The celebration of Professor Ali Mazrui’s life began with welcoming and opening remarks from Dr. Mary-Jane Deeb, Chief, Africa and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress; Dr. Mbye Cham, Director, Department of African Studies, Howard University; Bernadette B. Paolo, Esq., President and CEO of The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa; Dr. Abubaker Al- Shingieti, Executive Director, IIIT; Her Excellency Jean Kamau, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Kenya; and Noah Samara, Esq.; Chair, Africa Society Board of Directors.
The program featured presentations from eminent scholars and academics that highlighted the diversity and scope of Professor Mazrui’s publications, an original film that was created by Dr. Mbye Cham and associates at Howard University on Mazrui’s life and works, and a session where tributes were paid to the intellectual icon beginning with Mrs. Pauline Uti Mazrui.
A special presentation was given by Eve Ferguson, Reference Librarian for East Africa, for the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress on Mazruiana that documented all of the major publications housed at the Library, in addition to pointing out the historical relevance and impact of many of them.
Leading the panel of academics was longtime colleague of Professor Mazrui’s, renowned scholar and author, Dr.Sulayman Nyang, Professor of African Studies, Howard University. Dr. Nyang was also instrumental in the orchestration of this tribute for Professor Mazrui at the Library of Congress. Dr. Kehbuma Langmia, Professor of Communications at Howard University and Dr. Alem Hailu, African Studies Professor at Howard gave presentations on aspects of Mazrui’s work in different realms. This panel was moderated by Dr. Angel Batiste, Area Specialist for the Africa and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress.
Among those joining Mrs. Pauline Uti Mazrui in paying tribute to her husband were Her Excellency Liberata Mulamula, Ambassador to the U.S. from Tanzania; Vice President and Founding Member of IIIT, Dr. Jamal al-Barzinji, Jane Uti Egbo, Professor Mazrui’s sister-in-law.
A reception was held in the Mumford Room foyer following the program, where Professor Mazrui’s books were also on display.