DR. ISAIAH AZARIAH 1929 - 2005
The passing of Dr. Isaiah Azariah is a great loss to humanity. Dr. Azariah was a great teacher, scholar, and humanitarian. He dedicated his entire life to helping others,whether it was guiding his students at Albany State University, providing leadership in the South Asia Chapter of the Association of Third World Studies (ATWS), or serving as Director of the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled in Kerala, India.
I knew Dr. Azariah best in my capacity as the founder of the ATWS. Dr. Azariah was a member while he resided in the United States,and was the founder of the South Asia Chapter which he established in the early 1990s. It was due to Dr. Azariah’s great organizational and personal skills that this important academic entity has flourished throughout its history. Dr. Azariah, who was the author of several books and a Fulbright scholar and Paul Harris Fellow, worked for over a year in drawing up the appropriate legal documents which were necessary to obtain approval for the chapter from the government of India. He gave shape and form to what would become ATWS’ most successful chapter.Dr. Azariah successfully enrolled other academic and professional leaders in his work, and he always made certain others, not himself, received credit for the success of the chapter. The highlight of his and other’s efforts were superlative two day conferences organized yearly around a theme that had practical meaning in India and elsewhere. I know he is proud that the Tenth Annual Meeting of the South Asia Chapter will be held from May 14-16, 2005 in the Jubilee Memorial Animation Centre, Vellayambalam, Trivandrum, India.
I was fortunate to know the scholar and academician but I also was familar with the personal and humanitarian sides of Dr. Azariah. I knew my friend to be a gentle, humble, good man who cared for others and dedicated his life to helping the affirmed, especially children afflicted with polio and cerebral palsy. When he retired from twenty-five years of teaching at Albany State he could have easily assumed a relaxing life in retirement. But this was not Dr. Azariah. He wanted to help people, so he became Honorary Director of the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled in 1997 and played a large role in not only the modernization of the Centre’s facilities but also in making this important charity more responsive to the needs of its children.Dr. Azariah was also involved in other charitable work.
I speak for all members of ATWS worldwide in expressing our utmost condolences to Dr. Azariah’s wife, Healen, his daughter Dora Azariah-Kribbs, and other family members.
A great humanitarian has passed from the scene and he will be truly missed.
Harold Isaacs, Ph.D.
Founder, Association of Third World Studies, and Founding Editor, Journal of Third World
Gary Kline, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science
Treasurer, Association of Third World Studies
Department of History & Political Science
Georgia Southwestern State University
Americus, GA 31709
Tel.: 229-931-2088 FAX: 229-931-2960