Masud (December 6, 1956 – August 13, 2011) was an award-winning Bangladeshi independent film director. He was known for directing the films Muktir Gaan (1995) and Matir Moina (2002), for which he won a number of international awards, including the International Critics' Prize and FIPRESCI Prize for Directors' Fortnight at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. He died in a road accident on August 13,, 2011 while returning to Dhaka from Manikganj on the Dhaka-Aricha highway after visiting a filming location. His microbus collided head-on with an on-coming passenger bus. The cinematographer Mishuk Munier, a long-time colleague, was also killed in the accident, while Masud's wife Catherine Masud was seriously injured. At the time of his death, Masud was working on a movie titled Kagojer Ful (The Paper Flower).
Tareque Masud was born in Nurpur village, Bhanga Upazila, Faridpur District, Bangladesh. He studied at an Islamic madrasah as a child, but the outbreak of the Bangladesh Liberation War against Pakistan forces in 1971 put an end to his studies at the Islamic seminary. After the war, Masud pursued general education and went on to obtain a Masters degree in History at Dhaka University.

His wife, Catherine Masud, was a Chicago-born film editor. They had a son, Nishad Bingham Putra Masud.

One of Masud's earliest works was the documentary Adam Surat (Inner Strength) on the Bangladeshi painter SM Sultan of Narail District which he completed in 1989. His most famous film in the early stage of his career was the documentary Muktir Gaan (The Song of Freedom, 1995) where the camera follows a music troupe during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. The members of the troupe sing songs to inspire freedom fighters. The film was made mainly based on the footage of American filmmaker Lear Levin that Masud got from the basement of Levin's house in New York.

Along with his United States-born wife, Catherine Masud, who was his co-director and a film editor, Masud ran a film production house based in Dhaka named Audiovision.

His first full-length feature film, Matir Moina (English release title "The Clay Bird") which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, derives inspiration from his own childhood experiences. He won the International Critic's Award at the Cannes film Festival in 2002 for this film, as well as the FIPRESCI Prize for Directors' Fortnight for "its authentic, moving and delicate portrayal of a country struggling for its democratic rights." Matir Moina was received with critical praise and toured the international circuit. It was one of the first Bangladeshi films to be widely circulated and was greeted with enthusiasm for its realistic depiction of life without the melodrama that is prevalent in many other South Asian films.

His film, Ontorjatra, is a tale of two generations of Bangladeshi diaspora in London. The film describes the short visit home of a divorced mother and her son. The last project of Tareque and Catherine Masud is Kagojer Phool (The Paper Flower) which deals with the incidents of the partition of the Indian subcontinent. This film was to be called the prequel of Matir Moina.

Masud died in a road accident near Ghior Upazila on August 13, 2011 while returning to Dhaka from Manikganj on the Dhaka-Aricha highway after visiting a shooting location. His microbus collided head-on with an oncoming passenger bus. In the accident, his wife Catherine Masud was also seriously injured. He along with the other passengers were traveling to choose shooting locations for his new film. The name of his new movie is "Kagojer Ful" (The Paper Flower) filming of which was supposed to begin after shooting locations were elected.

Masud was travelling with long-time co-worker Ashfaque Munier (aka Mishuk Munier), a well-known cinematographer, TV journalist and CEO of ATN News. Munier also died in the accident. The coffins of Masud and Munier were laid out in front of the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka on Sunday, August 14, 2011, when thousands of Bangladeshis came to pay their last respects. Ashfaque Munier was also the son of the late Bengali intellectual Munier Chowdhury who was killed by collaborators during the liberation war of 1971.

The filmography of Tareque reads as follows:

Sonar Beri (The Chains of Gold), 1985
Adam Surat (The Inner Strength), 1989
Se (The Conversation), 1993
Unison (Umatic video, 4 mins), 1994
Muktir Gaan (The Song of Freedom), 1995
Muktir Kotha (The Story of Freedom), 1996
Voices of Children (Betacam SP, 30 mins), 1997
In the Name of Safety (DVCam, 25 mins), 1998
Narir Kotha (Women & War)(Betacam SP, 25 mins), 2000
Matir Moina (The Clay Bird)(35mm, 98 mins), 2002
A Kind of Childhood (Betacam SP, 50 mins), 2002
Ontarjatra (The Homeland), 2006
Runway Premiered on 2 October 2010
Kagojer Phool (The Paper Flower), Forthcoming
Noroshundor (The Barber)

The awards won by Tareque Masud were:

For Muktir Gaan (The Song of Freedom)

1997 Film South Asia, Special Mention

For Matir Moina (The Clay Bird)

2002 Cannes Film Festival, International Critics' Prize
2002 Cannes Film Festival, FIPRESCI Prize for Directors' Fortnight
2002 Edinburgh International Film Festival
2002 Montreal International Film Festival
2002 International Film Festival of Marrakech, Best Screenplay Award
2002 Cairo International Film Festival
2003 Palm Springs International Film Festival
2003 New Directors/New Films Festival
2003 Karafilm Festival, Best Film

Other nominations of Tareque Masud films include:

For Matir Moina (The Clay Bird)

2002 International Film Festival of Marrakech, Golden Star
2004 Nominated, Directors Guild of Great Britain, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Foreign Language Film

Matir Moina was also the first Bangladeshi film to compete for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


Maulvi Abdul Haq
Scholar and linguist known as the Baba-e-Urdu -- the Father of Urdu.  He was a champion of the Urdu language and advocated that Urdu be made the national language of Pakistan.

Abdul Haq was born on April 20, 1870, in Hapur town in Ghaziabad District in the United Provinces.  He developed in affinity for the Urdu, Deccani, Persian, and Arabic.  He received a bachelor of arts degree from Aligarh Muslim University in 1894 where he found company of some of the notable intellectuals of that time, including, Shibli Nomani, Syed Ahmed Khan, Rooss Masoud, Mohsin-ul-Mulk, Syed Mehmud, and Babu Mukharjee.  After graduation, Abdul Haq went in Hyderabad Deccan and associated to learning, teaching, translating , and upgrading Urdu.  Abdul Haq was deeply influenced by Sir Syed's political and social views, and learned English and scientific subjects.   Like Khan, Abdul Haq saw Urdu as a major cultural and political influence on the life and identity of the Muslims of India.  He founded the Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Urdu in 1903 in Aligarh . 

Abdul Haq joined the Civil Service under the British Raj, and worked as a chief translator at the Home Department in Delhi, before being appointed as the provincial inspector of schools at Aurangabad in the Central Provinces.  In the same year, he was appointed secretary of the All India Muhammadan Educational Confereence, which had been founded by Syed Ahmed Khan in 1886 for the promotion of education and intellectualism in Muslim society.  He became Principal of Osmania College (Aurangabad) and retired in 1930.

Following the establishment of the Osmania University in 1917 by the Nizam Osman Ali Khan, Asif Jah VII of the Hyderabad State, Abdul Haq moved to Hyderabad State to teach and helped build the university.  All subjects at the university were taught in Urdu, and under Haq's influence the institution became a patron of Urdu and Persian literature and linguistic heritage.  Apponted as chairman of the department faculty


Mazrui, Ali Al Amin
Kenyan American political scientist.

Ali Al Amin Mazrui,  (b. February 24, 1933, Mombasa, Kenya), is an academic and political writer on African and Islamic studies and North-South relations. After receiving a doctorate from the University of Oxford, he taught at Uganda’s Makerere University (1963–73) and later at the University of Michigan (1974–91). At SUNY–Binghamton (now Binghamton University) he founded and directed the Institute of Global Cultural Studies. He also taught at many other universities worldwide, was a consultant to numerous international organizations, and wrote more than 30 books on African politics and society as well as post-colonial patterns of development and underdevelopment, including The African Predicament and the American Experience: A Tale of Two Edens (2004). For television he wrote the nine-hour BBC-PBS co-production The Africans (1986) and was featured in the documentary film Motherland (2009). Mazrui received numerous honors and awards, including the Association of Muslim Social Scientists UK (AMSS UK) Academic Achievement Award (2000).

Mazrui has also become a well known commentator on Islam and Islamism. While utterly rejecting violence and terrorism Mazrui has praised some of the anti-imperialist sentiment that plays an important role in modern Islamic fundamentalism. He has also argued that sharia law is not incompatible with democracy.

The published works by Mazrui include:

