Tuesday, October 22, 2013

000003 - Bruno Metsu, Coach of Senegal's World Cup Soccer Team

Metsu, Bruno
Bruno Metsu (January 28, 1954 – October 14, 2013) was a French footballer (soccer player) and football (soccer team) manager. In his senior career from 1973 to 1987, he played for seven different clubs in his native France. From 1988 onwards, he was the manager of a total of nine French and Gulf Arab state clubs, the United Arab Emirates national football (soccer) team and the Qatar national football (soccer) team. He was perhaps most famous for coaching Senegal to the quarter-finals of 2002 FIFA World Cup, including a surprise victory over defending champions France in the opening match of the tournament. Metsu converted to Islam when he was the manager of the Senegal national football (soccer) team, taking the name Abdou Karim Metsu.

Friday, October 18, 2013

000002 - Wadih El Safi, Lebanese Singer and Songwriter

Safi, Wadih El
Wadih El Safi (Arabic: وديع الصافي‎, born Wadi' Francis) (November 1, 1921 – October 11, 2013) was a Lebanese singer songwriter, and actor. He became a Lebanese cultural icon, and was often called the "Voice of Lebanon". Born in Niha, Lebanon, Wadih El Safi started his artistic journey at the age of seventeen when he took part in a singing contest held by Lebanese Radio and was chosen the winner among fifty other competitors.
Wadih El Safi was a classically trained tenor, having studied at the Beirut National Conservatory of Music. He became nationally known when, at seventeen, he won a vocal competition sponsored by the Lebanese Broadcasting Network. El Safi began composing and performing songs that drew upon his rural upbringing and love of traditional melodies, blended with an urban sound, and creating a new style of modernized Lebanese folk music.
In 1947, El Safi traveled to Brazil, where he remained until 1950.
El Safi toured the world, singing in many languages, including Arabic, Syriac, French, Portuguese and Italian.
In the spring of 1973, El Safi recorded and released a vinyl single with the songs "Grishlah Idi" (lyrics by Ninos Aho) and "Iman Ya Zawna" (lyrics by Amanuel Salamon), first one in Western Syriac and second one in Eastern Syriac. The music arrangements were done by Nuri Iskandar and the songs were produced especially for an Aramean Festival, which occurred in the UNESCO building in Beirut at that time where El Safi participated as a singer.
El Safi has written over 3000 songs. He is well known for his mawawil (an improvised singing style) of 'ataba, mijana, and Abu el Zuluf. He has performed and recorded with many well-known Lebanese musicians, including , Fairouz, and Sabah.
In 1990, Wadih El Safi underwent open heart surgery. In 2012, he broke his leg and had to have surgery to mend the fracture. After the surgery, his health declined quickly. In 2013, he was admitted to hospital, suffering from pulmonary consolidation. On October 11, 2013, he fell ill at his son's home and was rushed to the Bellevue Medical Center where he died. His funeral was held at Saint George Maronite Cathedral, Beirut on October 14, 2013.
The discography of Wadih El Safi as a singer includes the following:
  • Best of Wadi – Vol. 1
  • Best of Wadi – Vol. 2
  • Best of Wadi – Vol. 3
  • Inta Omri
  • The Two Tenors:Wadi Al Safi Aad Sabah Fakhri
  • Wadih El-Safi and José Fernandez
  • Wetdallou Bkheir
  • Rouh ya zaman al madi atfal qana
  • Chante Le Liban
  • Wadi El Safi / Legends Of The 20th Century
  • Mersal El Hawa
  • Mahrajan Al Anwar
  • Youghani Loubnan
  • Ajmal El Aghani
The discography of Wadih El Safi as a composer includes the following:
  • Cantiques de l'Orient
  • Psaumes Pour Le 3ème Millénaire

The discography of Wadih El Safi as a sideman includes the following:
  • Music of Arabia, Hanaan and her ensemble (withWadih El-Safi on oud)

000001 - Malala Yousafzai, Education Activist

Yousafzai, Malala
Malala Yousafzai (Pashto: ملاله یوسفزۍ‎; Urdu: ملالہ یوسف زئی‎; Malālah Yūsafzay) (b. July 12, 1997) is a Pakistani education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She is known for her activism for rights to education and for women, especially in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. In early 2009, at the age of 11–12, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. The following summer, a New York Times documentary was filmed about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region, culminating in the Second Battle of Swat. Yousafzai rose in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, and she was nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize by South African activist Desmond Tutu.
On October 9, 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, for intensive rehabilitation. On October 12, 2012, a group of 50 Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwā against those who tried to kill her, but the Taliban reiterated its intent to kill Yousafzai and her father.

The assassination attempt sparked a national and international outpouring of support for Yousafzai. The United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown launched a United Nations petition in Yousafzai's name, using the slogan "I am Malala" and demanding that all children worldwide be in school by the end of 2015 – a petition which helped lead to the ratification of Pakistan's first Right to Education Bill. In the April 29, 2013 issue of Time magazine, Yousafzai was featured on the magazine's front cover and as one of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World". She was the winner of Pakistan's first National Youth Peace Prize and was nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize (which was awarded to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons). On July 12, 2013, Yousafzai spoke at the United Nations to call for worldwide access to education, and in September 2013 she officially opened the Library of Birmingham. Yousafzai was also the recipient of the Sakharov Prize for 2013.

Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997 into a Sunni Muslim family of Pashtun ethnicity. She was given her first name Malala (meaning "grief stricken") after Malalai of Maiwand, a famous Pashtun poet and warrior woman from southern Afghanistan.Her last name, Yousafzai, is that of a large Pashtun tribal confederation that is predominant in Pakistan's Swat Valley, where she grew up. At her house in Mingora, she lived with her two younger brothers, her parents, and two pet chickens.
Yousafzai was educated in large part by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, who was a poet, school owner, and an educational activist himself, running a chain of schools known as the Khushal Public School. She once stated to an interviewer that she would like to become a doctor, though later her father encouraged her to become a politician instead. Ziauddin referred to his daughter as something entirely special, permitting her to stay up at night and talk about politics after her two brothers had been sent to bed.
Yousafzai started speaking about education rights as early as September 2008, when her father took her to Peshawar to speak at the local press club. "How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?" Yousafzai asked her audience in a speech covered by newspapers and television channels throughout the region.