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July 25, 2020

Tribute to Dr. Kiren Aziz Chaudhry

Islamabad

July 25, 2020

Islamabad : Wherever a human goes in the world, it is difficult for him/her to forget homeland where he/she spent early days of life because everything in their homeland keep their love in their hearts. This unique love even never ends after death and a few of them wanted to be buried in the soil where they walked in their childhood.

Professor Dr. Kiren Aziz Chaudhry, a renowned scholar, author, and economist at the international level was one of them who wrote her will in the United States expressing a wish to be buried in her paternal village in Shakargarh, district Narowal, the village of her father Chaudhry Anwar Aziz, former minister and famous intellectual politician of Pakistan and sister of EX-MNA of PML-N Daniyal Aziz.

Professor Kiren died of a heart attack on June 25, 2020, at her house in the Berkeley Hills and her body, was shifted to Pakistan after removing plenty of hurdles amid COVID-19 pandemic only to fulfill her lifetime wish to be buried in her hometown. She was laid to rest in her hometown village on Tuesday with sorrows and tears after the funeral prayer was led by Pir of Ali Pur Shareef Syed Zafar Iqbal Shah. Thousands of people attended the funeral.

Kiren Aziz had a unique impressive personality with a great love for her motherland Pakistan, its culture and its local languages despite living in the United States for decades.

She had completed her PhD from Harvard and had been teaching in different renowned universities and institutes.

Professor Kiren came a very long way from Pakistan where she born on March 17, 1959, to achieve academic excellence in the United States. Her journey culminated at the University of

California, Berkeley, where she was an Associate Professor of Political Science.

There was no school in her village while she was growing and she had to travel to a nearby village school. After the family moved to Lahore, she attended Cathedral School and later at Essena, a private girls’ school. She finished her education in Pakistan graduating from Lahore American High School in just three years.

Her college career began at the University of Massachusetts, transferring to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she received her BA Summa Cum Laude and high distinction in Political Science and English Literature in May 1980. She received the Senior Honors Thesis Award for best Senior Honors Thesis at the University of Michigan.

At Harvard University where she did her graduation, among several other awards, she received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant. In 1988-90 she was a Kukin Fellow, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. Shortly after receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University she joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley where she received several awards and fellowships, including a Prytanean Alumnae Faculty Award, two Mellon Grants, she was awarded an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Peace and Security Fellowship in 1996-98, and in 2001-03, a second MacArthur Peace and Security Fellowship.

The writing achievement she prized most was her a book titled “The Price of Wealth: Economies and Institutions in the Middle East”, for which she was co-recipient of the Albert Hourani Prize, awarded by the Middle East Association of America for best book on the Middle East in 1998.

Shortly before her death her second book, Trauma and Memory in Istanbul reached the final edit stage and one of her colleagues has offered to see it through to publication by the Cornell University Press.