    * 2008: Islam in Africa's Experience [Editor: Ali Mazrui, Patrick Dikirr, Robert Ostergard Jr., Michael Toler and Paul Macharia], (New Delhi: Sterling Paperbacks)
    * 2008: Euro-Jews and Afro-Arabs: The Great Semitic Divergence in History [Editor: Seifudein Adem], (Washington DC: University of America Press)
    * 2008: The Politics of War and Culture of Violence [Editor: Seifudein Adem and Abdul Bemath], (New Jersey: Africa world Press)
    * 2008: Globalization and Civilization: Are they Forces in Conflict? [Editor: Ali Mazrui, Patrick Dikirr, Shalahudin Kafrawi], (New York: Global Academic Publications)
    * 2006: A Tale of two Africas: Nigeria and South Afric as contrasting Visions [Editor: James N. Karioki], (London: Adonis & Abbey)
    * 2006: Islam: Between Globalization & Counter-Terrorism [Editors: Shalahudin Kafrawi, Alamin M. Mazrui and Ruzima Sebuharara] (Trenton, NJ and Asmara, Eritrea: Africa World Press)
    * 2004: The African Predicament and the American Experience: a Tale of two Edens (Westport, CT and London: Praeger)
    * 2002: Black Reparations in the era of Globalization [with Alamin Mazrui (Binghamton: The Institute of Global Cultural Studies)]
    * 2002: The Titan of Tanzania: Julius K. Nyerre's Legacy (Binghamton: The Institute of Global Cultural Studies)
    * 2002: Africa and other Civilizations: Conquest and Counter-Conquest, The Collected Essays of Ali A. Mazrui, Vol. 2 [Series Editor: Toyin Falola; Editors: Ricardo Rene Laremont & Fouad Kalouche] (Trenton , NJ and Asmara, Eritrea: Africa World Press)
    * 2002: Africanity Redefined, The Collected Essays of Ali A. Mazrui, Vol. 1 [Series Editor: Toyin Falola; Editors: Ricardo Rene Laremont & Tracia Leacock Seghatolislami] (Trenton , NJ and Asmara,Eritrea: Africa World Press)
    * 1999: Political Culture of Language: Swahili, Society and the State [with Alamin M. Mazrui] (Binghamton: The Institute of Global Cultural Studies)
    * 1999: The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities [Co-editors Isidore Okpewho and Carole Boyce Davies] (Bloomington: Indiana University Press).
    * 1998: The Power of Babel: Language and Governance in the African Experience [with Alamin M. Mazrui] (Oxford and Chicago: James Currey and University of Chicago Press).
    * 1995: Swahili, State and Society: The Political Economy of an African Language [with Alamin M. Mazrui] (Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers).
    * 1993: Africa since 1935: VOL. VIII of UNESCO General History of Africa [Editor,Asst. Ed. C. Wondji] (London: Heinemann and Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993).
    * 1990: Cultural Forces in World Politics (London and Portsmouth, N.H: James Currey and Heinemann).
    * 1986: The Africans: A Triple Heritage (New York: Little Brown and Co., and London: BBC).
    * 1986: The Africans: A Reader Senior Editor [with T.K. Levine] (New York: Praeger).
    * 1984: Nationalism and New States in Africa: From about 1935 to the Present [with Michael Tidy] (Heinemann Educational Books, London).
    * 1980: The African Condition: A Political Diagnosis [The Reith Lectures] (London, Heinemann Educational Books and New York, Cambridge University Press).
    * 1978: The Warrior Tradition in Modern Africa [Editor] (The Hague and Leiden, The Netherlands: E.J. Brill Publishers).
    * 1978: Political Values and the Educated Class in Africa (London: Heinemann Educational Books and Berkeley, CA: University of California Press).
    * 1977: State of the Glove Report, 1977 (Edited and co-authored for World Order Models Project)
    * 1977: Africa's International Relations: The Diplomacy of Dependency and Change (London: Heinemann Educational Books and Boulder: Westview Press).
    * 1976: A World Federation of Cultures: An African Perspective (New York: Free Press).
    * 1975: Soldiers and Kinsmen in Uganda: The making of a Military Ethnocracy (Beverly Hills: Sage Publication and London).
    * 1975: The Political Sociology of the English Language: An African Perspective: (The Hague: Mouton Co.).
    * 1973: World Culture and the Black Experience (Seattle: The University of Washington Press).
    * 1973: Africa in World Affairs: The Next Thirty Years [Co-edited with Hasu Patel] (New York and London: The Third Press).
    * 1971: The Trial of Christopher Okigbo [Novel] (London: Heinemann Educational Books and New York: The Third Press).
    * 1971: Cultural Engineering and Nation-Building in East Africa (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press).
    * 1970: Protest and Power in Black Africa [Co-edited with Robert I. Rotberg] (New York: Oxford University Press).
    * 1969: Violence and Thought: Essays on Social Tentions in Africa (London and Harlow: Longman).
    * 1967: Towards a Pax Africana: A Study of Ideology and Ambition (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, and University of Chicago Press).
    * 1967: On Heroes and Uhuru-Worship: Essays on Independent Africa (London: Longman).
    * 1967: The Anglo-African Commonwealth: Political Friction and Cultural Fusion (Oxford: Pergamon Press).


Mbacke, Serigne Saliou
Spiritual leader of Senegal's Muslims.  

Serigne Saliou Mbacke was born in May 1915, the fourth son of Sheikh Amadou Bamba, a Muslim mystic and ascetic who founded the Mouride Brotherhood in 1883.  At the time of the brotherhood's foundation Senegal was part of French West Africa and the colonial authorities soon became alarmed at the group's potential as a focus for nationalist opposition as Bamba won the allegiance of local kings.

After being persecuted and sent into exile, the French belatedly realized that Bamba and the brotherhood, with its emphasis on hard work, served French economic interests, and that the preaching of a "jihad" based on learning and fear of God rather than weapons could be tolerated.  As a result, the brotherhood grew substantially, and, by the time of Amadou Bamba's death in 1927, work had begun on the Great Mosque in Touba.  Touba would eventually be tranformed from a rural outpost to a city with a population of over one million people.

Serigne Saliou was twelve at the time of his father's death, when the latter was succeeded by his eldest son, Serigne Mohammadou Mustapha Mbacke.  Serigne Saliou would wait 63 years before himself becoming the fifth caliph, or "Grand Marabout," in 1990.

For most of the 63 years before becoming caliph, Serigne Saliou spent much of his time offering spiritual advice and guidance to the brotherhood's followers in Touba as it developed into a state within a state. Inside the city limits visitors could not drink, smoke or dance, in contrast to the much more liberal atmosphere which prevailed in the rest of Senegal. Serigne Saliou was prominent among the brotherhood's leaders, who each year hosted “Magal”, a celebration re-enacting Bamba's enforced exile from Touba during the colonial period.

Serigne Saliou, during his long wait to succeed to the religious leadership, was also in the forefront of turning the brotherhood into the country's most influential economic group. The group's wealth started with the regular donations of parts of their income given by followers, many of whom were street traders. The brotherhood's links with the merchant class soon spread its influence across the region and farther afield.  Serigne Saliou took particular credit for expanding the brotherhood's economic power when he finally acceded to the leadership in 1990. Among his astute moves was to invest heavily in agriculture, amassing 100,000 acres of peanut fields, which were transformed into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. Mbacke also won praise inside Senegal for cracking down on illicit activity in Touba, which under his brothers had had a reputation for serving as a hub for arms trafficking and drug smuggling. He also won a reputation as an educator, building many Quranic schools throughout Senegal.

Mbacke avoided direct involvement in Senegal's politics and refrained from speaking out on political matters. Nevertheless, the most powerful politicians in the country routinely came to his court in Touba, or “Little Mecca” as it was known to the Senegalese.  In the Touba of Serigne Saliou Mbacke, drinking, smoking and dancing were prohibited.  The city was the home of 5,000 student university and its main mosque broadcast the call to prayer over a loudspeaker system that could be heard over a seven-mile radius.

At the time of his death, Serigne Saliou Mbacke was arguably the most influential figure in the West African state of Senegal.  As the leader of the country's richest and most powerful Islamic group, the Mouride Brotherhood, he was also religious adviser to President Abdoulaye Wade.  Indeed, Wade was himself a Mouride disciple who paid public allegiance to Mbacke after his election victory in 2000.  Although Senegal is officially a secular country, the majority of its democratically elected leaders sought the backing of Serigne Saliou Mbacke and his image was ever-present in the homes and workplaces of millions of his followers.

The reaction to Mbacke's death on December 28, 2007, was a measure of his standing in Senegal. He was buried — even before his death was announced — in the Muslim holy city of Touba, 125 miles east of the capital, Dakar, in order to ensure that the ceremony was not disrupted by grief-stricken disciples. Hundreds of thousands later converged on the Grand Mosque in Touba to pay their respects. Radio stations interrupted their programming to announce Mbacke's death, while the popular music star Cheikh Lo brought a late-night concert in Dakar to an immediate halt. President Wade declared three days of national mourning.   It was estimated that four million people made the pilgrimage to his burial site.

Mbacke was the last surviving son of Sheikh Amadou Bamba, founder of the Mouride Brotherhood. He was succeeded as the movement's sixth leader by a grandson of Bamba, Serigne Bara Falilou Mbacke.

Mehrad, Farhad
Persian rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist. 

Farhad Mehrad rose to prominence among Iranian Rock and Folk musicians before the Iranian Revolution, but after the revolution he was banned from singing for several years. His first concert after the Iranian revolution was held in 1993. To this day he is considered one of the most influential, revolutionary, gifted and respected Iranian artists of all time.

Farhad was born on January 20, 1944, in Tehran. His father was Reza Mehrad, an Iranian diplomat who worked in the Arab countries for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Being the youngest child, Farhad always behaved differently from his family members.

When Farhad was three years of age, his love for music was noticed when he stayed outside his brother's room, listening to his violin lessons. His family bought Farhad a cello and he started taking lessons. After 3 lessons, his cello broke and as Farhad described when "the instrument broke into pieces so did my soul". That was the end of the cello for Farhad and his love and passion for music was, for a time, confined to only listening to his brother playing the violin.

When Farhad went to school he discovered a passion for literature. He decided to study literature in high school but with the absence of his father, his uncle forced him to study science despite his weak results on all other subjects other than literature and English language. His interest being ignored; Farhad quit high school in the eleventh grade because he had no love for what he was studying.

After quitting high school, Farhad met an Armenian music band. Using their instruments, he learned music by experience and after a while he became the guitar player in the band. The band went to southern Iran to perform for the Iranian Oil Company Club - one of the biggest organizations in Iran with many foreign employees. Before the start of the first night's performance, the band made Farhad the singer, the excuse was the vocalist's absence. Farhad's attention to the correct pronunciation of words, and his knowledge of world literature came to good advantage.  When Farhad performed a few songs in Italian, French and English, it was hard to believe his mother tongue was Persian. That led to the band's success and they performed for an extended number of nights.

After a while Farhad quit the band and started his solo career. In 1964 he performed a few English songs on an Iranian TV show, where he captured the attention of more people.

Later, in an event sponsored by EtelaÃt Javanan, a popular youth magazine, Farhad performed in "Amjadieh" Stadium. He played a few songs with the guitar which was followed by a huge crowd response. That was when Shahbal Shabpareh, the front man of the Iranian popular band "Black Cats" heard about Farhad.

