Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Asma al-Assad

Asma al-Assad (Arabic: أسماء الأسد‎); born 11 August 1975; née Asma Fawaz al-Akhras (Arabic: أسماء فواز الأخرس‎), is the British-born First Lady of Syria. She moved to Syria to marry President Bashar al-Assad in December 2000, having previously pursued a career in investment banking.

Early Life, Education and Finance Career
Asma is the daughter of Fawaz Akhras, a consultant cardiologist at the Cromwell Hospital, London, and retired diplomat Sahar Otri al-Akhras. Her parents are Sunni and of Syrian origin, originally coming from Homs. Assad grew up in Acton where she went to a local Church of England state school. She finished her schooling at Queen's College in London, attended King's College London, and graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Diploma in French Literature.

After university, Assad started work at Deutsche Bank Group in the hedge fund management division with clients in Europe and the East Asia. In 1998, she joined the investment banking division of J.P. Morgan, specializing in mergers and acquisitions.

Personal Life
Asma met Bashar al-Assad during a holiday to Syria. After Hafez al-Assad's death in 2000, Bashar took over the presidency of Syria. Asma emigrated to Syria in November 2000 and married Bashar in December. They have three children: Hafez, Zein and Karim.

First Lady
Asma has been described by analysts and in media as an important part of Syria's public image. She was also credited with taking progressive positions on women's rights and education, and liberalizing the Syrian economy. Her designer outfits have also garnered media attention.

Asma remained largely silent during the 2011–2012 Syrian uprising, issuing her first statement to international media in February 2012 through a representative. The representative sent an e-mail to The Times in London on her behalf stating: "The President is the President of Syria, not a faction of Syrians, and the first lady supports him in that role."

From : www.wikipedia.org

Svetlana Gannushkina

Svetlana Gannushkina is a mathematician and human rights activist in Russia who was reported to have been a serious contender for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

Gannushkina worked for many years as a professor of mathematics at a Moscow university. In 1990, she helped to found the group Citizen’s Assistance (Grazhdanskoe Sodeistvie), an NGO which campaigns for human rights, particularly with regard to immigrants and refugees in Russian society.

She is a member of the Council for the Development of Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights under the President of Russia. She is also on the council of Memorial, a society dedicated to remembrance of victims of Soviet repressions.

In 2006, she was awarded the Homo Homini Award for human rights activism by the Czech group People in Need.

From : www.wikipedia.org

Yoani Sánchez

Yoani Maria Sánchez Cordero (born September 4, 1975) is a Cuban blogger who has achieved international fame and multiple international awards for her critical portrayal of life in Cuba under its current government.

Sanchez attended primary school during the affluent time when the Soviet Union was providing considerable aid to Cuba. However, her high school and university education coincided with the loss of financial aid to Cuba following the Soviet Union's collapse, creating a highly public educational system and style of living that subsequently left Sanchez with a strong need for personal privacy. Sanchez's university education left her with two understandings; first, that she had acquired a disgust for “high culture”, and second that she no longer had an interest in philology, her chosen field of university study.

Sánchez, disillusioned with her home country, left Cuba for Switzerland in 2002, and it was during this time that she became interested in computer science. When she finally returned to Cuba, Sanchez helped to establish Contodos, a magazine that continues to act as a forum for Cuban free expression, and a vehicle for reporting news. Sánchez is best known for her blog, Generación Y (Generation Y); which, despite censorship in Cuba, she is able to publish by e-mailing the blog entries to friends outside the country who then post them online. The blog is translated and available in 17 languages.

Time magazine listed her as one of the world's 100 most influential people in 2008, stating that "under the nose of a regime that has never tolerated dissent, Sánchez has practiced what paper-bound journalists in her country cannot; freedom of speech". In November 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama, wrote that her blog "provides the world a unique window into the realities of daily life in Cuba" and applauded her efforts to "empower fellow Cubans to express themselves through the use of technology."

From : www.wikipedia.org

Oswaldo Payá

Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas (born February 29, 1952 in Havana, Cuba) is a political activist in Cuba and is considered that country's most prominent political dissident. He received the Sakharov Prize in 2002. In 2005, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by former Czech President Václav Havel, with fellow Cuban dissidents Raul Rivero and Óscar Elías Biscet.

Oswaldo Payá was brought up in a Catholic family and would have been six or seven years old when in 1959 the Cuban government began to suppress the activities of the Catholic Church. In his youth he chose not to join the Communist Party or its youth organizations, but at the age of 16 was drafted into the Cuban Army. During his service he was punished for refusing to participate in transporting a group of prisoners and was sentenced to penal labour on the Isle of Pines (today known as the Isle of Youth) for three years.[citation needed] A devout Christian, he has ascribed the incident which led to his punishment to a refusal to compromise his religious beliefs. Subsequently trained as an engineer, today he works making anaesthetic equipment. He is married with three children.

From : www.wikipedia.org

Denis Mukwege

Denis Mukwege (born 1 March 1955) is a Congolese gynecologist. Working in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been gang-raped by Rwandan militia, Mukwege has probably become the world's leading expert on how to repair the internal physical damage caused by gang rape. He has treated several thousands of women since the 1998 Congo's war, some of them more than once, performing up to 10 surgeries a day during his 18-hour working days. He has described how his patients arrive at the hospital sometimes naked, usually bleeding and leaking urine and faeces from torn vaginas.

