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Professor Muhammad Umar Memon

It is with heavy heart that I pen these words of gratitude to Professor Muhammad Umar Memon who died on Monday, June 4th. Professor Memon had a long affiliation with AIPS and his singular contribution towards keeping alive the only journal of Urdu in English Language: Annual of Urdu Studies was exemplary. The annual was started at University of Chicago in 1980 and Professor Memon became its editor in 1993. The annual survived despite many ups and downs because of Professor Memon’s refusal to let any hurdle stand in his way. He once said that “Urdu is my mother tongue and the love of my life,” and he fought hard for the love of his life. I remember many meetings of AIPS Board of Trustees where Professor Memon passionately pleaded for support to keep the annual going. I generally saw him once a year at the South Asia conference in Madison, Wisconsin and always had memorable conversations with him. I will miss that mischievous twinkle in his eyes as he most eloquently commented on what he saw as the crass commercialization of higher education where one has to beg and plead to keep a literary endeavor going.

Farhat Haq, AIPS President.