Susan notes: This is the eulogy I delivered at my grandmother's funeral in 1990. My "Gran" was a spirited, independent woman with a mind of her own (hey, that's a quality that seems to run in the family!). This year marked the 20th anniversary of her death, but she is as alive in my heart now as she was when I used to sit with her and chat in her sunroom in St Jovite, Canada...
Today is Momma's (Kay Owen's) birthday. The first one since her death on July 3rd, 2010. She would have been 67 today.
It's a bittersweet time for the family. Sad, because we miss her, but sweet because of the wonderful memories we are so blessed to have.
Momma and Daddy were married 47 years, had a fairytale marriage, and were the happiest most genuinely devoted couple I have ever seen. They had two children, four grandchildren, and one greatgrandchild. As with most wives, mothers, and grandmothers, we were all immensely loved and adored by our Momma. The feelings were likewise.
Susan notes: One year ago today Neda Agha Soltan died in a street in Tehran. The following day, I and the rest of the world watched in horror as her dying moments were replayed for the world to see .
I blogged about how I felt at the time, and I became a supporter of the Green Movement for change in Iran. Today, on the anniversary of Neda’s death, she will be mourned by hundreds of thousands, including myself.
I post this hour-long HBO documentary here to honour her, as well as to honour freedom and justice for all in Iran and everywhere.
Biljana Kovačević-Vučo, president of Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM, passed away on April 20th 2010 in Belgrade.
Kovačević-Vučo was well-known human rights defender and one of the founders of the Yugoslav Action NGO and the independent union Nezavisnost in March 1999.
She was also a member of the Working Group for the Future of former Yugoslavia (established at a conference in Bratislava in July 1999. which was organized by EastWest Institute from New York).
During her long career as a peace movement and human rights activist, Kovačević-Vučo was the founder of the Human Rights Council of Center for Antiwar Action in Belgrade and head of the SOS helpline for the victims of political, ethnic and workplace discrimination.
She also founded and was secretary general of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights Office for Legal Help in Belgrade from 1994 until 1997, president of the Democracy Transition Center executive board in 1997, and founder and president of YUCOM since 1997.
During her career as a lawyer she worked at the Commercial Court in Belgrade from 1978 until 1988 and as a senior associate at the Serbian Supreme Court’s criminal and civil departments from 1988 until 1996.
Her younger brother was my best friend as a kid. I used to stay in their home for days on end. In the summer, we used to fake going early to bed, her brothers and I, and we'd sneak into the living room to play videogames late at night.
She, being 10 years or so older than us, would catch us and shoo us back into the boys' room. But we all knew she'd do it only once, out of responsibility, and that she'd go back to her room and that we're free to sneak out again.
Her name was Eman (which means "faith"), and she was the second eldest girl (and 3rd overall) in a large family of nine siblings. She was the funniest girl I've met and a natural-born leader.
In UAE University, she was electively the head of the 5 or so girls from the family, who stayed in the same dormitory, including my sister. She protected the girls from bullies and unfair professors.
She was also not bothered by silly conventions.
She was a natural nonconformist and couldn't help it. She chose to study Architecture when girls were told to be teachers or housewives. (We were told that she used to stay up all night to study, and that she once couldn't keep her eyes open, literally, during a lecture.)
After graduation, one by one, girls from the family got married including all four of her sisters. Her youngest sister has recently got engaged to my brother. Their planned wedding date was next month.