Professor Suraiya Husain passes away


Aligarh: Noted writer, renowned scholar and former Chairperson, Department of Urdu, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Professor Suraiya Husain passed away following a prolonged illness at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, USA in the wee hours of Friday.

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She served as Chairperson, Department of Urdu from July 11, 1979 to July 10, 1984. Prof Suraiya was the Provost of Abdullah Hall and contributed immensely to the academic and cultural life of the University.

She was a prolific writer and wrote a seminal book on Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and his times. She completed her PhD from the Paris-Sorbonne University, France on well known French Orientalist, Garcin de Tassy, who was a contemporary of Sir Syed. Prof Suraiya did a remarkable work on Aesthetics and wrote a book on the comparative study of Indian and Western Aesthetics. Her books include Sir Syed Ahmad Khan Aur Unka Aihad, Garsaa Datasi, Garsin Datasi: Urdu Khidmat, Ilmi Karname, Jamaliyat Aur Adab, Jamaliyat-e-Sharq-o-Garb, Mulier Aur Uske Drame, Paris-o-Parass and her memoirs.

“She was a distinguished writer and scholar who brought many laurels to the University. Her death has left a huge gap in the literary and academic circle of the country,” said AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor.

Prof Suraiya was a close friend of Urdu novelist and short story writer, Qurratulain Haider and stayed at her residence for two-years.  Her husband, Professor Izhar Husain was a well known mathematician, who served as the Chairperson, Department of Mathematics, AMU. He was also the Manager of Senior Secondary School (Boys) during the period of Mr S Hashim Ali’s tenure as the AMU Vice Chancellor.

Prof Suraiya is survived by two daughters, Dr Deeba Husain and Dr Seema Husain, who are settled in USA and her son-in-law, Syed Ali Rizvi is a prominent alumnus of the University.

She was laid to rest at the West Roxbury Cemetery, Boston. The Department of Urdu, AMU will conduct a condolence meeting on July 3 (Tuesday) to mourn Prof Suraiya’s demise.