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Professor Muhammad Umar Memon (1939-2018)

Muhammad Memon, professor of Urdu language and editor of the Annual of Urdu Studies, in his Van Hise office. Memon reads from the book Divan-e Ghalib, a collection of 19th century Persian poet Mirza Ghalib's poetry in Urdu.
Sunday, June 3rd Professor Emeritus Mohammad Umar Memon passed away from a relatively short battle with a rare form of lung cancer. In a brief call with his wife, Nakako, she shared that he was diagnosed only six months ago, and was enjoying his daily walks and translating projects until a few weeks ago when Hospice care was provided for him in their home. Professor Memon joined UW-Madison in 1970 and retired in December 2008, after which he held several Honorary Associate appointments. On behalf of the department, his many colleagues (locally, nationally, and internationally), and devoted students we send our deepest condolences to his wife, Nakako, their two sons, and grandchildren. 
 
Below is a message from Farhat Haq, President of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, as well as links to a few memorials written since the news of his passing:
 
 
 
Subject: Professor Muhammad Umar Memon - message from AIPS President
Date: June 5, 2018 at 2:35:22 PM CDT

Dear AIPS Members,
 
It is with heavy heart that I pen these words of gratitude to Professor Muhammad Umar Memon who died on Monday, June 4, 2018.  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