Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A00107 - Shadia, Egyptian Actress and Singer

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

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

Thursday, October 5, 2017

A00106 - Jalal Talabani, Iraqi Kurd Who Served as President of Iraq




Talabani, Jalal 
Jalal Talabani (b. November 12, 1933, Kelkan, Iraq — d. October 3, 2017, Berlin, Germany) was an Iraqi Kurdish politician who served as President of Iraq from 2005 to 2014. 

Talabani’s involvement in politics began at an early age. He joined the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) at age 14 and was elected to the KDP’s central committee at age 18. In 1956, he founded the Kurdistan Student Union, later becoming its secretary-general. After receiving a law degree from Baghdad University in 1959, Talabani served as the commander of a tank unit in the Iraqi army.

When the Kurds revolted against the government of 'Abd al-Karim Qasim in 1961, Talabani joined the resistance, leading a successful campaign to force the Iraqi army out of the district of Sharbazher. He subsequently undertook several diplomatic missions in Europe and the Middle East on behalf of the Kurdish leadership.

In 1975, Talabani and a group of Kurdish activists and intellectuals broke with the KDP and founded a new political party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. During the late 1970s and early ’80s, Talabani helped to organize Kurdish resistance to the Ba'thist regime of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.  Saddam’s successful military campaign against the Kurds (1987–88) forced Talabani to flee Iraq. Following the Persian Gulf War in 1991, Talabani returned to Iraq to help lead a Kurdish uprising against Saddam, which failed after United States led forces refused to intervene to support the rebels. Talabani subsequently worked with the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and France to establish a “safe haven” for Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan in the far north and northeast of the country.

After the overthrow of Saddam in the 2003 Iraq War, Talabani became a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, which developed Iraq’s interim constitution. In 2005, Talabani was elected interim president of Iraq by the National Assembly, and he was re-elected to a four-year term in 2006 and again in 2010. As president, Talabani worked to reduce sectarian violence and corruption within Iraq and to improve relations with Turkey, which had accused Iraq of allowing Kurdish rebels within Turkey to operate from bases in Iraqi Kurdistan. Talabani, suffering from poor health following a stroke in 2012, spent much of the last two years of his presidency receiving medical treatment in Germany. He was succeeded as president by another Kurdish politician, Fuad Masum.

