Saturday, December 27, 2008

A poem for Rita Maran on her 80th birthday

(It's the 80th birthday of Dr. Rita Maran (center at right), the University of California, Berkeley, lecturer who aptly described herself in a June 2008 manual, Human Rights for the University Classroom, as "lecturer, author, activist in International Human Rights." Active in the United Nations Association-USA, author of Torture: The Role of Ideology in the French-Algerian War (1989), and a founding member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Advocates, she's a friend and mentor to many. So here's a birthday party poem for Rita, by Naomi Roht-Arriaza, and also from Connie, Michelle, Diane, and all Rita's IntLawGrrls friends).

We've gathered here to celebrate
Your years of living well
To toast and dance, twist and gyrate
To say we think you're swell

You've worked out how to have it all
You're quite a fine role model
Your engines never seem to stall
We toast you by the bottle

The secret to long life, you've said
Is never to be bored
Keep new thoughts running through your head
And a goal you're working toward

A published author, Ph.D.
On torture in Algeria
On human rights we all agree
Your writings are superia

You don't stop there as monthly
You assemble us for dinner
To strike a blow 'gainst rights abuse
But we don't get any thinner

Your UNA work's quite a task
Fighting the latest menace
Yet with all you do there, we all ask
How'd she find time for tennis?

You've seen a lot, been everywhere
From Bosnia to Jakarta
Done missions that could raise the hair
But they've only made you smarta

At Int'l Law Grrls we agree
In the field you're a pioneer
A lifetime commitment is the key
A toast from the blogosphere!

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