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Sanjay Mulay-Shah

Members and friends of CERAS express their sadness and sympathy to Shree Mulay, Aziz Mulay-Shah and Daya Varma having learned of the accidental death of Sanjay Mulay-Shah at the young age of 25 years. Shree, Sanjay's mother, is a member of the Executive Committees of CERAS and Alternatives. Aziz, his brother and Daya Varma are associated with CERAS.

2nd Annual General Meeting of Alternatives

Alternatives held its second Annual General Meeting on May 2 and 3, 1997. The first evening on Friday was open to the general public. It was a multi-media show which included live conversation with our partners and friends from Mexico, India, Brazil, Palestine and presentations of video- recorded interviews. To conclude the evening, Michel Chartrand addressed, in his usual empassioned way, the public. More than 250 people packed the auditorium of the Strathearn Centre. On Saturday atleast 100 members of Alternatives gathered for the whole day to debate and discuss the by-laws, objectives and strategies which Alternatives should adopt. There were four workshops: International Networking, Communication Strategies, East Asia and New Horizons, New Projects. The day ended with elections to the Board of Alternatives. The following people constitute the new Board of Directors (in alphabetical order):

1. Rachad Antonius
2. Peter Bakvis
3. Minoo Gundevia
4. Jean-Guy Loranger
5. Rathiba Hadj-Moussa
6. Jean Ménard
7. Elizabeth Morey
8. Dominique Payette
9. Bernard Schutze
10. Jawad Sqalli
11. Daya Varma


Obituary: Feroz Ahmed

Feroz Ahmed, 56, a scholar, a journalist and a political activist of international standing, died suddenly at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland on April 5, 1997. A professor in the School of Social Work at Howard University, Washington D.C. and a demographer by profession, he was an alumnus (doctorate degree) of John Hopkins and the University of Hawaii, initially trained as a zoologist at the University of Karachi, Pakistan. At Howard University he taught graduate students in sociology and social work and directed a series of studies investigating reasons for low birth weights and high infant mortality rates of black children in Washington, D.C. At the time of his demise he was the Principal Investigator for "Evaluating Healthy Start Program" of the District of Columbia government which is a part of the Presidential initiative of comprehensive health and social services for women in childbearing ages and their families. Dr. Richard A English, Dean, School of Social Work described Feroz as "an indefatigable scholar" whose loss will take " a long time before we are able to overcome".

Feroz Ahmed grew up in the heady days of the 1960's. His political and social commitment germinated in student activism of the early sixties during the days of Ayub's martial law regime in Pakistan. On arriving in the United States for graduate studies, he was swept by the protest movements on university campuses. Whether it was the Vietnam war, Palestinian rights, Apartheid or civil rights in the U. S., all struggles touched Feroz. For him, the cause of democracy in Pakistan became indivisible from the global movement for equality and freedom.

His democratic and progressive ideology influenced his academic research and his research and analysis found expression in his journalistic writings. He was the editor of Pakistan Student and later the founder of an influential magazine Pakistan Progressive.

As a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard (1968-1969) and later as a teacher at East Carolina University and Algoma College of Laurentian University (Canada), he practiced the fine art of linking theory with social action. In 1974, he returned to Pakistan initially to teach at Sind University but soon turned to journalism. He started an Urdu version of Pakistan Forum- a monthly magazine of political and social commentary- which immediately became an organ of progressive thought in Pakistan.

Zia's military coup snuffed out the possibility of free expression in Pakistan and threw a ring of repression around writers and journalists. Feroz came back to the United States to restart his academic career in 1980. After a year of working as a senior researcher at the Economic Development Bureau in New Haven, Feroz moved to New York City to teach at the New School of Social Research. In 1985, he was appointed at Howard University initially as a senior researcher in the Institute of Urban Affairs and Research and as an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology. In 1992, he was appointed Professor in the School of Social Work, primarily, to teach in the doctoral program and help organize school-wide research.

Feroz loved to talk and discuss, always engaging others. His progressive commitments and interests permeated his life and work, be it demography of black people in the US or ethnicity in Pakistan. As an author of about twenty books and monographs and three hundred articles, he will have a long presence for scholars and social activists in South Asia and North America. A week before his death, he completed the manuscript of another book on ethnicity and nationality issues in Pakistan. He will be missed by his wife, Nadira Ahmed, the companion in his intellectual and political journey, his six sisters and two brothers as well as friends in many continents. CERAS extends its heart felt condolence to all.

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