On behalf of Aligarh Alumni Association of Arizona, when I issued a press release on AMUNetwork regarding Sir Syed Day and International Mushaira in 2004 in Phoenix AZ, I received an email from Portland Oregon from Prof. Abdul Qayum, who expressed his intention to attend the event and wanted to buy ticket of the event. I was surprised as well as overwhelmed by his generous gesture to travel more than 1300 mile just for the sake of this event. I was sure; he must be a passionate Aligarian. He came to attend the event and that’s when I first met him. He was very nice, humble and soft spoken. He presided over the Sir Syed Day celebration and visiting poets received Plaques from him and one of the recipients was his own student Dr. A. Abdullah who came from Washington DC to deliver the Keynote address. He was one of the sponsors of of Sir Syed Day Celebrations organized by Aligarh Alumni Associations of Northern California in San Francisco area and attended personally few times. Last time I met him in 2011 in one of this Sir Syed Day Celebration and International Mushaira. To my surprise, he was a very good poet too, so we asked him to preside over the Mushaira and recite his poetry. Recent email from Beenish Zia, one of the recipients of Abdul Qayum Fellowship at the Portland State University was tough to read that one more soldier of Aligarh Movement left this world. But his work will live forever and his Abdul Qayum Fellowship at the Portland State University for Alumni of his Alma Mater, Aligarh Muslim University and Shibli College Azamgarh will go a long way and will benefit many more.
Prof. Abdul Qayum was born on January 25, 1926 in village Bamhur of Azamgarh district of United Province in British India, received his early education in Hobert Government School and Shibli National Inter College, Azamgarh. For Higher studies, he joined Aligarh Muslim University and completed his B.A. in 1949, Masters in 1951. After completing his Masters, he joined his Alma Mater as a faculty to serve at the same time continued to finish his Doctoral Degree and was awarded Ph.D. in 1956. After his Ph.D. he joined Rotterdam School of Economics, Rotterdam, Holland (Now Erasmus University) and completed his D.Sc. in 1959. He continued his teaching career at the Aligarh Muslim till 1963. His primary subject of teaching and research in Aligarh Muslim University was Macroeconomics, Public Finance, Mathematical Economics, Statistics and International Trade.
In 1964, Prof. Abdul Qayum moved to Cairo Egypt and got associated with Institute of National Planning, Cairo and American University in Cairo till 1967. Once again he got associated with American University in Cairo Egypt For a period of 2 years from 1972 to 1974. From 1967 to 1970, he served as visiting Professor in University of Iowa and Indiana University and taught Micro-Theory of Economics, Economic Development and Economics Planning. In 1970, he joined Portland State University Oregon USA as a Professor of Economics and later emeritus Professor and remained associated with it till he passed away in his sleep on the 16th of January, 2016.
Prof. Abdul Qayum specialized in the fields of microeconomic theory and cost-benefit analysis. He authored six books and around forty research papers in peer reviewed Journals. He was academically active till the very end and some of his writings are yet to be published. His published books are Private and Public Investment Analysis, with Thomas Palm, (South-Western Publishing Co., 1985), Social Cost-Benefit Analysis, (Hapi Press, Portland, 1978), Techniques of National Economic Planning, (Indiana University Press, 1974), Numerial Models of Economic Development, (Rotterdam University Press, 1967), Theory and Policy of Accounting Prcies, Contributions to Economic Analysis Series, No XX (North-Holland Publishing Co., Amsterdam, 1960) and Ettevotte Juhtimis kowoomika Alused with Thomas Palm Vols I, II, III, Tallin 1991.
In addition to his many social commitments, he instituted the Abdul Qayum Fellowship at the Portland State University, USA. The Fellowship provides for a student, every year, from the Aligarh Muslim University or Shibli National College, India to apply for support to pursue any graduate degree offered with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Portland. Prof. Abdul Qayum will be remembered for his scholarship, his kindness, his sincerity, his love for family and friends, and also students and colleagues, many of whom over time also became friends. He worked very hard all his life, up until the very end and made a difference in the lives of many. He is survived by his wife Ismat Qayum daughter Seemin, and sons Hisham and Azam. May his soul rest in peace.