The Dr. A.M.A. Azeez Commemoration Meeting and the Memorial Oration were held on Tuesday 28th November 2017 at 4.30 p.m. at the Mahaweli Centre Auditorium, Colombo 7. As usual it was a well attended and a dignified function.

The Meeting was jointly presided by Mr. Khalid M. Farouk, President of the Dr. A.M.A. Azeez Foundation and Mr. M.N.M. Naphiel, National President of the All Ceylon YMMA Conference.

The Meeting commenced with the recital of Qirath followed by Dua by Moulavi Abdul Majid.

Mr. Khalid Farouk welcomed the guests and spoke briefly on the achievements of Marhoom Dr. A.M.A. Azeez and the objectives of the Foundation. He thanked Dr. Ameer Ali for accepting the invitation to deliver the Memorial Oration, and mentioned that they were classmates at Zahira College during the Azeez era. He thanked the media, the YMMA and others for their continued support. He thanked Mr. A.I. Marikar for his excellent article in all the English and Tamil newspapers, and mentioned that he too was his classmate. He also thanked Mr. Marikar for accepting  to propose the vote of thanks.

Mr. Naphiel spoke briefly about the YMMA and its founder Marhoom Azeez and the significant contributions made by the YMMA to the community over the last 67 years. He mentioned that the YMMA has continued to organize the commemoration meetings continuously from 1975. He said that he is the first National President from the East and was happy to mention that Dr. Ameer Ali was also from the East.

The Memorial Oration was delivered by Dr. A.C.L. Ameer Ali B.A. Hons. (Cey), M.Phil (Lond), Ph.D. (W.Aust) of the School of Business and Governance, Murdoch University, Western Australia, on the subject of “From Islamophobia to Westophobia: The Long Road to Islamist Radicalization”. It was an educative and inspiring oration tracing the history of Islamist Radicalization which is a burning topic at present. The excellent Oration was well received by all. A printed copy was available for distribution.

A memento was presented to Dr. Ameer Ali by Mr. Khalid M. Farouk, President of the Dr. A.M.A. Azeez Foundation, in appreciation of delivering the Memorial Oration.

The Azeez Foundation published a reprint and second edition of the Tamil book, “Azeezum Thamilum” (Azeez and Tamil) by Mr. A.M. Nahiya which was released at the Meeting. It was first released in 1991. It is a well researched book on Dr. Azeez’s immense contribution for the development of the Tamil language. The book was introduced and reviewed by Prof. S. Sandirasegaram. He spoke of Dr. Azeez’s knowledge of Tamil and his contribution for its development, and commended Mr. Nahiya for his research and producing an excellent publication. The first copy was presented to Dr. Ameer Ali by Mr. A.M. Nahiya. Mr. Nahiya presented copies to Mr. P.P. Devaraj (former Minister who was the chief guest at the release of the book in 1991), Prof. S. Sandirasegaram, Dr. M.A.M. Shukri, Mr. A.I. Marikar, Mr. Faisz Musthapha P.C., Mr. Trizviiy Marikar (Principal, Zahira College) and Bhikku W. Rathana Thero (old boy of Zahira College during the tenure of Principals Dr. T.B. Jayah and Dr. A.M.A. Azeez).

Bhikku W. Rathana Thero spoke on his period as a student at Zahira College which he said was very valuable for his education. He traced the achievements of Dr. Azeez and paid glowing tributes to Dr. Jayah and Dr. Azeez. He said that Dr. Azeez was a true Muslim and a Sri Lankan.

The Vote of Thanks was proposed by Mr, A.I. Marikar, an old boy of Zahira College during the Azeez era. He said that Dr. Azeez was a great educationist and a social reformer. He would have been very pleased to have seen one of his protégés like Dr. Ameer Ali achieve higher levels of eminence, and for doing excellent research, whose articles can sometimes be perceived as controversial. He said that Dr. Ameer Ali was his classmate and remembers that there were 16 students in the University entrance class. Because of Dr. Azeez this group produced 3 Ph.D.’s, Dr. Ameer Ali, Dr. Shukri and Dr. Neville Edirisinghe. Many became doctors, engineers and professionals which shows what good educational leadership can result in the society at large. He thanked Dr. Ameer Ali for coming all the way from Australia to make his excellent presentation. .    

Mr. Marikar thanked the YMMA and the Dr. Azeez Foundation for organizing the Meeting, the Mahaweli Centre for the arrangements, the media and T.V. stations for all their support and specially to Mr. P. Balasingham and Mr. M.S. Raheem for their efforts in co-ordination. He thanked the donors, old boys of Zahira College, well wishers and those who were present. Mr. Marikar mentioned the yeoman services rendered by Marhoom S.H.M. Jameel as President of the Dr. A.M.A. Azeez Foundation and for initiating the publications from 2007.

The Meeting ended with the recital of Salawath.

The YMMA hosted all those present with refreshment and drinks.

The Compere was Mr. M.F.S. Muheed who did a splendid job as usual.

A slide show of thirty selected photos were shown before and after the meeting arranged by Mr. Shiraz Fouz.

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