In 1967, sometime later after Shahbal and Farhad met, Farhad joined the Black Cats (band) as a vocalist, the guitar player and the piano player. The Black Cats members were Shahbal Shabpareh (percussion), Shahram Shabpareh (guitar), Hassan Shamaizadeh (saxophone), Homayoun Khajehnouri (guitar), and Manouchehr Eslami (trumpet). The band started playing in the "Couchini Club".

In the busiest and most successful time of the band, the first Persian song of Farhad, called Age Ye Jo shaance Daashti (With a little bit of luck) was used in dubbing the movie Banooye Zibaye Man (My Fair Lady) into Farsi.

After a

while, Farhad left the Black Cats to take care of his sick sister in England. Farhad met a famous producer and he was offered a record deal by him. Farhad became ill and due to his illness and personal problems the deal never took place.  However, the stay that was supposed to last for two months, took one year.

In 1969 Farhad sang Marde Tanha (A Lonely Man) for the movie Reza Motori (Reza, the Biker). The song was composed by Esfandyar Monfaredzadeh and the lyrics were written by Shahyar Ghanbari. After the release of the movie, the song was released on gramophone discs and Farhad became a legendary star.

Farhad only sang songs which had a message and he believed in their messages. That's why after Marde Tanha he only released three singles during the years 1971-1973. The three singles were Jomeh (Friday); Hafteye Khakestari (The Grey Week); and Ayeneh (Mirror).

Before the Iranian 1979 Islamic Revolution and during the political conflicts of the 1970s in Iran, Farhad recorded 6 songs with revolutionary messages that became the Iranian's voice of unity.

The day after the Iranian revolution, February 11, 1979, his song "Vahdat" (unity) was broadcast on Iranian television in honor of the revolution and freedom.

After revolution, the Islamic government turned its back on Farhad and refused to grant him permission to publish his album many times. Even the song "Vahdat" which  was once considered a song in honor of the revolution was refused permission to be released. The government's reason was the song was nothing new; but the fact was that the Islamic Government was concerned about his popularity and his influence on people.

Ultimately, someone with strong connections within the Islamic government , obtained official permission from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and released Farhad's singles which were recorded before the revolution as an album without Farhad's permission.  The album was called Vahdat (Unity). Many Iranians bought the album to keep the memory of Farhad and his remarkable songs alive.

In 1993, after 15 years of silence, Farhad was granted permission to release his first album Khab Dar Bidari (Sleep while awake) and it went straight to the top of the charts just after its release.

After this album Farhad lost hope in the Iranian government's grant of permission system.  Farhad released his next album Barf (Snow) in the United States in 1999. Barf was released in Iran a year later.

After Barf, Farhad decided to record an album with songs from different countries and in different languages. He decided to call the album "Amin" (Amen).  Farhad began recording, but he died before he could finish the album.

In September 2000, after 2 years of treatment in Iran and France, Farhad's illness became serious and on August 31, 2002, , he died of a malignant form of Hepatitis C in Paris, France.

His funeral was attended by many Iranian stars like Dariush, Ebi and many more famous Persian entertainers.  Iranians all around the world mourned the death of Farhad Mehrad.

Farhad was cremated and his remains were buried in the Thiais cemetery just outside Paris, France.


Mehta, Tyeb
Indian painter.

Tyeb Mehta was part of the noted Bombay Progressive Artists' Group, which included artists like Francis Newton Souza, Syed Haider Raza and Maqbool Fidal Hussain, artists who comprised the first post-colonial generation of artists in India, and artists who broke free from the nationalist Bengal school to embrace Modernism instead.

Among his most noted later paintings were his triptych Celebration, which when sold for $317,500 at a Christie’s auction in 2002, which was then the highest sum for an Indian painting at an international auction, and which also triggered the subsequent great Indian art boom. His other noted works were the 'Diagonal Series', the Santiniketan triptych series, Kali, Mahishasura (1996). He stayed and worked in Mumbai for much of his life, except for three spells in London, New York, and Santiniketan, each having a distinct impact upon his work. He received several awards during his career including the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2007.

Tyeb Mehta was born on July 25, 1925, in Kapadvanj, a town of Kheda district, the Indian state of Gujarat.  He was brought up in the Crawford Market neighborhood of Mumbai, populated by Dawoodi Bohras. At the age of 22, during the partition riots of 1947 in Mumbai, while staying at Lehri House, Mohammed Ali Road, he witnessed a man being stoned to death by a mob.  Mehta subsequently expressed event in a drawing and it was to have lasting impact on his work, leading to a stark and often disturbing depiction of his subjects.

For a while initially, Mehta worked as a film editor in a cinema laboratory at Famous Studios, in Tardeo, Mumbai. Later, in 1952, he received his diploma from Sir J.J. School of Art and became part of the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group, which drew stylistic inspiration from Western Modernism, and included such notables of modern Indian paintings as Francis Newton Souza, Syed Haider Raza and Maqbool Fida Hussain.

Mehta left for London in 1959, where he worked and lived until 1964. Thereafter, he visited New York when was awarded the Rockefeller Fellowship in 1968. He made a three minute film, Koodal (Tamil for 'meeting place'), which he shot at the Bandra slaughter house.  The film won the Filmfare Critics Award in 1970. He also remained an Artist-in-Residence at the Santiniketan between 1984-85, and returned to Mumbai with significant changes in his work. Common themes of his works were trussed bulls and the rickshaw puller.  Afterwards, he moved to the 'Diagonal series', which he created through the 1970s, after accidentally discovering it in 1969, when in a moment of creative frustration he flung a black streak across his canvas. Later in life, he added 'Falling Figures', and several mythological figures into his work, highlighted by the depictions of Kali and Mahisasaura.

Tyeb Mehta held the then record for the highest price an Indian painting has ever sold for at auction ($317,500 USD or 15 million Indian rupees) for Celebration at Christie's in 2002. In May 2005, his painting Kali sold for 10 million Indian rupees (approximately equal to 230,000 US dollars) at Indian auction house Saffronart's online auction. A reinterpretation of the tale of Mahishasura by Mehta showing Durga locked in an embrace with Mahisha sold for $1.584 million.

In December 2005, Mehta's painting Gesture was sold for 31 million Indian rupees to Ranjit Malkani, chairman of Kuomi Travel, at the Osian’s auction. This made it the highest price ever paid by an Indian for a work of Indian contemporary art at auction in India.

Tyeb Mehta spent most of life in Mumbai and later in life stayed at Lokhandwala, Mumbai. He died on 2nd July, 2009 at a Mumbai hospital following a heart attack. He was survived by his wife Sakina, a son and a daughter.

He received the Rockefeller Fellowship in 1968, the Kalidas Samman, instituted by the Madhya Pradesh Government, in 1988 and the Padma Bhushan in 2007.  His film Koodal was awarded the Filmfare Critics' Award in 1970.


Merchant, Ismail
Indian born film producer.

Ismail Merchant was best known for the results of his famously long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions which included director (and Merchant's longtime professional partner) James Ivory as well as screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Their films won six Academy Awards.
Born on December 25, 1936, Ismail Noormohamed Abdul Rehman (Ismail Noor Mohammed Abdul Rehman) in Bombay (now Mumbai), Ismail Merchant was the son of Hazra (née Memon) and Noormohamed Haji Abdul Rehman, a Mumbai Memon textile dealer. 

Merchant's father was a prosperous seller of textiles. As a child, Merchant spoke both the local Gujarati language and Urdu, the Islamic variant of Hindi that his family used at home. To these languages he soon added Arabic and English, learned at St. Xavier, a Jesuit-run school in Bombay, where his parents enrolled him in search of a top-quality education. Merchant's father was a member of the Muslim League, which promoted the creation of an independent state in what would become predominantly Islamic Pakistan. Many of Merchant's own friends were Hindus, however, and even his father declined to move to Pakistan later on. The riots that followed the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 occurred when Merchant was 11 and left a lasting impact on him.

Merchant first got a taste of his own persuasive powers when he addressed a Muslim political rally, while still a student, but politics were not his main interest. Fascinated by movies, he hoped to become an actor, and he got an initial break when he met and was befriended by the single-named Indian actress Nimmi. She steered Merchant toward several modeling jobs, and for his entire life he would be known as a sharp, fashionable dresser. His film career began with roles as extras in several Indian productions.

His real genius from the start, though, lay in the area of production work. He began organizing variety shows at St. Xavier, sometimes staging them in the school's main quadrangle as fundraisers for the institution. Merchant's family exhorted him to focus on his studies in political science and English literature, but he began to spend more and more time on theatrical productions. Soon he was in business for himself, financing theatrical shows by selling advertising space in the printed program.

These shows put money into Merchant's own pocket as well as St. Xavier's coffers, and by the time he graduated in 1958 he had saved enough money to move to New York and enroll in a master of business administration program at New York University in the United States. He soaked up film after film in the rich cinema atmosphere of New York, learning for the first time about the works of the great Bengali Indian director Satyajit Ray. To make ends meet, he worked as a messenger at the United Nations building. Already looking toward his film career, he buttonholed Indian dignitaries, who were visiting the United States, and asked them to finance his new production company. Again, he was successful in spite of his youth and his unknown status. After a stint as an account executive at an advertising agency he moved to Hollywood, confidently sending out a press release in advance of his arrival stating that a top Indian producer was coming to town. He made a short film called The Creation of Woman, booked it into theaters at his own expense in advance of the Academy Award deadline, and scored a nomination in the then lightly contested category. He also entered the short at the Cannes Film Festival in 1961.

At Cannes, Merchant met a young American director, James Ivory, who was screening a documentary about India, The Sword and the Flute. He was impressed by Ivory's knowledge of India, and the conversation that they struck up was to be the beginning of a lifelong partnership. By 1962 they had set up a production company, Merchant Ivory Productions. The partnership was personal in addition to professional.  In later years the two men shared a vacation home in upstate New York and lived in different apartments in the same building in New York City.

