They call him the "professor of professors".
They call him "master of economics".
He must have educated thousands of students and scientists, amongst whom include Turkey's own President Abdullah Gül.
And the list of awards & honors in recognition of his contribution are almost endless.
But to Halil and Simah, he was simply Baba - the beloved father and father-in-law.
To their beautiful children, Hatice & Baddin, he was simply Dede.
When I received the short text from Simah yesterday, "Kak, bapa halil dah pergi"; I stood frozen for a while. In a flash, the memories of admiring the family photos in Simah's hallway and running my fingers through his books on Halil's shelves came running back to me.
Ayah & I did not have the chance to know Halil's & Simah's Baba up close and personal when we visited them in Istanbul a few months back. Yet having learnt of Simah's modern fairy tale love story from the horse's mouth herself and having met her beloved husband Halil and their two lovable children Hatice & Baddin, I feel that the tribute to the late Professor Sabahattin Zaim as is now spread all over Turkish newspapers on his contribution to "humanity & culture" is almost an understatement.
Nevertheless, there are things in this world that cannot be seen or even touched, rather felt with the heart.
For what we have witnessed during our short stay with the Zaim Jr family, it was crystal clear that Baba has indeed raised a fine gentleman and that Baba has done more than what words can describe with his consent to bind the two hearts in a marital bliss despite the lovebirds' prior challenge of being shores apart.
Simah dear, I read about your relentless service to the late Baba during his final days with much admiration. Each time I read your entries on caring for Baba, I have this funny mental picture of a "Malaysian Nightingale" in action, clad in her baju batik kelawar, burning up her midnight candle running up & down the ward aisle caring for the ailing Baba (though your roster were normally in the morning, right?). Joke aside, I'm very sure not many would be able to do the same like what you have done for Baba, my dear.
To Halil, yes... it is for the better as the pain and suffering is no longer felt by him. And there is no greater treasure a father would have amassed other than a son who prays for him after he left for the hereafter.
To Hatice & Baddin, you'll miss him we know. He'll miss you too, do you know? A little prayer for him would bring a smile to his face wherever he is, bringing you two closer at heart to him each & every time always.
With Professor Halil Zaim (Jr) surviving - carrying the educationist DNA in his flesh and blood, with the love of Simah the Malaysian Nightingale loyal by his side, and the young and fast growing Hatice & Baddin ever ready to conquer the world, Professor Zaim (Sr) 's legacy as one who lights his candle to enlighten others will surely prevail ....
May he rest in his peace. Al-fatihah ....
A true modern epic of "cinta dua benua" - Simah & Halil
Hatice & Baddin cuddling a kitty
* read more from the press *
|Zaim passes away, Turkey loses master of economics|
| Professor Sabahattin Zaim, known as the “professor of professors” and the “master of economics,” passed away in a private hospital early Sunday in İstanbul. |
Zaim’s doctors said he was in critical condition on Saturday. President Abdullah Gül, one of Zaim’s former students, upon hearing that Zaim had been hospitalized called Zaim’s relatives and received information on the state of his health.
Zaim was born in the İştip (Štip) province of Macedonia in 1926 and moved to İstanbul in 1934 with his family. He graduated from Ankara University faculty of political sciences in 1947 and was nominated district governor in several provinces of Turkey. He was admitted as a research assistant in the department of economics at İstanbul University in 1953 and served as department chair until he retired in 1998.
Zaim worked as a member of the Higher Education Board (YÖK) between 1996 and 2000 and contributed to the establishment of Sarajevo University in 2003 as a founding rector.
He was given the Honorary Award for Contributions to Turkish National Culture by the National Culture Foundation of Turkey in 1990 and received the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) award the same year for his contribution to Islamic economics. He also received the Lariba Award from the Lariba Islamic Bank of Los Angeles in 1996 and was nominated for the highest award given by the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD) in 2002 and for the award of merit by the Turkish Writers’ Association in 2003.
Zaim educated thousands of students and scientists including President Gül. He was married with five children.
Associate Professor Numan Kurtulmuş, one of Zaim’s research assistants, stressed that Zaim’s memoirs, which he shared with his students, will be published soon. “Zaim told his stories to a group of his students, including me, in the 20 weeks after he retired. He had a great collection, bringing together all the documents and news articles prepared and published about him. He approved the publication of his memoirs and we will publish them in the coming weeks.” Recalling that Zaim was the most important Turkish figure in the field of labor and Islamic economics, Kurtulmuş added: “He contributed to the establishment of the majority of charity organizations and foundations in Turkey in the last 50 years. He was a man who continuously strived to serve humanity and was loved by his students.”
President Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Deputy Prime Minister Nazım Ekren, Interior Minister Beşir Atalay, Finance Minister Kemal Unakıtan and former politicians, Ali Coşkun and Nevzat Yalçıntaş, stand out among Zaim’s students. In a previous interview with the state-run Anatolia news agency, Zaim noted that he did not imagine that his students would be prominent figures in Turkish politics in the future. “Yet, I believe that they will exert their utmost efforts to serve the country and Turkish society,” he said.
Zaim continued reading and writing after he retired from the faculty of economics and administrative sciences at Sakarya University in 1998 and is known to have spent his retirement giving lectures and involved in social and cultural activities both in Turkey and abroad.
|Today’s Zaman İstanbul|