Our dear friend Ghanimat Azhdari was on the plane that crashed this morning (8 January 2020) in Tehran. There were no survivors. We are in utter disbelief and heartbroken at the sudden loss of such a beautiful young life – a true force of nature, and one of the ICCA Consortium’s most cherished flowers. No words can adequately express the pain of this loss but please allow us to share the following.
Ghanimat was a proud member of the Qashqai tribe and a powerful and passionate young leader. She was a dear friend to all of us and will be deeply missed.
Having grown for many years within Cenesta (an ICCA Consortium founding Member in Iran), she was a key partner and student of our beloved Taghi Farvar, who served as Consortium President from 2010 until his passing in July 2018. A Geographic Information System (GIS) specialist, Ghanimat worked tirelessly with many of Iran’s nomadic tribes, travelling across the country and supporting the national federation of Iranian nomadic tribes (UNINOMAD) to document their territories of life through their own worldviews and perspectives. She was also a highly respected ICCA Consortium Council member, first as regional representative for West and Central Asia and the Caucasus and then as co-chair of the theme on documenting ICCAs–territories of life.
In September 2019, she started working towards her PhD at the University of Guelph in Canada, planning to focus on ICCAs. She continued to actively support the ICCA Consortium in every way possible and remained committed to her life’s work in her final days and weeks, most recently representing the Consortium in a series of UN Convention on Biological Diversity meetings in Montreal from mid-November to early December.
This loss leaves her family, Cenesta and ICCA Consortium, and her many friends around the world with an unbearable sadness, but also deep gratitude to have shared with her so many joyful moments and powerful causes and dreams even in her short time on this Earth. She was always smiling, wherever she went, and generously shared her experience, knowledge and powerful energy. A strong activist and advocate for the global indigenous peoples’ movement, this is not only a loss for our ICCA Consortium family but also for many communities, organisations and movements worldwide.
Ghanimat was cherished and loved by all of us. Her passion and inimitable force for life will remain within us and flourish in our continued collective work.
In this dedicated page, in the space here below, feel free to commemorate Ghanimat joon’s incredible life and share memories, messages and photos
We love you, Ghanimat joon!