R.I.P. Noor Hassanali, 1918-2006

Noor Mohamed Hassanali, second President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, passed away peacefully in his sleep early this morning.
There are not many details coming out of President’s House at this time but the former President has requested a private interment, to be followed by an inter-faith thanksgiving service.
President Hassanali was born in San Fernando on August 13, in 1918, and was the first Indo-Trinidadian to hold the office of President and the first Muslim head of state in the Americas.
He graduated from Naparima College and taught there from 1938-1943.
He then studied law and upon passing the bar, worked in private practice from 1948 – 1953, when he was appointed a Magistrate.
He was appointed a Senior Magistrate in 1960 and later that year was appointed Senior Crown Counsel in the Attorney General’s Chambers.
Five years later, he was appointed Assistant Solicitor General and one year later he was appointed Judge of the High Court.
In 1978 he was appointed to the Court of Appeal and he retired in 1985.
He was elected President in 1987, following elections which brought the National Alliance for Reconstruction to government.
In 1989, still-unknown gunmen fired shots at his official car but neither the President or his wife was hurt.
He was a popular President and was re-elected by the People’s National Movement in 1992 and served as President until 1997.
In 2003 he published a book of his speeches titled Teaching Words in conjunction with the Naps Charitable Foundation.
He is survived by his wife, Zalayhar, and two children, Khalid and Amena Hassanali-Sutton, and his brother Fyzul.
His cousins include:Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards,First Lady of Trinidad and Tobago and wife of the fourth President, Professor George Maxwell Richards.