Living in yet another apartment in that building was novelist and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, a woman of German background who had married an Indian man. In 1963 she had furnished the screenplay for the first Merchant Ivory release, The Householder, and from then on she was a key member of their creative team. Some of her screenplays were adapted from novels of her own. Part of Merchant Ivory's success was due to their having found an accomplished writer who could realize their aim of creating intelligent films set in India for Western audiences. Early Merchant Ivory films such as Shakespeare Wallah (1965), the story of an English theatrical troupe that slowly loses its audience as independence comes to India, gained an international viewership.

The successful launch of Merchant Ivory was not due exclusively to creative factors, however. They were able to set the company up on a firm financial footing. Merchant identified a source of unused funds - American film company profits that had been nationalized by India's left-leaning government of the 1960s and were essentially lying unused. It was the first, but by no means the last, example of creative funding to ferment in the brain of Merchant.

Merchant's film finance exploits were legendary. His formula rested on equal parts cost control and tireless hounding of potential investors. As Merchant and Ivory established their reputations, top actors willingly took pay cuts in order to participate in their high-quality productions. Large catering bills were not part of the expense picture for Merchant, who would often entertain a film's cast and crew with curry parties and eventually published several Indian cookbooks of his own. He and Ivory sometimes wrangled as Merchant held his partner to a strict production schedule, appearing on the set to recite an insistent refrain of "Shoot, Jim, Shoot." As for investors, he told Morais that "you have to bully them." An unsuccessful example came when he banged on the door of cosmetics executive Estee Lauder but was not admitted.

The Merchant Ivory films from the first part of the duo's career continued to be set in India, and they continued to focus on India with major films such as Autobiography of a Princess (1975) and Heat and Dust (1983). Their work remained only moderately successful financially, however, until they hit on the idea of dramatizing famous English and American novels. They began thinking along these lines after noting the success of the television series Masterpiece Theater. Their first film of this type was a 1979 film of Henry James's novel The Europeans, starring Lee Remick as a young woman climbing her way through Boston's layers of high society. That was also their first film made in the United States, and its success was once again a team effort. Ivory had a keen eye for the rituals and details of aristocratic life; Jhabvala proved an extremely effective translator of complex novels to the big screen; and Merchant found inexpensive alternatives to building large numbers of period sets, such as leaning on friends who owned country estates and persuading them to allow filming there. The result was a set of films with modest budgets (typically two or three million dollars) that looked like big-budget costume extravaganzas.

Merchant and Ivory returned with another Henry James adaptation, The Bostonians, in 1984, and when it grossed $8 million on costs of $2.8 million Merchant's financial profile grew higher. In advance of the 1986 Merchant Ivory film A Room with a View, an adaptation of a novel by E.M. Forster, Merchant forecast gross receipts of $50 million, which would give his investors a 200 percent return on their money. As it turned out, the film grossed $60 million and became an international success. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won three.

Several more major successes in the same vein followed, including Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990), another Forster adaptation, Howard's End, in 1992, and The Remains of the Day, from a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro about a taciturn but inwardly passionate butler (played by Anthony Hopkins).

Merchant directed several films of his own in the 1990s, returning to Indian subjects. His 1993 film In Custody was made in the Urdu language, and Cotton Mary (1999) told the story of a domestic worker of Indian background in the 1950s. His 2001 film The Mystic Masseur was adapted from a book by Indo-Trinidadian-British novelist V.S. Naipaul. He also produced films by directors other than Ivory.

Merchant received the Padma Bhusan, India's equivalent of knighthood, in 2002, and became an honorary fellow of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts the following year. He and Ivory remained active as a partnership, releasing The Golden Bowl in 2000, and Le divorce, starring Glenn Close, in 2003. In 2005 they had two projects in process: The Goddess, a musical about Shakti, a figure in the Hindu pantheon, and The White Countess, which was set in China. After a grueling filming schedule there, he returned to England in poor health and died on May 25, 2005, after complications from ulcer surgery.

Ultimately Ismail Merchant enjoyed a 44-year collaboration with American James Ivory during which they released some 40 films, including A Room with a View (1985) and Howards End (1992), each of which won three Academy Awards. With their tasteful intelligence, careful attention to detail, and high production values, Merchant Ivory productions—with Merchant as producer, Ivory as director, and their friend Ruth Prawer Jhabvala as screenwriter—came to be acknowledged as having defined the genre of literate period pieces.

With a string of successful film adaptations of classic novels in the 1980s and 1990s, Merchant Ivory became renowned for classy, impeccably detailed productions that captured the lives of the English and American upper classes of a bygone era. They also focused on Merchant's home country of India, a place that fascinated the American Ivory as well. The partnership of Merchant and Ivory, which lasted for more than 40 years, was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest collaboration in film history. It was often Merchant's energy and his mastery of the production process that kept the partnership going.

His films include:

(As director)

    * Mahatma and the Mad Boy (1974, short)
    * The Courtesans of Bombay (1983, documentary)
    * In Custody (1993) (feature debut)
    * Lumière and Company (1995, segment "Merchant Ivory, Paris") co-director with James Ivory
    * The Proprietor (1996)
    * Cotton Mary (1999)
    * The Mystic Masseur (2002)

(As producer)

    * The Creation of Woman (1960, short)
    * The Householder (1963)
    * Shakespeare Wallah (1965)
    * The Guru (1969)
    * Bombay Talkie (1970)
    * Adventures of a Brown Man in Search of Civilization (1972, TV)
    * Helen: Queen of the Nautch Girls (1973, short)
    * Savages (1973)
    * Mahatma and the Mad Boy (1974, short) - also director
    * The Wild Party (1975)
    * Autobiography of a Princess (1975)
    * Sweet Sounds (1976, short)
    * Roseland (1977)
    * Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie's Pictures (1976)
    * The Europeans (1979)
    * Jane Austen in Manhattan (1980)
    * Quartet (1981)
    * Heat and Dust (1983)
    * The Courtesans of Bombay (1983) - also director
    * The Bostonians (1984)
    * A Room with a View (1985)
    * Noon Wine (1985, TV) - executive producer (not Merchant Ivory)
    * My Little Girl (1986) - executive producer
    * Maurice (1987)
    * The Perfect Murder (1988) - executive producer
    * The Deceivers (1988)
    * Slaves of New York (1989)
    * Mr & Mrs Bridge (1990)
    * The Ballad of the Sad Café (1990)
    * Howards End (1991)
    * Street Musicians of Bombay (1991) - executive producer
    * The Remains of the Day (1993)
    * Lumière and Company (1995, segment)
    * Jefferson in Paris (1995)
    * Feast of July (1995) - executive producer
    * Surviving Picasso (1996)
    * A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998)
    * Side Streets (1998) - executive producer
    * Cotton Mary (2000)
    * The Golden Bowl (2001)
    * Merci Docteur Rey (2002)
    * Le Divorce (2003)
    * Heights (2004)
    * The White Countess (2005)

In addition to producing, Merchant directed a number of films and two television features. For television, he directed a short feature entitled Mahatma and the Mad Boy, and a full-length television feature, The Courtesans of Bombay made for Britain's Channel Four. Merchant made his film directorial debut with 1993's In Custody based on a novel by Anita Desai, and starring Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor. Filmed in Bhopal, India, it went on to win National Awards from the Government of India for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Costume and Best Production Design. His second directing feature, "The Proprietor," starred Jeanne Moreau, Sean Young, Jean-Pierre Aumont and Christopher Cazenove and was filmed on location in Paris.

Merchant was also fond of cooking, and he wrote several books on the art including Ismail Merchant's Indian Cuisine; Ismail Merchant's Florence; Ismail Merchant's Passionate Meals and Ismail Merchant's Paris: Filming and Feasting in France. He also wrote books on film-making, including a book about the making of the film The Deceivers in 1988 called Hullabaloo in Old Jeypur, and another about the making of The Proprietor called Once Upon a Time . . . The Proprietor. His last book was entitled, My Passage From India: A Filmmaker's Journey from Bombay to Hollywood and Beyond.

In 2002, Ismail Merchant was awarded the Padma Bhushan. He was also a recipient of The International Center in New York's Award of Excellence.

Merchant died on May 25, 2005, in Westminster, London, following surgery for abdominal ulcers.  He was buried in the Bada Kabrestan in Marine Lines, Mumbai, on 28 May 2005, in keeping with his wish to be laid to rest with his ancestors.


Mercury, Freddie
British Parsi rock singer and songwriter.

Freddie Mercury, original name Farrokh Bulsara (b. September 5, 1946, Stone Town, Zanzibar — d. November 24, 1991, Kensington, London, England), was a British rock singer and songwriter whose flamboyant showmanship and powerfully agile vocals, most famously for the band Queen, made him one of rock’s most dynamic front men.

Bulsara was born to Parsi parents who had emigrated from India to Zanzibar, where his father worked as a clerk for the British government. As a child, Bulsara was sent to a boarding school in Panchgani, Maharashtra state, India. Artistically inclined from an early age, he formed a band there in which he played the piano. When Zanzibar became part of the independent country of Tanzania in 1964, Bulsara moved with his family to Feltham, England. He later studied graphic art and design at Ealing Technical College and School of Art (now part of the University of West London), graduating in 1969.

Influenced by the hard-edged, blues-based style of rock acts such as Cream and Jimi Hendrix, Bulsara began singing with bands in London. He also became friends with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor of the band Smile, and in 1970, when Smile’s lead singer quit, Bulsara replaced him. He soon changed the group’s name to Queen and his own to Freddie Mercury. Bassist John Deacon joined the following year. Incorporating elements of both heavy metal and glam rock, the band debuted on record with Queen (1973), which was followed by Queen II (1974). Despite an impressive blend of majestic vocal harmonies and layered virtuosic guitar work, Queen initially failed to attract much notice beyond the United Kingdom. The album Sheer Heart Attack (1974), however, shot up the international charts, and A Night at the Opera (1975) sold even better. The band’s ambitious approach to both songwriting and studio production was epitomized by the latter album’s mock-operatic single “"Bohemian Rhapsody,"” one of a number of Queen compositions written principally by Mercury. The song spent nine weeks atop the British singles chart, and its accompanying promotional film helped the music industry recognize its future in video. Spectacular success followed in 1977 with “"We Are the Champions"” and “"We Will Rock You"”—which became ubiquitous anthems at sporting events in Britain and the United States.