A00105 - Mohammed Akef, Muslim Brotherhood Leader

Akef, Mohammed
Mohammed Mahdi Akef (Arabic: محمد مهدى عاكف) (b. July 12, 1928, Kafr Awad Al Seneita, Dakahliya Province, Egypt – d. September 22, 2017, Cairo, Egypt) was the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egypt-based Islamic political movement, from 2004 until 2010. He assumed the post, that of "general guide" (Arabic: المرشد العام - frequently translated as "chairman") upon the death of his predecessor, Ma'mun al-Hudaybi. Akef was arrested on July 4, 2013. On July 14, 2013 Egypt's new prosecutor general Hisham Barakat ordered his assets to be frozen.
Akef was born in 1928 in Kafr Awad Al Seneita in Dakahliya Province, in the north of Egypt. The year of his birth was the year the Muslim Brotherhood Movement was founded.
Akef obtained his Primary Certificate of Education at Al Mansoura Primary School, and obtained his Secondary Certificate of Education at Cairo- Fuad 1st Secondary School. He then joined the Higher Institute of Physical Education and graduated in May 1950, after which he worked as a teacher at Fuad 1st Secondary School.
Akef first became involved with the Muslim Brotherhood in 1940, which was then led by Hassan al Banna.
Akef joined the Faculty of Law and assumed responsibility for the Brotherhood's training camps at Ibrahim University (present-day Ain Shams University).  This was during the struggle against the British occupation in the Canal preceding the 1952 Revolution, after which he left responsibility to Kamaleddin Hussein, then National Guard Chief.
The last Sections Akef headed in the Muslim Brotherhood before 1954 were the Students Section and the PE Section at the Groups Headquarters.
Akef was arrested on August 1, 1954 and stood trial on charges including smuggling Major General Abdul Munem Abderraoof (one of the Army chiefs who spearheaded the ouster and expulsion of King Farouq), and was sentenced to death in absentia before the ruling was commuted to life imprisonment.
Akef was released in 1974 and was reappointed General Manager of Youth – a department affiliated to the Ministry of Reconstruction.
Akef then moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to work as an advisor for the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and was in charge of its camps and conferences. He took part in organizing the biggest camps for the Muslim youth on the world arena; in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Australia, Mali, Kenya, Cyprus, Germany, Britain and America.
Beginning in 1987, Akef was a member of the Steering Bureau (Guidance Bureau) of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Akef was elected Member of Parliament in 1987 for the East Cairo electoral constituency.
In 1996, Akef was court-martialed, charged with being head of the Muslim Brotherhood International Organization, and was sentenced to three years. He was released in 1999.
In 2005, he denounced what he called "the myth of the Holocaust" in defending Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust, and accused the United States of attacking anyone who raised questions about the Holocaust. 
On October 19, 2009, Egyptian newspapers reported that Akef had resigned as the general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood after a dispute among various leaders in the group. However the following day reports on the Muslim Brotherhood website stated that Akef had not resigned and would continue to serve as the group's general guide until elections in January 2010.
Akef's health deteriorated while he was imprisoned by the Egyptian authorities after the 2013 Egyptian coup d'etat, his daughter affirmed that he was isolated in the prison hospital and was only allowed a visit once a week, despite his old age and poor health.
He died on September 22, 2017 at the age of 89.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A00104 - Mahershala Ali, First Muslim to Win an Academy Award for Acting


Ali, Mahershala
Mahershalalhashbaz "Mahershala" Ali Gilmore (b. February 16, 1974, Oakland, California), an American actor and rapper, began his career as a regular on series such as Crossing Jordan and Threat Matrix before his breakthrough role as Richard Tyler in the science-fiction series The 4400. His first major film release was in the 2008 David Fincher-directed romantic fantasy drama film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and his other notable films include Predators, The Place Beyond the PinesFree State of JonesHidden Figures, and as Boggs in The Hunger Games series. Ali is also known for his roles in the Netflix series House of Cards as Remy Danton and as Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes in Luke Cage. 
For his performance as mentor Juan in the drama film Moonlight (2016), Ali received universal acclaim from critics and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the SAG Award and the Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor, and received a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award nomination.  his win at the 89th Academy Awards made him the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar. 
Ali was born in 1974, in Oakland, California, the son of Willicia and Phillip Gilmore. He was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and returned to Oakland when he was fourteen. He is named after Maher-shalal-hash-baz, a biblical prophetic-name child. Raised Christian by his mother, an ordained minister, he later converted to Islam, changing his surname from Gilmore to Ali, and joining the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. His father appeared on Broadway.  He attended St. Mary's College of California (SMC) in Moraga, where he graduated in 1996 with a degree in mass communication.
Though Ali entered SMC with a basketball scholarship, he became disenchanted with the idea of a sports career because of the treatment given to the team's athletes. Ali developed an interest in acting, particularly after taking part in a staging of Spunk that later landed him an apprenticeship at the California Shakespeare Theater following graduation. Following a sabbatical year where Ali worked for Gavin Report, he enrolled in New York University's graduate acting program, earning his master's degree in 2000.
Ali was known professionally as Mahershalalhashbaz Ali until 2010. He is known for his portrayal of Remy Danton in the Netflix series House of Cards, Cornell Stokes in Luke Cage, Colonel Boggs in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, and Tizzy in the 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. 
His first major film release was in the 2008 David Fincher-directed romantic fantasy drama film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and his other notable films include Predatorsthe Place Beyond the PinesFree State of JonesHidden Figures, and as Boggs in The Hunger Games series.  
For his performance as mentor and drug dealer Juan in the drama film Moonlight (2016), Ali received universal acclaim from critics and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Screen Actors' Guild (SAG) Award and Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor, and received a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award nomination. His win at the 89th Academy Awards made him the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.
Ali married Amatus-Sami Karim in 2013.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A00103 - Hadje Halime, the Mother of the Chadian Revolution

