Fareed Rafiz Zakaria, an Indian-American journalist paid tribute to his mother, Fatima Zakaria on his CNN show, ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS’ on Monday, 12 April.
Zakaria hosts his own show on CNN and writes a weekly column for The Washington Post.
In the latest segment of his GPS show, Zakaria fondly remembers his mother Fatima who passed away from COVID-related complications. She was 85, and passed away in Bajaj Hospital, Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
Zakaria shares a four-minute clip of the episode on Twitter, and captions it as ‘Goodbye Ma, I love you’. This segment was of particular importance to Zakaria because he wanted to highlight the faces behind those who were killed by COVID.
“We are approaching three million COVID deaths worldwide. People have often pointed out that behind these statistics are actual human beings. This week, my mother Fatima Zakaria became one of those statistics,” said Zakaria.
Tribute to Fatima’s Accomplishments
Zakaria credits his mother for making him who he is today. He includes short clips of her speaking before her demise, and paints a picture of his mother as a social worker, who worked to educate children from marginalised communities.
Zakaria notes how his mother became a journalist after her marriage, and for decades wrote best-seller cover stories on Islam, did interviews with Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher, and accomplished all of this with no complaints — all in a man’s world.
After decades of journalism, Fatima moved towards education, and started a large institute with her husband called Dr Rafiq Zakaria Centre for Higher Learning and Advanced Research.
The Sadness of an Immigrant
Zakaria credited his mother for being a wonderful, devoted parent, who encouraged her children to have opinions, go to America for college and for a better life, even at the cost of her own happiness.
Zakaria highlights the sadness of an immigrant story by saying, “People talk of the story of immigration as one big happy tale. But in every immigrant story, there is sadness as well. The sadness of a country, and culture and a family left behind. A mother who would quietly weep at night, distanced from her child.”
Zakaria acknowledged his own sorrow of distance, and how due to COVID he couldn’t see his mother for the last time or bury her. Getting emotional, Zakaria said he wanted to use this opportunity to say goodbye to his mother, and how he loves her.