By the early 1980s Queen had become an international phenomenon, drawing particular attention for its elaborately staged performances in enormous venues. Strutting the stage in outrageous costumes, Mercury effortlessly commanded audiences in the tens of thousands. Although Queen’s commercial fortunes had begun to wane by mid-decade, the band arguably reached its apotheosis as a live act with a stellar performance at the charity concert Live Aid in 1985. That same year Mercury released the solo record Mr. Bad Guy, which took musical inspiration from disco. Mercury later appeared on the sound track of Dave Clark’s science-fiction musical Time (1986) and teamed with Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé for the semi-operatic album Barcelona (1988).

In 1991 Mercury, who had engaged in relationships with both men and women, announced that he had been diagnosed with AIDS. He died a day later from complications related to the disease. Until shortly before his death, Mercury had continued to record with Queen, and he was posthumously featured on the band’s final album, Made in Heaven (1995).

Mercury was born in the British protectorate of Zanzibar, East Africa (now part of Tanzania). His parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara, were Parsis from the Gujarat region of the then province of Bombay Presidency in British India. The family surname is derived from the town of Bulsar (also known as Valsad) in southern Gujarat. As Parsis, Mercury and his family practiced the Zoroastrian religion. The Bulsara family had moved to Zanzibar so that his father could continue his job as a cashier at the British Colonial Office. He had a younger sister, Kashmira.

Mercury spent the bulk of his childhood in India and began taking piano lessons at the age of seven. In 1954, at the age of eight, Mercury was sent to study at St. Peter's School, a British-style boarding school for boys in Panchgani near Bombay (now Mumbai), India. At the age of 12, he formed a school band, The Hectics, and covered artists such as Cliff Richard and Little Richard. A friend from the time recalls that he had "an uncanny ability to listen to the radio and replay what he heard on piano". It was also at St. Peter's where he began to call himself "Freddie". Mercury remained in India, living with his grandmother and aunt until he completed his education at St. Mary's School, Bombay.

At the age of 17, Mercury and his family fled from Zanzibar for safety reasons due to the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution, in which thousands of Arabs and Indians were killed. The family moved into a small house in Feltham, Middlesex, England. Mercury enrolled at Isleworth Polytechnic (now West Thames College) in West London where he studied art. He ultimately earned a Diploma in Art and Graphic Design at Ealing Art College, later using these skills to design the Queen crest. Mercury remained a British citizen for the rest of his life.

Following graduation, Mercury joined a series of bands and sold second-hand clothes in the Kensington Market in London. He also held a job at Heathrow Airport. Friends from the time remember him as a quiet and shy young man who showed a great deal of interest in music. In 1969, he joined the band Ibex, later renamed Wreckage. When this band failed to take off, he joined a second band called Sour Milk Sea. However, by early 1970 this group broke up as well.

In April 1970, Mercury joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor who had previously been in a band called Smile. Despite reservations from the other members, Mercury chose the name "Queen" for the new band. He later said about the band's name, "I was certainly aware of the gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it". At about the same time, he changed his surname, Bulsara, to Mercury.


Mir Anis
Mir Babbar Ali Anees (Mir Anis) (1803, in Faizabad in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh - 1874), an Urdu poet known for his Marsia, was born.

Marsiya (Marsia) is an elegiac poem written (especially in Persia and India) to commemorate the martyrdom and valor of Hussain ibn Ali and his comrades of the Karbala. They are essentially religious.

The famous marsia writers who inherited the tradition of Mir Anis among his successive generations are Mir Nawab Ali “Munis”, Dulaha Sahab “Uruj”, Mustafa Meerza urf Piyare Sahab “Rasheed”, Syed Muhammad Mirza Uns, Ali Nawab “Qadeem”, Syed Sajjad Hussain “Shadeed”,  and Syed Sajjad Hussain "Shadeed" Lucknavi.
The Majlis of 25 Rajab, is an historically important Majlis of Marsiya in Lucknow. In this majlis Mir Anis used to recite Marsiya. After Mir Anis, well known marsiya writers of Mir Anis's family as Dulaha Sahab “Uruj”, Mustafa Meerza urf Piyare Sahab “Rasheed”, Ali Nawab “Qadeem” and Syed Sajjad Hussain “Shadeed”, inherited the legacy of reciting marsiya.

Mir Anis composed salāms, elegies, nauhas, and quatrains. While the length of elegy initially had no more than forty or fifty stanzas, with Mir Anis the length of elegy went beyond one hundred fifty stanzas or bunds, as each unit of marsia in musaddas format is known.

Muharram and Mir Anis became synonymous among Urdu-philes of the Indo-Pak subcontinent. Mir Anis was a great teacher and inspiration for generations. Undoubtedly, Urdu derives much of its strength from the Marsias of Mir Anis. Mir Anis drew upon the vocabulary of Arabic, Persian, Urdu/Hindi/Awadhi in such a good measure that he symbolizes the full spectrum of the cultural mosaic that Urdu came to be.


Mir Sadiq
?- 1799
A minister in the cabinet of Tipu Sultan.

Mir Sadiq held the post of a minister in the cabinet of Tipu Sultan of Mysore in India. In the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War, he is alleged to have betrayed the sultan by siding with the British. He allegedly pulled the Mysorean army from the battlefield for collecting wages in the midst of the battle. This allowed the British forces to storm the boundary wall with little defense, paving the way for a British victory. Sadiq was killed at the Battle of Seringapatam by dismayed Mysorean troops immediately following the defeat (allegedly as he attempted to go over to the British).


Mirza Muhammed Ibrahim
c. 1800-1857
An educator who traveled from his native Persia to Britain in 1826.

Mirza Muhammed Ibrahim (c. 1800 - July, 1857) was an educator who traveled from his native Persia (now Iran) to Britain in 1826. In Britain, Mirza took up a permanent appointment to teach oriental languages at the prestigious East India Company College, where he remained until 1844. While there, he also worked as an official translator, becoming friendly with Lord Palmerston. He was the author of an English and Persian grammar textbook.

There were rumors that Mirza left Persia because of religious differences with the establishment. However, while abroad, he remained a faithful Muslim, despite the prevailing British social climate in favor of Christianity.

After returning to Persia in 1844, he became a tutor to the future Shah.


Mirza Salaamat Ali Dabeer
A leading Urdu poet who excelled and perfected the art of Marsiya writing.

Mirza Salaamat Ali Dabeer (1803–1875) is considered the leading exponent of Marsiya Nigari or marsiya writing along with Mir Anis.

Mirza Dabeer was born in 1803 in Delhi. He started reciting marsiya in his youth during muharram ceremonial gatherings called majalis (singular-majlis). He started writing poetry under the tutelage of Mir Muzaffar Husain Zameer.  Dabeer himself was an erudite scholar of his time. He migrated from Delhi to Lucknow, where he found suitable environment to develop and demonstrarte his skills in marsiya writing. According to Maulana Muhammad Husain Azad in Aab-e-Hayat quoting Tazkira-e-Sarapa Sukhan, there is confusion regarding his father's name because of two different names mentioned in Tazkira-as-Ghulam Husain /Mirza Agha Jan Kaghazfarosh. Mirza Dabeer died in Lucknow in 1875 and is buried there.

In his lifetime, Mirza Dabeer wrote at least three thousand elegies.

The Anis and Dabeer rivalry is the most debated and talked about rivalry in Urdu literature.  Their rivalry led to the development of two distinct styles/schools of Marsiya-nigari or marsiya writing at its inception. The staunch supporters of each of the masters identified themselves as "Aneesiya" and "Dabeeriya". The impact of the rivalry was so intense that the followers could neither free themselves from their influence nor surpass either master's brilliance. Although the populace divided itself into two separate groups the two poets remained at cordial terms and acknowledged each other with great respect. When Anis died in 1874, Dabeer penned a couplet as a tribute to the departed poet.

Dabeer, along with Anis, left an everlasting influence on Urdu literature and marsiya in particular. Marsiya, in its content and matter, allowed the two masters to demonstrate their artistry and command of Urdu language and idiom. At the same time, the epical nature of marsiya covered and dealt with the entire range of emotions and ideas. It has both mystical and romantic appeal. All the contemporary and succeeding generations of poets who adopted marsiya as the genre of poetic expression and also others who took to other forms of poetry found it difficult to break away from the trends and standards set by these two masters. The names of Dabeer and Anis are inextricable whenever Urdu Marsia is mentioned. In short, marsiya attained its zenith under the poetic genius of Anis and Dabeer. Marsiya became synonymous with the names of these two masters and also the form- the musaddas- adopted by them became synonymous with the identity of marsiya. Dabeer along with Anis influenced two major aspects of the socio-cultural life of the Indian sub-continent. One is literature and the other is the azadari tradition of the sub-continent.


Mohammed IV
A Sultan of Morocco from 1859 to 1873, and a member of the Alaouite dynasty.

Mohammed IV (1803-September 16, 1873) was born is Fes. In 1844, he commanded the Moroccan army which was defeated by the French at the Isly. The Spanish-Moroccan War (1859) occurred during his reign, and the Moroccan city of Tétouan fell to Spanish forces in 1861.


Mohammed IV
Sultan of Morocco from 1859 to 1873.

Mohammed IV (1803 – 16 September 1873) was a member of the Alaouite dynasty. He was born is Fes. In 1844, he commanded the Moroccan army which was defeated by the French at the Isly. The Spanish-Moroccan War (1859) occurred during his reign, and the Moroccan city of Tétouan fell to Spanish forces in 1861.


Momin Khan
Momin Khan (Momin Khan Momin), an Indian poet known for his Urdu ghazals, was born.