Halime, Hadje
Hadje Halime (b. 1930, Salamat, Chad - d. January 7, 2001) was a Chadian activist, educator, and politician called the "mother of the revolution".  Hadjé Halimé Oumar was born in the town of Salamat in 1930 to a mother from Salamat and a father from Abeche. She became involved with the Parti Progressiste Tchadien (PPT) in 1950 while working as a Quranic instructor. She was able to bring in more women who did not know French due to her knowledge of Chadian Arabic. At the time she had only a limited grasp of French. She was particularly close to Gabriel Lisette, the founder of the party, and his wife, Lisette Yéyon. She became responsible for recruiting Northern women following the General Meeting of April 2, 1950.  Halimé harshly criticized the colonial administration's poll tax, and declared that if the PPT secured a victory, the poll tax would be abolished for all despite the platform calling for ending the tax only on women. She declared that Lisette was the undisputed leader of the party, despite the rise of Southern Chadian politician Francois Tombalbaye, and traveled to France on Lisette's urging to meet with the French politician Rene Coty. 


However, in 1959 and 1960, Tombalbaye gained power and Lisette was removed from power.  Halimé became the target of repression soon after independence, unlike her PPT female colleague Kaltouma Nguembang.  As part of a purge of those near to Lisette, Halimé's only son was murdered, and she was arrested in September 1963. At first, she was taken to Massenya in Chari-Baguirmi Region, then to a central prison in Chad's capital of N'Djamena, and finally to a dreaded prison at Kela. At the Kela prison, she was regularly tortured by guards through electrocution while French and Israeli army officers supervised. Her torture resulted in her losing all her fingernails and hair. Despite Tombalbaye wanting Halimé to be killed, a French officer spared her life. In an interview, she stated that only her faith was able to keep her going through the difficult circumstances of torture. She was finally released on April 28, 1975, days after the overthrow of Tombalbaye and his regime. Out of 600 people who were imprisoned during this purge, she was one of only 45 who lived.


Lisette, who had been exiled in France, helped bring her to Paris to receive medical treatment. Halimé spent time in a hospital in Cote d'Ivoire, where the president Felix Houphouet-Boigny mandated that her medical care be free. She later joined the National Liberation Front of Chad or FROLINAT, which was based in Libya. In 1978, she moved to Tripoli and returned to politics. FROLINAT members dubbed her "the mother of the revolution", and the party seized power in 1979. She also began educating girls in Libya and founded an Islamic school, the Rising New Generation, where she taught religion, home economics, and child care. She taught over 3600 girls at the school during her years there.
Halime returned to N'Djamena in 1980 with the Popular Armed Forces (FAP) leader Goukouni Oueddei. She was then the president of the women's faction of FROLINAT. After the election of Hissene Habre in 1982, she left with forces loyal to Oueddeï in Libya. While in Libya, Halimé taught military skills to exiled Chadian women. She returned to Chad in 1991, a year after the overthrow of Habré by Idriss Deby.  Many people told Deby they would support him only if he received the backing of Halimé, which she eventually gave. Shortly after her return, she won a seat in Chad's parliament and served there until 1996.
In 1993, Halime participated in the National Sovereign Conference (CNS), and was one of the most fervent defenders of the Arabic language. In 1994, she created an association called Women Az-Zara. On behalf of the association, she was voted among ten women candidates to be a member of the Higher Council of Transition, staying four years. In June 1996, she ran for parliament as a member of the opposition National Front of Chad party, as it was impossible to run as an independent. She was defeated but maintained the election was rigged. Halimé afterwards cared for orphans whose parents were killed during the Habré regime. She also opened an Arabic school in N'Djamena.
Halime went on six pilgrimages to Mecca in her life, including one last trip in 2000. She died on January 7, 2001.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A00102 - Shirin Ebadi, First Muslim Woman (Iranian) Nobel Peace Prize Recipient

