Re­name US Air­port af­ter Ali

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - VIJDAN SAEED

On June 3, 2016, Louisville’s great­est son, Muham­mad Ali passed away, suc­cumb­ing to his 30-year fight against Parkin­son’s dis­ease; he was 74. Muham­mad Ali, in his life and even in his pass­ing, brought the world to­gether around a mes­sage of peace, love, and un­der­stand­ing. He gen­uinely de­serves a ges­ture of glow­ing trib­ute and I sug­gest that the ‘Louisville In­ter­na­tional Air­port’, be re­named as ‘Muham­mad Ali In­ter­na­tional Air­port’ to memo­ri­alise his legacy. Ali was un­doubt­edly the most promis­ing, the most colour­ful, the most bril­liant and, of course, the great­est cham­pion of box­ing, the world has ever pro­duced. The proud Louis vil­lain went on to be­come not only great­est cham­pion of Box­ing, but an ef­fec­tive global am­bas­sador for peace and hu­man­i­tar­i­an­ism. A pe­ti­tion was moved to re­name the Louisville In­ter­na­tional Air­port af­ter Muham­mad Ali, on the web­site ‘change.org’, on June 12 ask­ing for at least 500 sig­na­tures be­fore the re­quest is sent on to the Air­port au­thor­ity, Gov. Matt Bevin, both Houses of the Ken­tucky Gen­eral Assem­bly, US Rep. John Yar­muth, US Sen. Mitch McCon­nell and Louisville Mayor Greg Fis­cher. As of Mon­day morn­ing, it has 398 dig­i­tal sig­na­tures. The pe­ti­tion states that, ‘his memo­rial service has brought to­gether peo­ple from all walks of life, rich, poor, learned, un­learned, re­gard­less of race, colour, creed, na­tional ori­gin, and re­li­gion’. Peo­ple from Louisville said “Although some may see this as a sim­ple name change, we have an op­por­tu­nity to show the world our ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Ali’s legacy and his life. It’s an op­por­tu­nity to unite our city and the world in the name of Peace and Love. It’s what Ali was all about. We call upon peo­ple all over the globe to par­tic­i­pate in our ef­forts. Ali inspired peo­ple all over the world to come to­gether and shed our dif­fer­ences. This is an op­por­tu­nity to unite in Ali’s life mis­sion.” Muham­mad Ali brought the world to­gether, his home go­ing service was his great­est con­tri­bu­tion to our global com­mu­nity. His mes­sage was sim­ple: peace, love, un­der­stand­ing and us­ing in­spi­ra­tion to max­i­mize our hu­man po­ten­tial. In Louisville, for 8 days, city stood still in re­mem­brance of this great man. —Via email

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