Momin Khan (1800-1851) was an Indian poet known for his Urdu ghazals and used "Momin" as his takhallus (the Urdu word for nom de plume). He was a contemporary of Mirza Ghalib and Zauq.  Today his grave lies near the parking area near Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi. 

Momin Khan Momin was born in Delhi.  He was also called "Hakeem Khan" because he was a physician.  Hakeem is an Urdu word for physician.

Momin is known for his particular Persianized style and the beautiful use of his takhallus.

Ismail ibn Sharif 1634/1645-1727
Second ruler (r. 1672-1727) of the Moroccan Alaouite dynasty.

Moulay Ismaïl ibn Sharif was the second ruler of the Moroccan Alaouite dynasty. Like others of the dynasty, Ismaïl claimed to be a descendant of Muhammad through his grandson Hassan ibn Ali. He is also known in his native country as the "Warrior King."

He ruled from 1672 to 1727 succeeding his half-brother Moulay Al-Rashid who died after a fall from his horse. The then twenty-six year old Moulay Ismaïl inherited a country weakened by internal tribal wars and royal successions. The Alaouite sultan is said to be the father of a total 867 children including 525 sons and 342 daughters. Meknes, the capital city he built, is sometimes called the "Versailles of Morocco", because of its extravagance. Some of the stones were plundered from the ancient Roman ruins at Volubilis.

During Moulay Ismaïl's reign, Morocco's capital city was moved from Fez to Meknes. Like his contemporary King Louis XIV of France, Moulay Ismail began construction of an elaborate imperial palace and other monuments.

He even made an offer of marriage to Louis XIV's beautiful legitimized daughter Marie Anne de Bourbon. Marie Anne refused.

Moulay Ismaïl is noted as one of the greatest figures in Moroccan history. He fought the Ottoman Turks in 1679, 1682 and 1695/96. After these battles the Moroccan independence was respected. Another problem was the European occupation of several seaports: in 1681 he took al-Mamurah (La Mamora) from the Spanish, in 1684 Tangier from the English, and in 1689 Larache also from the Spanish. Moulay Ismaïl had excellent relations with Louis XIV of France, the enemy of Spain, to whom he sent ambassador Mohammad Temim in 1682. There was cooperation in several fields. French officers trained the Moroccan army and advised the Moroccans in the building of public works.

Moulay Ismaïl is also known as a fearsome ruler and used at least 25,000 slaves for the construction of his capital.  His Christian slaves were often used as bargaining counters with the European powers, selling them back their captured subjects for inflated sums or for rich gifts. Most of his slaves were obtained by Barbary pirates in raids on Western Europe. Over 150,000 men from sub-Saharan Africa served in his elite Black Guard. By the time of Ismail's death, the guard had grown tenfold, the largest in Moroccan history.
Ambassador Admiral Abdelkader Perez was sent by Ismail Ibn Sharif to England in 1723.

Moulay Ismaïl is alleged to have fathered 889 children. This is widely considered the record number of offspring for any man throughout history that can be verified. It is thought that Ismaïl would have had to copulate with an average of 1.2 women per day over 60 years to achieve that number of children.

After Moulay Ismaïl's death at the age of eighty (or around ninety by the 1634 birthdate) in 1727, there was another succession battle between his surviving sons. His successors continued with his building program, but in 1755 the huge palace compound at Meknes was severely damaged by an earthquake. By 1757 his grandson, Mohammad III moved the capital to Marrakech.


Mughniyah, Imad 1962-2008
Hezbollah leader. 

Imad Fayez Mughniyah (also known as Mughniyya, Mogniyah, Moughnie, and Hajj Radwan) was born in Tayr Dibba, a poor village in southern Lebanon.  He lived in Ayn al-Dilbah, a ghetto in South Beirut.  His father was a vegetable seller and during the civil war, his house was on Beirut's Green Line. 

Little is known about the adolescence of Mughniyah.  He is thought to have joined Yasser Arafat's Force 17 in 1976.  His role at that time was as a sniper, targeting Christians across the Green Line.  At some point, he studied engineering at the American University of Beirut. 

Mughniyah was associated with many attacks that took place in the 1980s and 1990s, primarily against American and Israeli targets.  These include the April 18, 1983 bombing of the United States embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed 63 people including 17 Americans.  Mughniyah was later blamed for the October 23, 1983, simultaneous truck bombings against French paratroopers and the United States Marine barracks, attacks which killed 58 French soldiers and 241 Marines.  On September 20, 1984, Mughniyah is alleged to have attacked the United States embassy annex building.  The United States indicted him (and his collaborator, Hassan Izz al-Din) for the June 14, 1985, hijacking of TWA Flight 847, which resulted in the death of United States Navy diver Robert Stethem.  He was also linked to numerous kidnappings of Westerners in Beirut through the 1980s, most notably that of Terry Anderson, and William Francis Buckley, who was the Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Beirut.  Some of these individuals were later killed, such as Buckley, who was brutally beaten.  The remainder were released at various times until the last one, Terry Anderson was released in 1991.  Mughniyah was also tied to the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996 which killed 19 Americans and one Saudi citizen. 

Mughniyah was formally charged by Argentina with participating in the March 17, 1992, bombings of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, which killed 29 and the AMIA cultural building in July 1994, killing 86 people.  He was also accused of orchestrating the abductions of three Israeli soldiers in the southern part of Lebanon in 2000 and the kidnapping of Israeli businessman Elchanan Tenenbaum, along with the 2006 attack on Israel, killing eight soldiers.

Imad Mughniyah was killed on February 12, 2008, by a car bomb blast in the Kfar Suseh neighborhood of Damascus, Syria.  He had reportedly been the target of the Israeli Mossad, but Israel denied being behind the assassination.


Muhammad al-Qaim Bi-Amrillah 893-946
Second Caliph (r. 934-946) of the Fatimids in Ifriqiya

Muhammad al-Qaim Bi-Amrillah (b. 893 - d. May 17, 946) was the second Caliph of the Fatimids in Ifriqiya and ruled from 934 to 946. He is the 12th Imam according to Isma'ili Fatemi faith.

Al-Qaim was born in Salamya in Syria in 895 with the name Abd ar-Rahman. After his father Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi Billah (910-934) seized power in Ifriqiya, he was named heir to the throne in 912, and helped put down several revolts. However, campaigns into Egypt faltered against the resistance of the Abbasids (914-915 and 919-921), with heavy casualties.

In 934, Al-Qaim succeeded his father as Caliph, after which he never again left the royal residence at Mahdia. Nevertheless, the Fatimid realm became an important power in the Mediterranean. After the re-conquest of Sicily the Byzantine province of Calabria and the coast of Italy and France were plundered.

However, from 944 to 947 the realm was plunged into crisis by the revolt of Abu Yazid, who had united the Kharijite Berber tribes of the Aurès Mountains of eastern Algeria and overrun Ifriqiya. Imam Al-Qaim was able to hold out in Mahdia with the help of the navy for over a year, but died (on May 17, 946) before the revolt could be put down.

He was succeeded by his son Ismail al-Mansur (946-953). He died on May 17, 946.


Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr 631-658
Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr (631–658) was the son of the first Rightly Guided caliph of Islam, Abu Bakr and Asma bint Umais.

In Islamic history, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr is known for his opposition to the Caliph Uthman along with his governance of Egypt under the rule of Ali ibn Abi Talib. In the year 656, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr played a role in supporting Egyptian rebels who would eventually depose the Caliph Uthman. Later, he would meet his death at the hands of Muawiyah bin Hudayj al-Sakuni in a notorious manner, famously being described as having his carcass burnt while inside that of a donkey.


Muhammad Shah 1804-1857
The third Sultan of Selangor.

Sultan Muhammad Shah (Almarhum Sultan Muhammad Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Ibrahim Shah) (1804 - 6 January 1857), the third Sultan of Selangor, was born in 1804. His reign lasted 31 years until his death and saw the opening of tin mines in Ampang and the partition of Selangor into five independent districts.

Muhammad Shah was not the son of his father's first wife, but since he was made the heir presumptive during his father's reign, Selangor dignitaries accepted him as the next Sultan of Selangor. Sultan Muhammad Shah was not as competent in governing the state and did not have total control over local rajas, village leaders or their districts. By the end of his rule, Selangor was partitioned into five individual territories, namely Bernam, Kuala Selangor, Kelang, Langat and Lukut. Each area was governed by different leaders and Muhammad Shah only controlled Kuala Selangor.  Chinese settlers started mining for tin in the state during his time. The setting up of tin mines in Ampang brought business to the people and this was to be his only recognized success.


Muqtada al-Sadr b. 1974
Iraqi Shi'ite leader and head of the militia known as Jaysh al-Mahdi.

Muqtadā al-Ṣadr (b. 1974, Al-Najaf, Iraq) is an Iraqi Shīʿite leader and head of the militia known as Jaysh al-Mahdī (JAM), or Mahdī Army. He was considered one of the most powerful political figures in Iraq in the early 21st century.

Ṣadr was the son of Grand Ayatollah Muḥammad Ṣādiq al-Ṣadr, one of the most prominent religious figures in the Islamic world. Ṣadr was greatly influenced by his father’s conservative thoughts and ideas and by those of his father-in-law, Ayatollah Muḥammad Bāqir al-Ṣadr, founder of the Islamic Daʿwah Party, who in 1980 was executed for his opposition to Iraqi strongman Ṣaddām Ḥussein.

After completing middle school, Ṣadr enrolled in the Shīʿite ḥawzah (religious seminary) in Al-Najaf, but he never finished his studies. Ṣadr’s father was killed in 1999, along with his two older brothers, reputedly by Iraqi agents. His father’s will stipulated that his ḥawzah be put in the hands of Sayyid Kāẓim al-Hāʾirī, an Iraqi religious scholar, but Hāʾirī delegated the administrative and financial affairs of the ḥawzah to Ṣadr, who became one of al-Hāʾirī’s disciples.

