Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, September 2012, Page 72
Upcoming Events, Announcement & Obituaries
—Compiled by Andrew Stimson
The National Arab American Medical Association will hold it's 34th Annual National Medical Convention, Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel, 301 E. North Water St. For more information visit <www.naama.com>.
The Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) will host a book reception for Dr. Mary Knopf-Newman, author of The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans, Sept. 15 at the MECA office, 1101 8th Street, Berkeley. Proceeds will go directly to MECA. For more information visit <www.mecaforpeace.org> or call (510) 548-0542.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is seeking nominations for its National Muslim Community Service Award honoring the community service activities of Muslim leaders, activists and institutions in the U.S. The award will be presented Sept. 29, at CAIR's 18th annual banquet in Arlington, VA. Deadline for nominations is Sept. 1. To make a nomination visit <www.cair.com/nominations>.
Sattareh Farman Farmaian, 90, a daughter of Persian royalty and catalyst for the social work field in Iran, died May 21 at her home in Los Angeles. She was one of 36 children born to a prominent prince in the Qajar dynasty that ruled Iran for more than a century. Shortly before her birth Reza Khan staged a coup d'état, sending the head of the Qajari dynasty into exile, though Farmaian's family remained in Tehran and continued to be influential in Iranian society. After attending the American School for Girls in Tehran, Farmaian became the first Iranian to attend the University of Southern California, where in 1948 she earned a master's degree in social work. For the next decade, Farmaian worked as a social worker in Los Angeles and served as a social welfare consultant for a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) mission in Iraq.
In 1958 she returned to Iran and established the Tehran School of Social Work, the first of its kind in the country. While serving as the school's director, she also helped found the Family Planning Association of Iran, an organization focused on educating young women on the use of family planning and birth control in accordance with Islamic law. These and a number of other organizations and centers started by Farmaian helped a large variety of Iranians, from orphans and medical patients to prostitutes. During the 1970s she served as a board member of the International Association of Schools of Social Work and as vice president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Farmaian was forced to leave Iran during the 1979 revolution after narrowly escaping execution. While many of her institutions were closed, most of their social work missions continue in Iran today. Farmaian returned to the United States and resumed working with disadvantaged groups in Los Angeles. The author of several books, Farmaian penned her acclaimed autobiography Daughter of Persia in 2006 and was the recipient of a number of awards for her achievements and commitment to social work.
Farid Habib, 77, a Lebanese politician and member of the second largest Christian party in parliament, died May 31 at Saint George Hospital in Ashrafiyeh. First elected to the Lebanese parliament in 2005, he represented the mainly Greek Orthodox district of El Koura from 2009 until his death. Born to a Greek Orthodox family in Kousba, he received a bachelor's degree in literature from the American University of Beirut in 1956. Affiliated with the right-wing Kataeb (Phalange) Party during his high school and university years, he officially joined the party in 1976. In 2000 he joined the Lebanese Forces Party and represented it in the Qornet Shehwan Gathering, a loose coalition of Christian political parties united against Syrian influence in Lebanon. Habib also served on a number of parliamentary committees, including the environment, national economy, trade industry and oil committees.
Sol Metz, 69, co-founder of the Michigan-based Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends and a veteran Palestinian and human rights activist, died of cancer June 25 in Ann Arbor, MI. Born to a Jewish family in Detroit in 1943, he played a role in the local civil rights movement and later protested against cruise missile production in southeast Michigan. In 2002 Metz and fellow activist Henry Herskovitz traveled to Palestine for the first time and were shocked at the treatment of Palestinians under Israeli occupation. Upon returning to Ann Arbor, they established weekly vigils every Saturday morning outside the Beth Israel Synagogue and made efforts to dialogue with the local Jewish community. During the next eight years, Metz rarely missed a Saturday morning vigil and was planning another visit to Palestine before his untimely death. A memorial service was held June 29 at the Quaker Ann Arbor Friends Meeting House.