FOREWORD TO WEST REAPPRAISED

Dr. A.M.A. Azeez was an eminent educationist, efficient administrator, erudite learned scholar, brilliant orator and writer in English and Tamil, visionary and dedicated community worker.

Dr. Azeez’s scholarly and literary contributions will be of great benefit to the academic and intellectual world, and one of the main objectives of the Dr. A.M.A. Azeez Foundation is to publish all his speeches and writings. The Foundation has published the books “A.M.A. Azeez – A Profile” (in English, Tamil and Sinhala), “A.M.A. Azeez – Senate Speeches” and “A.M.A. Azeez – Muslim Education in Sri Lanka”.

In the 1960s Dr. Azeez published many books in English and Tamil. His first book in Tamil “Islam in Ceylon” published in 1963 won the Sahithya Award. Prof. K. Sivathamby had said, “During the early sixties writing in Tamil provided a cathartic release for him from the busy schedule and many harrowing problems he faced. It was during the post-Zahira days that he emerged as a Tamil writer of significance. With time in hand, and reawakened interest in his cultural roots, Azeez began to write in Tamil”.

His first book in English “West Reappraised” was published in 1964. The ten well known personalities brought to light have all helped in nation building and have been an inspiration to many. The essays in the book have been well researched by Dr. Azeez and have been acclaimed by all readers.

Mr. Susil Sirivardana commenting on the book says:

“The theme of the book is the metamorphosing interface of Eastern and Western culture in the context of a decolonizing South Asia. He distinguishes between the old epoch or the ‘Age of Dazzlement’ and the new, ‘the Age of Discerning’. He often refers to the Macaulean educational order. A recurring word in this book is ‘awakening and reawakening’. That is what this phase of South Asian history was about”.

The Dr. A.M.A. Azeez Foundation felt that a second edition of this valuable book “West Reapparaised” should be published in the Birth Centenary Year 2011 of Dr. A.M.A. Azeez.

We thank Dr. Ananda W.P. Guruge for writing the Preface to the second edition of the book. He was instrumental in 1964 in persuading Dr. Azeez to publish his speeches and articles which was the outcome of the book “West Reappraised”.

We are glad that a website www.azeezfoundation.com was launched on the initiative of A.G.A. Barrie, P. Eng., a distinguished student at Zahira during the Azeez era.

We are also thankful to him and many other distinguished students of Dr. Azeez and well wishers for consistently supporting in all our publications.

S.H.M. Jameel

President, Dr. A.M.A. Azeez Foundation

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