Almost immediately after United States-led forces toppled Ṣaddām’s regime in 2003 (see Iraq War), Ṣadr emerged from the shadows and began to open offices in his father’s name (known collectively as the Office of the Martyr Ṣadr) in Baghdad, Al-Najaf, Karbalāʾ, Al-Baṣrah, and other areas. He had immediate success in Madinat al-Thawrah (Revolution City), a poor Baghdad suburb of two million Shīʿites, which he renamed Ṣadr City in honor of his father. By the end of that year Ṣadr headed a Shīʿite political movement known as the Ṣadrist Movement and had attracted millions of Shīʿite followers across Iraq, mainly youth and the poor and downtrodden, to whom he offered a variety of social, educational, and health services. He also maintained tight security over the areas he controlled and established a court system based on Sharīʿah (Islamic law).

Ṣadr was accused of staging the murder of ʿAbd al-Majīd al-Khūʾī, a rival Shīʿite cleric, and a warrant for his arrest was issued but never executed. Ṣadr concentrated his rhetoric on Iraqi nationalism, especially the removal of United States forces from Iraq, and anti-Americanism. His militia, an ill-coordinated collection of thousands of outlaws, engaged in direct armed clashes with the multinational forces in April and August 2004 and was accused of contributing heavily to the ongoing civil conflict between Shīʿites and Sunnis. Ṣadr’s critics held JAM responsible for brutal acts of retribution against Sunnis, including kidnapping, killing, torture, and the destruction of mosques and property.

Many Shīʿites regarded Ṣadr as a hero who opposed the Sunni rebels supporting al-Qaeda and who protected Shīʿites from Sunni insurgents. In the December 2005 election, members of Ṣadr’s movement stood with other Shīʿite parties as part of the United Iraqi Alliance, which won a plurality of seats (128 of 275) in the parliament; 32 seats went to the Ṣadrists. In the formation of the government, Ṣadr supported Nūrī al-Mālikī of the Daʿwah Party for prime minister, but in April 2007 six Ṣadrist ministers withdrew from Mālikī’s cabinet after their demands for a timetable for withdrawal of foreign troops remained unrealized. Also in 2007, possibly to escape increasing pressure from Iraqi security forces and the United States military, Ṣadr moved to Iran, where he entered a theological seminary in Qom while continuing to direct the actions of his followers in Iraq. In August Ṣadr made another tactical move, which coincided with the United States troop surge—he ordered that his militia suspend all activity for six months, during which time he intended to reorganize it in an attempt to restore its credibility. This suspension of all military activity was extended in late February 2008 for another six months, until August 2008. On March 25, however, the Iraqi government launched a military operation against Ṣadr’s militia in Al-Baṣrah, and intense fighting ensued. The militia fought Iraqi troops to a standstill, and on March 30, following negotiations with government officials, Ṣadr ordered a cease-fire.

In August 2008 Ṣadr’s plan to reorganize his militia was realized in the launch of al-Mumahhidūn (“Those Who Pave the Way”), an unarmed wing of JAM that Ṣadr declared would focus on social and religious programs; only a small, specialized portion of the original Mahdī Army was to remain armed. A complete restructuring into a solely social organization, including dissolution of the organization’s remaining armed branch, was made contingent upon the implementation of a timetable for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Shortly thereafter Ṣadr announced the indefinite extension of the cease-fire that had been put in place the previous year.

In 2010, following months of political stalemate after a close parliamentary election left the main factions in Iraq unable to form a government, Ṣadr paved the way for a resolution by agreeing in negotiations to endorse Mālikī for the position of prime minister. The Ṣadrists secured a number of concessions from Mālikī in return for their support, including several posts in the new cabinet. In January 2010, possibly capitalizing on his increased political stature, Ṣadr unexpectedly returned from exile in Iran to his home city of Al-Najaf.


Murad Bey ?-1801
A Mameluke ruler of Egypt.

With Ibrahim Bey, Murad Bey ruled Egypt from the death of their master, Abu’dh-Dhahab, in 1775.  Ibrahim took the title of ‘Shaykh al-Balad,” which conferred nominal superiority on him within the Duumvir, but Murad’s character more than balanced this.  Murad and Ibrahim’s control of Egypt depended on their ability to keep the other Mameluke factions in line.  Murad wished to assassinate Isma‘il Bey, a Mameluke of ‘Ali Beyand the strongest of their potential challengers.  His plans were discovered, and the other Mameluke factions, including the ‘Alawiyya (of the late ‘Ali Bey) forced the Duumvir to leave Cairo in 1777.  They managed to restore themselves the next year, and drove the ‘Alawiyya and Isma‘il from Cairo.  The ‘Alawiyya retreated to Upper Egypt.

Murad and Ibrahim proved unable to defeat the ‘Alawiyya in a series of campaigns, and in 1781 Murad ceded to them a large area in Upper Egypt.  He then turned against Ibrahim and expelled him from his office and from Cairo in 1784, though the two were reconciled and jointly ruling again the next year.  Murad led the unsuccessful defense of Egypt against the Ottoman army in 1786 and with Ibrahim was in exile during the rule of Isma‘il.  The Duumvir regained power in 1791 following Isma‘il’s death.

Murad was twice defeated by the French during their invasion of Egypt in 1798 and was forced to retreat whilt Ibrahim fled to Syria.  However, he eventually joined forces with the French when it became obvious the Ottomans were determined to re-exert control. He became governor of Upper Egypt in the Spring of 1800 and defeated the Ottoman forces under Dervish Pasha.  Murad died one year later during a widespread outbreak of plague.


Murad, Ferid b. 1936
Albanian-American physician and pharmacologist, and a co-winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Ferid Murad was born on September 14, 1936, in Whiting, Indiana to John Murad (born Xhabir Murat Ejupi), an Albanian and Henrietta Bowman, an American. Ferid received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from DePauw University in 1958, and medical doctor and pharmacology doctorate degrees from Case Western Reserve University in 1965, where he was an early graduate of the first Medical Scientist Training Program. Ferid then joined the University of Virginia, where he was made professor in 1970, before moving to Stanford in 1981. Murad left his tenure at Stanford in 1988 for a position at Abbott Laboratories, where he served as a vice president until starting his own biotechnology company, the Molecular Geriatrics Corporation, in 1993. The company experienced financial difficulties, and in 1997 Murad joined the University of Texas to create a new department of integrative biology, pharmacology, and physiology.  At the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Ferid became Professor and Director Emeritus of The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Disease and held the John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Physiology and Medicine.

Murad's key research demonstrated that nitroglycerin and related drugs worked by releasing nitric oxide into the body, which acted as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system, making blood vessels dilate. The missing steps in the signaling process were filled in by Robert F. Furchgott and Louis J. Ignarro, for which the three shared the 1998 Nobel Prize (and for which Murad and Furchgott received the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 1996). There was some criticism, however, of the Nobel committee's decision not to also award the prize to Salvador Moncada, who had independently reached the same results as Ignarro.


Mustafa Resid Pasha 1800-1858
An Ottoman grand vizier and the architect of the Tanzimat reform.

Mustafa Resid Pasha (Mustafa Reshid Pasha) (1800-1858) was born in Istanbul.  He studied at medreses but did not complete his education in them.  In 1821, Mustafa Resid entered the Secretarial Office of the Grand Vizierate.  He took part, as a secretary, in the Russo-Ottoman peace talks in Edirne (1829) and joined the Ottoman delegation to Egypt (1830).  When Egyptian troops defeated the Ottomans and reached Kutahya (northwest Anatolia), Mustafa Resid negotiated the peace treaty of Kutahya (1833).  Between 1834 and 1837 he served as ambassador in Paris and London.  In 1837, he became minister of foreign affairs, negotiating a trade agreement with Great Britain that gave British merchants advantageous conditions (1838).  He was again ambassador in London in 1838-1839, but he returned to Istanbul following the death of Mahmud II and encouraged the new sultan Abdulmecid to issue the Imperial Rescript of Gulhane (1839).

In all, Mustafa Resid Pasha was appointed grand vizier six times.  In this office, he attempted administrative, financial, judicial, and military reorganization of the empire.  However, he was unable to prevent corruption and mismanagement.  A skillful diplomat, he succeeded in dragging Great Britain and France into the Crimean War (1853-1856), which resulted in Russian defeat and the inclusion of the Ottoman Empire in the Concert of Europe.


Mustafa Ruhi Efendi 1800-1893
A Naqshbandi and political leader in the Balkans during the Ottoman period.

Mustafa Ruhi Efendi (b. 1800, Gokceada, Ottoman Empire – d. 1893, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire) was a religious (Naqshbandi) and political leader in the Balkans during the Ottoman period. He was based in the city of Kalkandelen, (Tetovo in today's Macedonia). Being one of the main members of the League of Prizren he was the President of the central committee of Prizren called the "close committee".


Musta'sim, Jamal al-Din Yaqut al- d. 1298

Jamal al-Din Yaqut al-Musta‘sim composed an anthology and a collection of aphorisms.


Nabigha al-Dhubyani, al- c. 535-c. 604
One of the most famous poets of the pre-Islamic period during the sixth century.  The collection of his poems exercised great influence on later poets of renown, among them al-Mutanabbi, who mentions him by name and imitates him in several instances.

Al-Nabigha (al-Nabigha al-Dhubyani, real name Ziyad ibn Muawiyah) (c. 535 - c. 604) was an Arabian Christian poet who was one of the last poets of pre-Islamic times. "Al-Nabigha" means genius in Arabic.

Al-Nabigha's tribe, the Banu Dhubyan, belonged to the district near Mecca, but he himself spent most of his time at the courts of Hirah and Ghassan. In Hirah he remained under Mundhir III, and under Mundhir's successor in 562.

After a sojourn at the court of Ghassan, he returned to Hirah under Numan III. He was, however, compelled to flee to Ghassan, owing to some verses he had written about the queen, but returned again about 600. When Numan died some five years later al-Nabigha withdrew to his own tribe.

