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"DHI" 2005 Obituary


DHIR 

DHIR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-07-13 published
KHAN, Namir Faiyaz
It is with the deepest regret and sorrow that we announce the passing of Namir Faiyaz KHAN, a brilliant teacher, writer and actor who departed suddenly from this world on Sunday, July 10, 2005. He was born in the city of Allahabad, India on January 11, 1955 to Mumtaz Jahan KHAN and Fayaz Bahadur KHAN. He received his Bachelor and Masters degrees in Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa. He was predeceased by his brother Nasir KHAN and will be missed by his loving family including brothers Nadir KHAN of Toronto and Nazir KHAN of California, sisters Nazish DHIR (née KHAN) of Oakville and Nigat HUSSIEN (née KHAN) of Dubai, India, numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws and his close family of Friends including Cynthia ROBERTS, Arnd JURGENSEN, Suzanne ELLENBOGEN, Wendy DIX, Mark O'HARE, Greg KLYMKIW and many, many others. Namir's professional and artistic achievements are incalculable. As a writer he co-authored numerous published works including the books 'Healthy Cities', 'Sustainable Production' and 'Healthy Work'. He co-wrote the screenplay for the acclaimed feature film, 'Jack of Hearts' and served as a script editor and consultant to numerous film professionals. Namir's love for cinema was matched by his love for teaching at numerous universities and colleges and most recently and prominently as a lecturer at the Centre For Technology and Social Development in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto where hundreds of students received his passionate and learned lectures. At the Centre Namir conducted extremely valuable research and also served as the editor of the Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society. Namir was also a prolific actor and appeared in a number of legendary Canadian films including Roadkill, Highway 61, Dance Me Outside, Arrowhead and Jack of Hearts. Namir's life will be celebrated Thursday, July 14, 9: 30 a.m. at the Toronto Necropolis located at 200 Winchester Street in Toronto. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Greenpeace International or the Canadian Film Centre. Arrangements entrusted to The Simple Alternative Funeral Centre.

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DHIR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-07-13 published
KHAN, Namir Faiyaz
It is with the deepest regret and sorrow that we announce the passing of Namir Faiyaz KHAN, a brilliant teacher, writer and actor who departed suddenly from this world on Sunday, July 10, 2005. He was born in the city of Allahabad, India on January 11, 1955 to Mumtaz Jahan KHAN and Fayaz Bahadur KHAN. He received his Bachelor and Masters degrees in Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa. He was predeceased by his brother Nasir KHAN and will be missed by his loving family including brothers Nadir KHAN of Toronto and Nazir KHAN of California, sisters Nazish DHIR (née KHAN) of Oakville and Nigat HUSSIEN (née KHAN) of Dubai, India, numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws and his close family of Friends including Cynthia ROBERTS, Arnd JURGENSEN, Suzanne ELLENBOGEN, Wendy DIX, Mark O'HARE, Greg KLYMKIW and many, many others. Namir's professional and artistic achievements are incalculable. As a writer he co-authored numerous published works including the books "Healthy Cities", "Sustainable Production" and "Healthy Work". He co-wrote the screenplay for the acclaimed feature film, "Jack of Hearts" and served as a script editor and consultant to numerous film professionals. Namir's love for cinema was matched by his love for teaching at numerous universities and colleges and most recently and prominently as a lecturer at the Centre For Technology and Social Development in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto where hundreds of students received his passionate and learned lectures. At the Centre Namir conducted extremely valuable research and also served as the editor of the Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society. Namir was also a prolific actor and appeared in a number of legendary Canadian films including Roadkill, Highway 61, Dance Me Outside, Arrowhead and Jack of Hearts. Namir's life will be celebrated Thursday, July 14, 9: 30 a.m. at the Toronto Necropolis located at 200 Winchester Street in Toronto. Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to Greenpeace International or the Canadian Film Centre. Arrangements entrusted to The Simple Alternative Funeral Centre.

