On Wednesday, August 13, 2008, the last day of his extraordinary life in this world, Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse, Founder/Chairman of the African American Islamic Institute(AAII), completed all of his religious duties as Chief Imam of the Grand Mosque of Medina-Baye. Most of the rest of that day was spent on the telephone urging his devoted helpers to raise the necessary funds and make the necessary arrangements to ship the fully equipped Mobile Clinic to Senegal that had been donated to AAII by US Doctors for Africa to provide medical care to people in rural communities. None of us fully understood the urgency in his tone as he pressed us to move quickly toward the completion of each assigned task.
On Monday, May 11, 2009, AAII’s President and Chief Imam of the Grand Mosque of Medina-Baye, Imam Cheikh Tidiane Ali Cisse, presented the Mobile Clinic to the St. Christopher/ Iba Mar Diop Medical School of the University of El Hadj Sheikh Ibrahim Niass in Dakar, Senegal as a gift from Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse.
The ceremony was presided over by Imam CheikhTidiane Ali Cisse. This significant occasion was attended by Shaykh Mouhamadou Mahy Cisse, Director of AAII and Director of AAII’s International Islamic Studies Program; Cheikh Diery Cisse, Executive Secretary to Shaykh Hassan Cisse; Mustapha Sane, AAII Secretary, Ayisha R. Jeffries, AAII Vice President of External Affairs; Moussa Mbaye, Cabinet Director of the Senegalese Ministry of Health; foamed Mbaye, General Secretary of the Senegalese Ministry of Health, Prevention and Public Hygiene; Professor Pierre Ndiaye, Dean of the Universityof Elhadj Sheikh Ibrahim University; Professor Elhadj Ibrahima Diop, Prinical Administrator, St. Christopher/Iba Mar Diop Medical School; Allassane Dialy Ndiaye of the Academy of Science; Mauritanian scholars, members of the American community in Medina-Baye and many of Shaykh Hassan Cisse’s family members and disciples.
Cheikh Diery Cisse served as the Master of Ceremonies. In his remarks, he stated that the Mobile Clinic ws the last project Shaykh Hassan Cisse finalized through AAII’s strategic partnership with US Doctors for Africa (USDFA), and described his efforts to assure its timely shipment to Senegal. Cheikh Diery Cisse expressed his sincere appreciation to USDFA for the donation of the fully equipped Mobile Clinic and to AmeriCares for providing medicine to AAII for distribution throughout the nation of Senegal. He said that the combined monetary value of the Mobile Clinic and the medication for its pharmacy is approximately $500,000, but that the value to the people of Senegal is immeasurable. Cheikh Diery Cisse thanked Imam Cheikh Tidiane Cisse for his vision, practicality and humility as President of AAII in entrusting the management of teh Mobile Clinic to the University of Elhadj Sheikh Ibrahim Niass for use by its St. Christopher/Iba Mar Diop Medical School. Under the leadership of Professor Pierre Ndiaye and Professor El Hadj Ibrahima Diop, medical students and Senegalese physicians will be able to utilize the Mobile Clinic to train in the use of the state of the art equipment and to provide primary and preventive health care to children, adults and elders in rural areas of the country. Cheikh Diery thanked Ayisha Jeffries for her work to make AAII’s commitment to accessible health care in Senegal a reality by initiating and maintaining AAII’s stategic partnerships with both USDFA and AmeriCares.
Professor Pierre Ndiaye paid a great tribute to Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse, who was revered in all respects as a religious leader and a great Islamic scholar, and who served the international community without regard to race, ethnicity or nationality with a clear understanding that health and education are the keys to the sustainable development of any nation. Professor Ndiaye spoke of the significance of the Mobile Clinic as a means of reaching thousands of people throughout Senegal who would not otherwise have access to medical care.
Professor El Hadj Ibrahim Diop discussed the use of the Mobile Clinic, appealing to administrative leaders, city councils and rural communities to make good use of what he referred to as a “jewel”.He pledged to work closely with them to develop a plan for regularly scheduled visits.
Ayisha R. Jeffries thanked US Doctors for Africa for the Mobile Clinic, and spoke about the strategic partnership between AII and AmeriCares that channels millions of dollars of medication throughout the nation of Senegal. She thanked both of them on behalf of AAII’s President and prayed for the strengthening of their good relations in the future to benefit those in Senegal in need of medical care and medicine as a significant way to keep Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse’s legacy alive.
AAII’s President, Imam Cheikh Tidiane Cisse concluded the ceremony by expressing his appreciation to all the people in Senegal and America who have worked for the achievement of Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse’s goal of providing a Mobile Clinic to the people of Senegal, and prayed for the successful continuation of Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse’s legacy for the benefit of humanity. He thanked the officials of the Senegalese Ministry of Health and those present and not present who had worked to assist Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse. Finally, he said that Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse was in perfect harmony with the recommendations of the Prophet (SAW).
This article is based upon an article by Momar Cise of Walfadjri newspaper distributed by All Africa Global Media and information provided by AAII staff who were present at the ceremony.