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  OBITUARY  

MAY 13 - 19, 2005

 

 Coastweek   Kenya


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MARYAM RAJAB

COAST 'MAENDELEO YA WANAWAKE' LEADER
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Coastweek - - "We, the Kenyan women, much more so perhaps the Coast Hijab ones, have indeed lost a great leader".

Kenyan women - particularly the Coast Hijab women social organizations and institutions - have lost a dynamic and dedicated leader in the death of Maryam Rajab (popularly known as 'Mrs Thabiti'.).

She led Coast 'Maendeleo ya Wanawake' organization for several years with great success to the admiration of all members and leaders.

Her effective contribution enhanced its remarkable success over the years and she was unanimously elected the first vice chair-person at the national level.

In her eulogy, the National Maendeleo ya Wanawake chairperson, Mrs. Zipora Kitony who flew to Mombasa from Rift Valley to attend the funeral, observed:

Coastweek - - Maryam
Rajab - also popularly
known as 'Mrs Thabiti'.

"Maryam was one of the central pillars of the Maendeleo whose service to the organization did not only enrich its success but also earned a good reputation as having leaders of devotion and dedication who reflected tremendous amount of leadership qualities.

"Maryam was not only our trusted colleague but my esteemed friend on whom I used to rely on for her wise, honest and sincere advice.

"We, the Kenyan women, much more so perhaps the Coast Hijab ones, have indeed lost a great leader."

Several thousand women from various parts of the Coast converged into her father's residence to bid farewell to their good leader.

Maryam Rajab - Mrs. Thabit Sulaiman - was a highly trained social worker who received a two years course in Social Work at the Kenyan Israel School of Social Work.

She worked for the Mombasa Municipal Council as a Social Work officer where her leadership qualities were soon recognized and appreciated so much so that she was recommended for further training at the Matuga District Development Centre where she came out with remarkable performances.

It is this course that widened her perception of the need for women to associate with their men to accelerate development of their society.

She also attended a social work higher course in Isreal where she was deeply impressed by their sense of organization and punctuality.

In l988 the East African Industries appointed her Home Advisor for Coast Province.

The company found her a unique asset for publicizing its goods that she was allowed to go beyond the Coast region to sell its wares.

She was popular and deeply admired by her fellow women who often would approach her to join their women groups.

Maryam Rajab - Mrs. Thabit Sulaiman - has set a good example for the Hijab upcoming women who want to serve their communities or even the women of Kenya.

Mrs. Zipora Kitony, as she was delivering her deeply moving eulogy, with tears falling heavily on her cheeks, described her good and trusted friend:

"Though a deeply religious person, yet Maryam was liberal minded and showed sincere and respect and toleration and co-operation with people of other spiritual faiths.

"She committed her efforts to promoting mutual understanding between Kenyans and among 'Wananchi' of different races, creeds and ethnic groups."

She was the first National Vice chairperson of M.Y.W.O.

Her husband Sheikh Thabit Sulaiman is a prominent Coast public figure who retired recently as a senior administrative officer with the Mombasa Municipal Council, at its Medical Department.

He now serves as an educationist with the Board of Directors of the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed at Nahyan Secondary School, Mombasa.

Her two sons, Muniri and Said, are renowned Coast personalities serving in public institutions.

- Faraj Dumila, Mombasa.

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