* Three of Aden College alumni gathered for a reunion in the UK. They were Dr. Adel Aulaqi, Raza Yousuf and Jamal Abdul Hamid. They highlighted their life-time enjoyable experiences, reflecting continued contacts with AC alumni.
They sent a report and a photograph of their reunion hoping to encourage other AC alumni to do the same.
"Although communication by telephone and emails has been the norm, it was an immense pleasure for three AC alumni to meet at Raza Yousef's home. Jamal and Raza are now virtually neighbours, and Adel's home is only 40 minutes drive via what is described as the largest car
drive in the world, namely the M25 motorway.
We were received by Raza's broad, happy smile and his wife's heart-felt welcome.
Over hot fresh unbelievably delicious samoosas, soft drinks seamlessly followed by a wonderfully laid table full of a meal fit for royalty, we covered numerous topics.
We all prompted each other about our colleagues, teachers and activities of half a century ago. We caught up with each other's life's journeys to reach what occupies our minds in today's retirement and Aden's war status. We found that we all had been directly or indirectly affected by the war in Yemen and Aden in particular. Being unable to see clearly what one can do realistically is frustrating. Displacement of relatives and family is the major issue for most of us. Difficulties in deliveries of humanitarian supplies, especially to Aden, left us worried but hopeful as Jamal indicated he may find some answers when he soon hopefully meets with a senior member of the British government.
Not everything was doom and gloom as Raza has taken up the study of Arabic. He is hugely and rightly proud of his achievement as he now can compose beautifully stories.
He truly deserves huge congratulations. Jamal is taking a break after he and his physician wife
Raza's and Jamal's grandchildren featured highly in our conversation. They are the bringers of great joy, we all agreed.
We finished by promising to continue to meet. We believe a visit to the Yemeni restaurant in London may be our next destination, where Adel suggested a meal of lamb Mandi and clear soup and flat furn bread ."
The photo is posted on the middle column of this page.
* Alumnus Abdulla Taher Abdulla Ali sent us an eulogy from Melbourne, Australia on the death of music composer and singer Abubaker Fara. He reminisced about Abubaker Fara when he was still at the Intermediate School in Crater when Abubaker celebrated his wedding in his street in Al Khateed district. He then met him in Abu-Dhabi in 1976. Both struck a friendship and met regularly. He was one of the pioneers of Aden Customs and Exise Department. He landed the same job in Abu Dhabi. Abu Baker also mentioned about his singing career. He sang his first song " Ya Nasi Alwhawa" written by Mohamed Abdullah Ba-matraf on the Aden College stage. He told me, our late Mathematics teacher Mr. Mohammed Nazir, jokingly commented by saying:" Oh! You can also sing very well!".
Abubaker was impressed by one of my peoms
called "أيهاالليل الشجي " so much so he took it home and came back few days later with the music composition of the song. His style is unique, and so is his voice. He sang many songs for song writers like Abu Baker Al-Bagdadi, Lutfi Aman and Ahmed Sharif Al Rifai.
He was indeed a generous, compassionate and kind person. A pleasant personality to know, and a pleasant person to befriend and accompany.
We kept in touch during my tenure in Melbourne, Bahrain and Qatar. Sadly, I received the news of his death from friends and relatives. We'll miss his music, his adorable personality, humbleness, and down to earth character. His songs, music and unique voice, would continue to echo in our ears. His memory, would adhere forever in our minds. May Allah bless his soul and rest him in peace.
* A panel discussion was held in Ottawa City Hall, Ontario on the recent developments in Yemen. Among the audience were Yemeni emigrants in Ottawa who had the opportunity to speak about the war that is going in Yemen.
Whaled, the son of alumnus Taha Al Qirbi took the photographs.
The panel discussion was organized by Dr. Qais Ghanem.
The photos appear on the middle column of this page.
* Dr. Mohamed Ali AlBar co-authored scientific book with Dr. Hassan Chamsi-Pasha. The book is entitled "Contemporary Bioethics: Islamic Perspective".
Contemporary Bioethics: Islamic Perspective is such an endeavor that provides the readers a theoretical framework and practical decisions made by leading Muslim jurists. Accordingly, the first half of the study presents the Islamic sources that are utilized by Muslim legal scholars in deducing appropriate rulings on various medical cases on which bioethicists around the world have offered solutions. In the second part of the book, the authors have compiled and discussed Islamic rulings in various controversial fields of modern medical practice and research. This combination of theory and practice in Islamic bioethics makes Contemporary Bioethics: Islamic Perspective an indispensable reading for those who work on bioethics from an Islamic ethical-legal point of view. In the Western world, questions range over concerns such as stem cell research, cloning, cessation of life support, and fertility treatments.
Read more here.
* Dr. Shihab Ghanem received a a prize winning certificate from Dr. Arthur Zhang, President of Chinese International Poetry Translation and Research Centre (IPTRC), for being the best International Translator of poetry.
Look at the certificate here.
* Hussam Sultan sent us an excerpt of a BBC Radio3 program on The Genius of Disabilites. The episode talked about Abul Ala Al Ma'arri أبو العلاء المعري who was a blind poet, a philosopher who was born just over a thousand years ago, was a unique figure in the history of thought. Regarded by many as an atheist, he was in fact a believer in the true God, not the one that was created by people through religion, but the one who created people and cannot be found in religion. He rejected religions, all religions and embraced reason. Wikipedia mentions about him: "He was a controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion and rejecting the claim that Islam or any other religion possessed the truths they claimed and considered the speech of prophets as a lie (literally, "forgery") and "impossible" to be true. He was equally sarcastic towards the religions of Muslims, Jews, and Christians."
Religious fanatics hated him for a thousand years now, and even recently they beheaded his statue during the war in Syria. Despite the fact that he was blind, he had the insight that no sighted man had. Ma'arri is the one said:
"reason is the only imam" and his work was the inspiration for Dante's Divine Comedy. He was known for his poetry that often criticised religion and what it hold, he recited:
So, too, the creeds of man: the one prevails
Until the other comes; and this one fails
When that one triumphs; ay, the lonesome world Will always want the latest fairytales.
Listen to the 14 minute podcast from the BBC about this brilliant blind vegetarian thinker.
* Maha Assabalani is Yemeni blogger who resides in Paris, France and writes in the Huffington Post website. She wrote "As a Yemeni Woman, I'm Tired of Being Told 'No'.
Maha Assabalani is ARI’s Arabic Communication Officer, and a freelance journalist. Prior to working at ARI, she was with the Syrian Violations Center and Syrian Center for Media, Freedom of Expression,the World Bank, United Nations University, the International Federation for Human Rights, and the College of William and Mary as assistant professor. She earned a master degree in Global Communication from the American University of Paris and she was awarded the Fulbright Fellowship at the College of William and Mary.
As a typical Yemeni woman, my life revolved around the word "no." It is "no" to ride a bike; "no" for staying out late with friends; "no" discussions about politics, religions and human rights; "no" to late marriage, divorce, uncovering hair, advanced education, traveling alone, and male friends. All these lessons were ingrained in me from a very early age: "No" because I am a woman. "
Read her blog here.