noordin kassam and karim kanji

Noordin Kassam: A Love Story

Noordin Kassam in one of 8 children who came of age during the Idi Amin crisis in Uganda. He is also the father of two children who survived two separate terrorist attacks. This episode was recorded in front of a live studio audience in Canmore comprised of family members from across the world who had gathered to celebrate Noordin Kassam’s 80th birthday.

This is episode #135  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • How it came to be that all the brothers and sisters have different last names.
  • The fun experiment that was MANTS and how all the brothers came to own a strip plaza in Kingston, Ontario.
  • Where Noordin Kassam was born.
  • What his childhood was like.
  • How he came to study accounting after almost choosing another career path.
  • The positive influence of his parents on both himself and all his siblings.
  • Navigating two crisis as a young adult: First, the Idi Amin situation in Uganda. Then, the draconian nationalistic policies of the Kenyan government in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  • The importance of volunteering in Noordin Kassam’s life and his advice to future generations of leaders.
  • Meeting Rozy Auntie and why they had to hide their “friendship” from both their parents.
  • Tashmin was their first born child. As a child, both Rozy and Noordin Kassam were concerned that she wouldn’t do well in school. Years later, Tashmin ended up completing her PhD and is now working at the Aga Khan University.
  • Why Noordin’s second child, Faisal, decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an accountant.
  • How Noordin Kassam came to find out about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and his frantic search to find out about Faisal who was working in one of the Twin Towers.
  • More than a decade later in 2013, Noordin would go through the same experience when Tashmin was caught inside Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya during the September 21 terrorist attacks.
  • Noordin Kassam describes his relationship with Rozy, who tragically passed away just short of their 50th wedding anniversary.
  • How the Rozinoor Foundation came to be and the various works it has already accomplished.

Listen below:

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Music by Afraaz Mulji.

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