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Dear Ann, Kia and Niki. As I read through these tributes to Ali, I am struck by impact he has had on students and scholars all over the world. For decades.
He was a very special man.
As I sit here crying, I think of the early days at the UofS, eloquently captured by Colin Boyd (above). My first recollection is Ali as a young Assistant Prof who was a big football (soccer) fan. He was wrangled into supporting a new project by David Boag: an Msc in Tech Mgmt. I was one of the first two students. In that small program, we all got to know each other and I remember the day Kia was born. He was so over the moon. And amazed by Ann. The same again when Niki was born.
When he moved to UofA, Ali had time for me, providing advice and guidance on doing a PhD. Always thoughtful, quietly funny and 'just there' for support.
Over the years we have kept in touch and I was lucky enough to be at UVic for his retirement party. It was extraordinary. SO MANY faculty and staff to support him in his decision to step down. That's a remarkable situation for a Dean to be in, but I was not surprised. I always wanted him as a Dean. And I had the chance. I'm so sorry it never worked out.
Anne, Niki and Kia - I am struggling to find the words. I am thinking of you and especially, your lovely Ali.