The special events started on Friday, November 18 with an exhibition of selected items from the Mazrui collection and memorabilia. The full collection that includes more than forty books authored by or about Ali Mazrui, hundreds of book chapters and journal articles as well as pictures, awards and other memorabilia is now available at IIIT for researchers, students, and the general public. The climax of the Friday event was the presentation of Ismail al Faruqi Distinguished Scholar Award to Professor Mazrui, presented by Dr. Jamal Barzinji, Vice President of IIIT. Several of Professor Mazrui’s friends gave testimonies in praise of his legacy and achievements. These included, among others, Ambassador Elkanah Odembo, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to the United States; Professor Ricardo Laremont, Professor of Sociology and Political Science at Binghamton University, SUNY, New York; and Professor Sulayman Nyang, Professor of African and African American Studies at Howard University, Washington DC.
On Saturday, November 19, two roundtables in honor of Professor Mazrui were organized by IIIT and IGCS as part of the ASA program. The first roundtable focused on the theme “The Scholar between Thought and Action.” Five scholars participated in the panel, including Professor Charles Butterworth, the University of Maryland; Professor Ricardo Laremont, Binghamton University; Professor Sulayman Nyang, Howard University; and Professor N’Dri T. Assie Lumumba, Cornel University. The second roundtable – held on Saturday afternoon – focused on “The Pro-Democracy Movements and the Legacy of Pax Africana.” Participants in the panel included Micere Githae Mugo from Syracuse University, Locksley Edmondson from Cornel University, James Mittleman from the American University, and Timothy Shaw from the University of West Indies. Professor Mazrui made concluding remarks on both sessions.