Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sharin Chiorazzo, ¡Presente!

Educator and Palestine activist Sharin Chiorazzo died on September 30 after a long struggle with cancer. She was 51; she is survived by her daughter Nadia, her sister Cathy and her parents, Joan and Joseph.

Sharin was an adjunct professor in Middle Eastern studies at several New Jersey colleges and also taught elementary Arabic. She had degrees from the New School for Social Research and New York University; her PhD dissertation, A theoretical discussion of the nation-state in Western discourse and its application to non Western peoples, is available from ProQuest. Sharin co-edited Palestine Rising, Dawud A. Assad’s memoir of surviving the 1948 massacre at the Palestinian village of Deir Yasin.

Starting in 2002 Sharin was a member of the committee that worked for the release of her friend Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a New York-based Palestinian activist then being held in immigration detention. After a federal judge ordered Farouk released in April 2004, he and Sharin made plans to marry. Sharin was with Farouk the night of July 21, just three months after his release, when he died suddenly of a heart attack while in Philadelphia to speak on the struggles for Palestinian and immigrant rights.

Several friends from the Farouk campaign visited Sharin on September 24 at her home in southern New Jersey, where she was surrounded by family and friends. Lucid and still committed to the Palestinian cause, she entrusted us with papers, letters, and photographs from Farouk and from her years of Middle Eastern activism.

Visiting hours will be Monday, October 3, 7-9 pm, and Tuesday, October 4, 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm, at Riewerts Memorial Home at 187 South Washington Avenue, Bergenfield, NJ, 07621-2987, phone 201-384-0700. There will be a funeral mass Wednesday, October 5, at 10 am at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church on Washington Ave near Main Street in Bergenfield (phone 201-384-0101).

Donations in Sharin’s memory can be made to Hospice or to Nadia's Trust Fund c/o Helen Richards, 521 Piermont Ave., Apt. 109, River Vale, NJ 07675.

Sharin at home last week with Konrad Aderer, the director of “Enemy Alien,” and his son, Kiyoshi. The photo at the top shows Sharin at the July 22, 2005 vigil in Farouk’s memory (from NY Indymedia).

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