October 19 - 25, 2007


 Coastweek   Kenya

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Shariff Abdurahaman Abdallah
Shatry - 'A Man Of Many Partsí

foundeR OF Coast Broadcasting
Station known as 'Sauti ya Mvita'

Coastweek - - Death of Shariff Abdurahaman Abdallah Shatry has robbed the Coast Kiswahili speaking community of a Cultural leader whose classical contributions have in their time tremendously enriched Kiswahili literature.

Soon after he retired from the East African Harbours Corporation he involved himself into translating the Holy Prophet Muhammad's Sayings into Kiswahili and published three booklets distributed free to his friends and schools.

He started off as the Old Ports registerer in the late forties and systematically promoted to be the first East African Coasts Ports Manager he received numerous training in Ports Managements at the International Ports.

He also undertook to translate that famous poetic book on the Praise of the Prophet known as "Burda".

Coastweek - - Late Shariff Abdurahaman Abdallah Shatry.

[This was with the help of Ustaadh Yahya Ali, a  renowned scholar of Kiswahili at the University of London.]

He was a staunch member of a local weekly recital club of 'The Burda Stanzas".

He felt strongly that the members should understand the stamzas in praise of the Prophet.

That was what influenced him to undertake translating "Burda" into Kiswahili.

Shatry was a veteran Mombasa Rotary member who practically put into practice the principle: 'Service before self'.

He used to immensely enjoy to offer social, cultural and educational service whenever and where he could afford.

A well-read and highly cultured personality, he introduced a weekly cultural study group at the 'Nady Shabab' Club in the Old Town that attracted many well educated youth to it.

He also travelled widely with his friend Soud Abdallah, popularly known 'Mr. Good', spending many of his annual holidays in England and the Canary Island where 'Mr. Good' had his resort residence.

Apart from performing an obligatory Pilgrimage: he on several occasions performed minor-non obligatory pilgrimage at Mecca, known as 'Umra'.

In the early fifties, along with his close colleagues - the late Sheikh Hyder Matano, Maalim Said Bin Ahmed and Sheikh Mohamed Sulaiman (Abu-Sulaiman) - he had founded the Coast Broadcasting Station known as 'Sauti ya Mvita'.

He took the initiative of introducing plays of religious topics such as the stories of 'Prophets - Joseph, Moses, Jesus Christ and Muhammad.

This proved to be a great success.

He actually was the protector of this writer in his mission of promoting 'Buibui' women's secular education, as then the orthodox and dogmatic Muslims were vehemently against girls going to secular schools.

He, along with fellow residents of Liwatoni location, built a mosque with a nursery and lower primary school.

His close friend Sheikh Muhammad N. Muses was shocked when informed of his death:

"I have lost a dear brother with whom every Saturday would gather at our office and conduct conversation pertaining to cultural, spiritual and cultural problems facing the Waswahili Community - a reliable, helpful, considerate, affectionate, and friendly gentleman."

He left behind a widow with seven grown up children: three sons, Abdulqadir, Abdulaziz, Abdulhamid and four daughters, one of whom is the wife of Councilor Mohamed Daudi and the famous daughter Asiya - who was very popular public relations officer with KPA and has happily inherited her father's major calling of being helpful and of service to the public.

May Almighty Allah rest his soul in Peace.

Faraj Dumila, Mombasa.




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