The date of al-Nabigha's death is uncertain, but he does not seem to have known Islam. His poems consist largely of eulogies and satires, and are concerned with the strife of Hirah and Ghassan, and of the Banu Abs and the Banu Dhubyan. He is one of the six eminent pre-Islamic poets whose poems were collected before the middle of the 2nd century of Islam, and have been regarded as the standard of Arabic poetry. Some writers consider al-Nabigha to be the first of the six.


Nader, Ralph b. 1934
American lawyer and consumer advocate.

Ralph Nader (b. February 27, 1934, Winsted, Connecticut) was a four-time candidate for the United States presidency (1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008).

The son of Lebanese immigrants, Nader graduated from Princeton University in 1955 and received a law degree from Harvard University in 1958. Nader soon became interested in unsafe vehicle designs that led to high rates of automobile accidents and fatalities. He became a consultant to the United States Department of Labor in 1964, and in 1965 he published Unsafe at Any Speed, which criticized the American auto industry in general for its unsafe products and attacked General Motors’ (GM’s) Corvair automobile in particular. The book became a best seller and led directly to the passage of the 1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, which gave the government the power to enact safety standards for all automobiles sold in the United States.

GM went to exceptional lengths to discredit Nader, including hiring a private detective to follow him. Nader sued for invasion of privacy, and the case was settled after GM admitted wrongdoing before a United States Senate committee. With the funds he received from the lawsuit and aided by impassioned activists, who became known as Nader’s Raiders, he helped establish a number of advocacy organizations, most notably Public Citizen. Nader’s Raiders became involved in such issues as nuclear safety, international trade, regulation of insecticides, meat processing, pension reform, land use, and banking.

Although Nader and his associates did not invent the idea of consumer advocacy, they did radically transform its meaning, focusing on fact-finding research, analysis, and governmental lobbying for new laws on key consumer issues. Nader was also instrumental in the passage in 1988 of California’s Proposition 103, which provided for a rollback of auto insurance rates.

Nader ran for president of the United States in 1996 but collected less than 1 percent of the vote. In 2000 he was nominated by the Green Party as its presidential candidate. His campaign focused on universal health care, environmental and consumer protections, campaign finance reform, and strengthened labor rights. Realizing that he had little hope of winning the election, Nader concentrated on obtaining 5 percent of the national vote, the minimum necessary to secure federal matching funds for the Green Party for future presidential campaigns. Nader eventually fell well short of this goal, receiving only 2.7 percent of the national vote, but he may have aided Republican candidate George W. Bush—who narrowly won the presidency over Democrat Al Gore—by attracting votes that otherwise might have gone to Gore, especially in the key state of Florida. In 2004, despite pleas by many Democrats that he not run, Nader campaigned for the presidency as an independent. Although he received only 0.3 percent of the vote in that election, and his petition signatures were challenged because of the alleged use of state resources in their proceedings, he again ran for president in 2008 and won about 0.5 percent of the popular vote.

Nader was born in Winsted, Connecticut. His parents, Nathra and Rose (née Bouziane) Nader, were immigrants from Lebanon and members of the Eastern Orthodox Church. His family's native language is Arabic, and he has spoken it along with English since childhood. His sister, Laura Nader, is an anthropologist. His father worked in a textile mill and later owned a bakery and restaurant where he talked politics with his customers.

Nader graduated from The Gilbert School in 1951, followed by Princeton University four years later and then Harvard Law School. He served six months on active duty in the United States Army in 1959, then became a lawyer in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a professor of history and government at the University of Hartford from 1961 to 1963. In 1964, Nader moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan and also advised a United States Senate subcommittee on car safety. Nader has served on the faculty at the American University Washington College of Law.


Nali c. 1800-1873
A Kurdish polymath and poet.

Nalî, also known as Mullah Xidir Ehmed Şawaysî Mîkayalî  (c. 1800-1873 in Istanbul, Turkey), was a Kurdish polymath, who is considered to be one of the greatest Kurdish poet of the Kurdish classical period.
Nali was born in Khaku-Khol, a village in the Sharbajer (Shahrazur or Sharazur) area in Sulaimany, Kurdistan region of Iraq.  As was the custom in the old days in Kurdistan, Nali started studying the Quran first and Arabic language in mosques in Kurdistan. He then became a Faqi.  A Faqi is a Mullah’s student, which is the name of students in mosques. During the process of becoming a Faqi, Nali visited many cities in Kurdistan, Iran and Iraq, -- cities like Sennah, Mahabad, Halabja, and Sulaimany. In Qaradakh, he studied under Shaikh Muhammed Ibn al Khayat. In Sulaimany, in the Saiyd Hasan Mosque, he studied under Mullah Abdoullah Rash.  Also in Qaradax he studied mathematics under Shaikh Ali Mullah. He spent a long time in the Khanaqa of Mawlana Khalid in Sulaimany. He also studied under Shaikh Awla Kharpani.

It is widely accepted that Nali's literature contributed significantly to bringing about a renaissance in the Kurdish language. His most famous works were written in the lower Kurmanji dialect, Sorani, within the context of the turmoil caused by the Ottoman oppression.

To this day Nali's influence on Kurdish culture can be recognized as Sorani is the primary dialect of Kurdish in Iraqi and Iranian Kurdistan.


Naqibullah c. 1950-2007
Mujahideen commander and politician from the Kandahar area of southern Afghanistan.

Mullah Naqib, sometimes called Naqibullah (c.1950 - October 11, 2007), was the leader of the Alikozai Pashtun tribe.

Mullah Naqib gained respect as a military leader during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, when he fought against Soviet and Afghan communist forces. In 1984, he became affiliated with the Jamiat-e Islami party of Burhanuddin Rabbani. The Jamiat was often perceived as having a constituency limited to the Tajik minority, so Rabbani was especially careful to cultivate his relations with the few Pashtun commanders willing to join him, such as Mullah Naqib.

Naqib's forces built a fortified base in the Arghandab district, that the government troops repeatedly, and unsuccessfully tried to destroy. In June 1987, a large force of government troops, spearheaded by tanks and supported by Soviet artillery attacked into Arghandab. After a week of hard fighting in the "green zone", the dense agricultural area along the Arghandab valley, the force approached the main mujahideen at Chaharqulba. Dismayed by their inability to stop the advancing armor, some mujahideen commanders suggested to Naqib that they should withdraw.

Eventually, the government troops withdrew, having suffered heavy casualties.

Mullah Naqib is also said to have personally shot down three Mi-24 gunships using Stinger missiles supplied by the CIA. His military record gave him a heroic status among the local population.

After the collapse of the communist regime in 1992, the mujahideen took control of Kandahar. Gul Agha Sherzai was nominally the governor but he lacked authority, as each group sought to carve itself a territory to control. Mullah Naqib was the most powerful commander in the city, and many of his subordinates turned to illegal taxation and theft, in order to earn an income. The situation remained calm until 1993, when sporadic clashes erupted between different factions.

The lawlessness in Kandahar paved the way for the rise of the Taliban movement. On November 3, 1994, Mullah Naqib and his 2,500 men did not resist the advance of the Taliban, allowing them to capture the city, and, in exchange, he was permitted to retire safely into his bastion in Arghandab. This led to widespread suspicions that he had been bribed, but there is also evidence that he was acting under orders from Rabbani.

Mullah Naqib re-emerged as the Taliban regime began to dissolve following the 2001 United States invasion of Afghanistan. He managed to broker a deal between Hamid Karzai, the Americans favorite, and Taliban leader Mullah Omar, allowing the surrender of 3,000 militants in Kandahar. However, his rivalry with Gul Agha Sherzai also resurfaced, and their forces clashed, as Sherzai's men seized several key positions, with the support of United States air strikes. Karzai later defused the situation, by brokering a power sharing agreement, whereby Sherzai was made governor, and the post of vice-governor was attributed to Naqib, who gave it to his brother-in-law.

After once again retiring to his tribal area in Arghandab, Mullah Naqib became a powerful asset for the government in its struggle against the Taliban. His tribal militia prevented them from gaining influence in the Arghandab district, that is considered critical to the defense of Kandahar. He thus became a prime objective for Taliban assassins, who targeted him with a bombing attack in early March 2007, leaving him badly injured. After receiving treatment for several months in India, Naqib returned to Afghanistan, to witness a deteriorating security situation. He warned of an impending Taliban attack, and advised against the planned withdrawal of Canadian ISAF troops from Kandahar province, scheduled for 2009.

Naqib died of a heart attack on October 11, 2007. Thousands of people, including President Hamid Karzai, attended his funeral. His death was a severe blow to United States-led coalition and to the Afghan government, that left the Arghandab district open to attack by the Taliban.


Nasif al-Yaziji 1800-1871
A Lebanese scholar and writer.

Nasif al-Yaziji (1800-1871) was born in Kafar Shima and educated by a priest.  His father, who was a physician, had an appreciation for Arabic poetry, which was inherited by his son.  He read voraciously and composed Arabic poetry at the age of 10.  As printed books were rare at the time, he memorized whole books, copying what he could not memorize.  Yaziji was prolific writer on Arabic literature and grammar.  One of his books, Fasl Al-Khitab, was probably one of the first useful summaries of Arabic grammar.  It has been used in many Arab countries for teaching of Arabic.  He worked with American missionaries and composed for them some religious hymns in Arabic.  He wrote a famous book of Maqamat (an old form of writing Arabic prose) titled Majma’ Al-Bahrayn.  Yaziji worked as a linguistic editor in printing houses and was one of the founders of the Syrian Scientific Society.  He left three books of poetry.  He was praised for his ability to write exactly like classic Arab poets.  By modern poets, he is criticized for his non-original forms.  His reputation extended throughout the region, and he was briefly hired as the personal writer of the patriarch of the Greek Catholics.  He later worked for Prince Bashir II.  Yaziji memorized the Qur’an and began an extensive interpretation of al¬-Mutanabbi’s diwan, which was completed by his son Ibrahim.


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