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...The Rabbi’s prayer had been preceded by the Maulana, the Archbishop and the Guru. The mourners attending the funeral of one of South Africa’s greatest liberation heroes reflected the diversity of the inter-faith prayers. In an increasingly fundamentalist and divided world, there are people who can transcend sectarian divisions and break the barriers of religion, class, race, gender, ethnicity and political divides to reach right into the essence of what makes us all human. Like the exceptional cohort of leaders of whom he was a part, Kathrada bridged divides and made us feel that we have the agency to create a better world. Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada was born on August 21, 1929, a decade after his parents Mohamed and Hawa Kathrada, immigrants from India, had settled in the tiny town of Schweizer Reneke in the then Western Transvaal province of South Africa. ...Indian Express on April 6, 2017, 12:05 a.m.
...Given that we had attended the farewell banquet, arriving home after midnight, we thought it quite unreasonable for Madiba to drag us out of our beds at that early hour."Doesn't he ever get tired?"asked my husband, Max.Far from being tired, Mandela arrived promptly, looking fresh and relaxed, accompanied by his gracious and lovely wife, Graca Machel.It was a perfect Highveld morning, and they chose to sit on the veranda to enjoy the mild sunshine.Since I was the first family member to arrive, I served the tea and listened to Walter praise his friend for the success of his presidency.I sent up a silent prayer of appreciation for the privilege of witnessing this extraordinary moment Nelson Mandela, global icon and colossus of 20th century history, who had inspired millions around the world, basking in the praise of his life-long mentor. ...Indian Express on Dec. 10, 2013, 2:58 a.m.
...Crowds of well-wishers jostle with a huge international media contingent around the Mandela home and the Pretoria hospital where he lies.Politicians put everything on hold and Mandela's condition threatens to upstage the visit of US President Barack Obama.It is a surreal moment.In this state of limbo, we reflect anew with awe and wonder at the meaning of this phenomenon that is Mandela.His life must be one of the most examined in history, the subject of numerous biographies, political studies and countless articles.While journalists across the globe are seized with the issue of Mandela's imminent demise, I hesitate to add my voice to the cacophony, but feel the need to reflect on Nelson Mandela, the private man, husband of Graca, father of Makaziwe, Zenani and Zindzi, grandfather and great grandfather. ...Indian Express on June 29, 2013, 12:11 a.m.