Mahmoud El-Kati was certainly the first person to inspire me in an academic setting. In the summer of 1985, I had just completed my first year at Macalester college, and I was looking for a summer course to take. I decided I would enrol in The African American Experience, which, if I remember correctly, was scheduled for Mondays and Wednesdays, 2-6 pm. I would not be exaggerating if I said that this course changed my life. It wasn't so much the subject matter, though it was very interesting, but rather it was watching El-Kati speak for four hours straight that just dazzled my mind and kindled my thirst to learn.
Thank you Mahmoud El-Kati for the gift of meaningful learning!