Cheirf Bassioni Dec 2017

Cheirf Bassioni Dec 2017


It is with a very heavy heart that I report on the passing of Prof. Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni another great Muslim pioneer, giant and intellectual with global impact. See his Wikipedia page

From God we come and back to him we return.

This hits especially close to home because I consider him one of my mentors and teachers. He was one of those who influenced me and encouraged me to pursue legal academia. He was also one of the first to congratulate me when I broke into legal academia. No matter how prominent he was he had a skill at making you feel special. I recall meeting him on a flight recently and he said to Sana Mirza, you have a smart man and hinted that he had read one of my articles. He probably just looked at the title, but it made my day 🙂

I had read his work extensively in law school, but I first met him in person as a law student in 1995 after inviting him to speak at a fundraising dinner I helped organize for Human Concern International. Here is an article I wrote about the event back in 1995…/canada-calling-ostrovsky-…

Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni delivered the keynote address on the plight of Bosnian Muslims and helped us raise well over $50,000 (a big amount in those days) to support HCI relief and development work in Bosnia and Chechnya.

At the time of my invitation Prof. Bassiouni had been the former chairman of the United Nations’ Commission of Experts to Investigate Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the Former Yugoslavia. He was a hot commodity on the speakers’s circuit and he did not have to accept my invitation. We offered him a pittance as an honorarium but he agreed.

Used to attending high end dinners with well heeled donors and realizing that he was at at an event organized by students and people without means, he refused to accept our honorarium at the end.

Even very recently, this very important and influential intellectual with his plate overflowing with obligations, made time any time I referred a student to him for advice, guidance or help.

Thank you Ahmed Rehab for this very sad ht.

He passed away this morning at 8;40 am. The funeral prayer will be held at the Muslim Community Center (MCC) on 4380 N. Elston in Chicago, tomorrow (Tuesday) at 1:30pm. I encourage all who can to attend.

May God bless his soul and may God grant patience to his loved ones

Faisal Kutty Atty Canada

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