Early Life
Mukwege was the third of nine children born to a Pentecostal minister and his wife. He studied medicine because he wanted to heal the sick that his father prayed for, working at first in a rural hospital, then traveling to France to study gynecology, after seeing the complications of childbirth experienced by women in the Congo who had no access to specialist healthcare.

From : www.wikipedia.org

Jacques Rogge

Jacques Rogge, Count Rogge (born 2 May 1942), is a Belgian sports bureaucrat. He is the eighth and current President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Life and Career
Born in Ghent, Rogge is by profession an orthopaedic surgeon and was educated at the University of Ghent. Rogge competed in yachting in the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics, and played on the Belgian national rugby union team. Rogge served as President of the Belgian Olympic Committee from 1989 to 1992, and as President of the European Olympic Committees from 1989 to 2001. He became a member of the IOC in 1991 and joined its Executive Board in 1998. He was knighted in 1992, and in 2002 elevated to the noble rank of Count by King Albert II of the Belgians.

In his free time, Count Rogge is known to admire modern art and is an avid reader of historical and scientific literature. He is married to Anne; they have two grown-up children. His son Philippe is the current delegation leader of the Belgian Olympic Committee.

From : www.wikipedia.org

Mike Tyson

Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson (also known as Malik Abdul Aziz) (born June 30, 1966) is a retired American professional boxer. Tyson is a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles, he was 20 years, 4 months and 22 days old. Tyson won his first 19 professional bouts by knockout, with 12 of them occurring in the first round. He won the WBC title in 1986 after defeating Trevor Berbick by a TKO in the second round. In 1987, Tyson added the WBA and IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker. He was the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold and only Heavyweight to individually unify the WBA, WBC and IBF titles.

In 1988, Tyson became the lineal champion when he knocked out Michael Spinks in the first 91 seconds of the fight. Tyson successfully defended the world heavyweight championship nine times, including victories over Larry Holmes and Frank Bruno. Tyson lost his titles to 42-to-1 underdog James "Buster" Douglas on February 11, 1990, in Tokyo, Japan, by a knockout in round 10. Tyson continued in his quest to regain the titles, defeating Donovan Ruddock twice in 1991. Tyson was then scheduled to take on the undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield but pulled out due to injury.

In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping Desiree Washington, for which he was sentenced to six years in prison but was released after serving three years. After being released from prison in 1995, he engaged in a series of comeback fights. In 1996, Tyson won the WBC and WBA titles after defeating Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon by knockout. After being stripped of the WBC title, Tyson lost his WBA crown to Evander Holyfield in November, 1996 by an 11th round TKO. Their 1997 rematch ended when Tyson was disqualified for biting off part of Holyfield's ear.

In 2002, he fought for the world heavyweight title at the age of 35, losing by knockout to Lennox Lewis. Tyson retired from professional boxing in 2006 after he was knocked out in consecutive matches against Danny Williams and Kevin McBride. Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003, despite receiving over US$30 million for several of his fights and $300 million during his career.

Throughout his career, Tyson became well known for his ferocious and intimidating boxing style as well as his controversial behavior both inside and outside the ring. Tyson is considered to have been one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time. He is ranked No. 16 on The Ring's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.

Early Years
Tyson was born in Brooklyn, New York City. He has a brother, Rodney, who is five years older than he. His sister, Denise, died of a heart attack at age 25 in 1991. Tyson's father, Jimmy Kirkpatrick, abandoned his family when Tyson was 2, leaving his mother, Lorna Smith Tyson, to care for them on her own. The family lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant until their financial burdens necessitated a move to Brownsville when Tyson was 10 years old. Tyson's mother died six years later, leaving 16-year-old Tyson in the care of boxing manager and trainer Cus D'Amato, who would become his legal guardian. Tyson has been quoted saying, "I never saw my mother happy with me and proud of me for doing something: She only knew me as being a wild kid running the streets, coming home with new clothes that she knew I didn't pay for. I never got a chance to talk to her or know about her. Professionally, it has no effect, but it's crushing emotionally and personally."

Throughout his childhood, Tyson lived in and around high-crime neighborhoods. According to an interview in Details his first fight was with a bigger youth who had pulled the head off one of Tyson's pigeons. He was repeatedly caught committing petty crimes and fighting those who ridiculed his high-pitched voice and lisp. By the age of 13, he had been arrested 38 times. He ended up at the Tryon School for Boys in Johnstown, New York. It was at the school that Tyson's emerging boxing ability was discovered by Bobby Stewart, a juvenile detention center counselor and former boxer. Stewart considered Tyson to be an outstanding fighter and trained him for a few months before introducing him to Cus D'Amato.

Tyson was later removed from the reform school by Cus D'Amato. Kevin Rooney also trained Tyson, and he was occasionally assisted by Teddy Atlas, although he was dismissed by D'Amato when Tyson was 15. Rooney eventually took over all training duties for the young fighter.

Tyson's brother is a physician assistant in the trauma center of the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He has always been very supportive of his brother's career and was often seen at Tyson's boxing matches in Las Vegas, Nevada. When asked about their relationship, Mike has been quoted saying, "My brother and I see each other occasionally and we love each other," and "My brother was always something and I was nothing."

Although Mike Tyson dropped out of high school as a junior and never graduated, in 1989, along with Don King, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane letters from Central State University, in Wilberforce, Ohio by university President Arthur E. Thomas.

From : www.wikipedia.org