Shirin Ebadi(b. June 21, 1947, Hamadan, Iran), Iranian lawyer, writer, and teacher, who received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2003 for her efforts to promote democracy and human rights, especially those of women and children in Iran. She was the first Muslim woman and the first Iranian to receive the award.
Ebadi was born into an educated Iranian family; her father was an author and a lecturer in commercial law. When she was an infant, her family moved to Tehran.  Ebadi attended Anoshiravn Dadgar and Reza Shah Kabir schools before earning a law degree, in only three and a half years, from the University of Tehrān (1969). That same year she took an apprenticeship at the Department of Justice and became one of the first women judges in Iran. While serving as a judge, she also earned a doctorate in private law from the University of Tehrān (1971). From 1975 to 1979 she was head of the city court of Tehrān.
After the 1979 revolution and the establishment of an Islamic republic, women were deemed unsuitable to serve as judges because the new leaders believed that Islam forbids it. Ebadi was subsequently forced to become a clerk of the court. After she and other female judges protested this action, they were given higher roles within the Department of Justice but were still not allowed to serve as judges. Ebadi resigned in protest. She then chose to practice law but was initially denied a lawyer’s license. In 1992, after years of struggle, she finally obtained a license to practice law and began to do so. She also taught at the University of Tehrān and became an advocate for civil rights. In court, Ebadi defended women and dissidents and represented many people who, like her, had run afoul of the Iranian government. She also distributed evidence implicating government officials in the 1999 murders of students at the University of Tehrān, for which she was jailed for three weeks in 2000. Found guilty of “disturbing public opinion,” she was given a prison term, barred from practicing law for five years, and fined, although her sentence was later suspended.
Ebadi wrote a number of books on the subject of human rights. These include The Rights of the Child: A Study of Legal Aspects of Children’s Rights in Iran (1994), History and Documentation of Human Rights in Iran (2000), and The Rights of Women (2002). She also was founder and head of the Association for Support of Children’s Rights in Iran. In addition to writing books on human rights, Ebadi reflected on her own experiences in Iran Awakening: From Prison to Peace Prize, One Woman’s Struggle at the Crossroads (2006; with Azadeh Moaveni; also published as Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope).

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A00101 - Al-Dimashqi, Medieval Arab Geographer

Dimashqi 

Shams al-Din al-Ansari al-Dimashqi or simply al-Dimashqi (Arabic: شمس الدين الأنصاري الدمشقي‎) (1256–1327) was a medieval Arab geographer, completing his main work in 1300. Born in Damascus — as his name "Dimashqi" implies—he mostly wrote of his native land, the Greater Syria (Bilad ash-Sham), upon the complete withdrawal of the Crusaders. He became a contemporary of the Mamluk sultan Baibars, the general who led the Muslims in war against the Crusaders. His work is of value in connection with the Crusader Chronicles. He died while in Safad, in 1327.

Al-Dimashqi (1325) gives very detailed accounts of each island in the Malay archipelago, its population, flora, fauna and customs. He mentions "the country of Champa ... is inhabited by Muslims and idolaters. The Islam came there during the time of Caliph Uthman ... and Ali, many Muslims who were expelled by the Umayyads and by Al-Hajjaj, fled there, and since then a majority of the Cham have embraced Islam."

Of their rivals the Khmer, Al-Dimashqi (1325) mentions they inhabit the island of Komor (Khmer), also called Malay Island, a land of many towns and cities, rich-dense forests with huge, tall trees, and white elephants; they supplemented their income from the trade routes not only by exporting ivory and aloe, but also by engaging in piracy and raiding on Muslim and Chinese shipping.