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DHIR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-08-01 published
Performance was gift of rock star of a prof
U of T academic talented speaker
Charismatic man mad about films
By Catherine DUNPHY, Obituary Writer
Namir KHAN was such a performer -- not just in bit parts in the films of his Friends Bruce McDonald and Peter Lynch, but also in the classroom at University of Toronto where he taught engineering students.
His first-year course about sustainable development, technology's history and its role in creating a brave new environmentally sensitive world was never popular with freshmen. Accustomed to almost perfect papers in maths and sciences, they were suddenly being asked by this tiny guy (KHAN was 5 foot 1) with two degrees in political science to think laterally, make connections and put it all down in essay form.
But KHAN was a charismatic man, a rock star of a prof who used to ride a motorcycle in a black leather jacket. More to the point he was a gifted speaker, someone who could -- and did -- stand in front of 250 students in Room 1105 in the engineering school's Sandford Fleming Building and without notes integrate their world with the thoughts of Martin Heidegger (his personal muse) along with ideas from David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (a film he'd watched hundreds of times) and then throw in references to pop culture, The Terminator and Toronto's bicycle paths.
He was a magus, pacing, gesticulating, his rich voice enveloping his entranced students, who would then clamour to get into the second- and third-year courses he also taught as a professor for the school's Centre for Technology and Social Development in the mechanical and industrial engineering department.
"He faced a bit of resistance from faculty and students. This was a course that had a less than positive effect on a grade point average," said his friend and teaching colleague Arnd JURGENSEN.
"But he was brilliant, simply brilliant, and he had an amazing ability to make complex arguments relevant and easily understood."
It helped that there were always a couple of students who would approach him after class to tentatively ask if he was indeed the undertaker in McDonald's Highway 61 or the East York landlord in Lynch's Genie-winning short film, Arrowhead.
On Sunday, July 10, Friends found KHAN dead in his Chinatown apartment. He was 50. He had stopped teaching last fall after being diagnosed with Korsakoff's syndrome, a brain disorder, but there was no conclusive cause of death stated in the coroner's report.
"He liked centre stage: in the movies, at lectures and at dinner parties, where at some point we would all be listening to Namir and enjoying every minute of it," said Wendy DIX, a former girlfriend. "He wore his knowledge lightly. He had fun with it."
"He would leave you charged," said his nephew Meraj DHIR, who is working on a doctorate in film at Harvard University in good part because of his uncle's influence. KHAN used to take DHIR, 29, and his younger brother Eshwin to all sorts of movies, and talk to them about the mise en scène, the historical underpinnings, the narrative arc, the director's eye, the rhythm and pulse of the piece.
Born and raised in India where he used to sneak out every Saturday to watch movies, KHAN was the youngest of six children. His Oxford University-educated father, the minister of education for his state, sent his children to Jesuit school and would often invite Hindu and Jesuit priests to dinner to broaden his children's education.
KHAN came to Canada when he was 18 and a year later enrolled at Carleton University for his undergraduate and master's degrees. That's where Toronto filmmaker Cynthia ROBERTS met him 25 years ago.
"Namir introduced me to great movies," she said. He took her to see Apocalypse Now on their first date.
In 1989 she introduced him to director Bruce McDonald. The two hit it off and McDonald hired KHAN on the spot to play a cinematographer in a movie. It wasn't a stretch for the movie-mad academic. Soon he became part of McDonald's regular coterie, playing the undertaker in Highway 61, a bartender in Dance Me Outside and a photographer in Elimination Dance.
In 1990 ROBERTS encouraged KHAN to write a screenplay with her three years later Jack of Hearts was produced. His last official credit occurred in 1997 when he did a voiceover in a film Called City of Dark, after which he recommitted himself to his academic work. He co-authored the books Healthy Cities, Sustainable Production and Healthy Work. He also edited the Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society.
But he was as passionate as ever about movies at the time of his death. He was working on a screenplay and developing a mystery featuring a sleuth with Korsakoff's syndrome.
In his eulogy, DHIR said that had KHAN had time to complete any of those projects, he was convinced his uncle would have become a "nobel laureate for literature, or an Academy Award-winning screenplay writer, an internationally renowned celebrity professor, or a perennial inhabitant of The New York Times bestseller list."
Perhaps, but in the meantime, his true art was in his performances: the ones he gave to his students, his family and, always, his Friends.

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