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Professor Ismail Khalaf Obituary

Professor Ismail Khalaf

1940–2021

It is with a heavy heart that the editorial board of the African Journal of Urology shares the sad news of the passing away of Professor Ismail Khalaf, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal of Urology since its inception. It was through Professor Khalaf’s vision and initiative that the first issue of the African Journal of Urology was launched in February 1995, soon after the Pan African Urological Surgeons Association was founded and had its first official PAUSA congress in 1993, and despite the lack of resources within the fledgling organization.

From its inception and throughout the years the journal faced—and overcame—many obstacles that would have been considered insurmountable by anyone lacking the enthusiasm and energy of Ismail Khalaf. A major issue has always been to fulfil the aim of the PAUSA constitution in “promoting publication of studies relevant to Africa”, and making the journal accessible to urologists and trainees from Africa, while striving towards high international publication standards and global recognition, all in the setting of limited financial resources. Prof. Khalaf managed to generate enthusiasm and support for the journal from many eminent urologists and other scientists from around the world. He compiled an editorial board consisting of members from African countries, both Anglo- and Francophone, as well as many experts from outside Africa. His dedication and perseverance were behind the continued regular publication of the journal, the indexing of the journal in the main electronic databases, as well as the maintenance of a loyal authorship, readership, and reviewers’ base that continue to promote the journal to this day.

Yet, Ismail Khalaf’s leadership of the AFJU represents only a part of his wider contributions to the education and urology training in Africa and globally. Serving as Secretary General of PAUSA from 1992 and as President from 2001 to 2005, as well as a member of the Board of Chairmen at the SIU (2002–2007) chairing the International Affairs and Training committee, professor Khalaf was instrumental in the development and support of a number of training centres for urology throughout Africa (a prominent example is the urological training institute in Wad Madani, Sudan), as well as promoting urology trainees through fellowships and workshops that he facilitated or directly implemented. It is not unexpected, then, that many urologists in Africa look up to him as a mentor, a role model, and a dedicated philanthropist.

It is with heartfelt sympathy that we extend our sincere condolences to Professor Khalaf’s family, as well as his friends, colleagues, and students around the world. Professor Khalaf will be missed dearly by the lives he touched and will be remembered for his commitment to promoting his (our) specialty of urology. May he rest in peace.

Prof Dr. David Waltregny,

University Hospital of Liège, Belgium

Editor-in-Chief

Prof Dr. Mohammed ElSheemy,

Cairo University, Egypt

Editor-in-Chief

Prof Dr. Ashraf Mosharafa,

Cairo University, Egypt

Past Editor-in-Chief

In Memoriam: Prof. Dr. Ismail Mohamed Khalaf: (1940–2021)

When I reminisce about being a medical college student and later a fresh resident of urology in Mansoura University, I used to hear big names in that field. One of such big names was Professor Ismail Khalaf may Allah have mercy on his soul. The field of urology in Egypt has passed through several stages in history. In the first stage, urology became independent of the field of surgery and in such stage, the names of the forefathers stood out including Professor Doctor Ryad Fawzy, Mahmoud Badr, and Ismail Elsebaey in Kasr Alainy, Fahem Abdelreheem in Alazhar university, and Alghorab in Alexandria. Then the second generation rose and started development of urology departments in each university. In such era, Professor Khalaf developed the urology department in Azhar University alongside Professor Ghoneim who founded the department in Mansoura University. Both names Professor Khalaf in Cairo and Ghoneim in Mansoura coincided together renovating and building for 40 years.

Urology is one of the largest fields harboring thousands of staff members but without a doubt Professor Khalaf’s name is a unique and an outstanding symbol not just in Egypt but in Africa both as a scientist and as an instructing guide. For so long he represented Egypt in the Societeʹ Internationaleʹ dʹUrologie (SIU). He was also the president of the Egyptian Urological Association (EUA) and the Pan African Urological Surgeons Association (PAUSA) and throughout his works in such places he contributed to the training and teaching of thousands of urologists in Egypt, Africa and the Arab nation.

As Dean of Faculty of Medicine in Azhar University, he upgraded both education of physicians and providing better medical care to patients. He also founded teaching curriculums in lots of African and Arabian countries.

He was also dedicated to scientific research in Africa and founded the African Journal of Urology and managed to develop it till it became accredited internationally in publishing sites like PubMed Central, PubMed, Science Direct and, Scopus. He kept working for it nonprofit for more than 25 years.

Because of his tremendous scientific contributions, he was rewarded numerous national, regional and international prizes.

On personal level, he was a religious man and a good Muslim in addition to being a struggler. Not only that, he had a good sense of humor. Although he suffered at an old age a drastic health issue that required a liver transplant, he continued to be a relentless giver. He spent his life serving patients, educating physicians, helping researchers, and upgrading the level of scientific research in Egypt, Africa, and in the Arab world.

No urologists in Egypt, Arab World, or Africa but would be super grateful for Professor Khalaf and would definitely remember him with gratitude for they undoubtedly are among a large group of his students.

I pray to Allah Almighty that he may be rewarded for all his merits and rest eternally in Jannah “In a seat of truth (i.e., Paradise), near the Omnipotent King (Allah); the one, the Perfect in Ability, the All-Blessed, the most high, the owner of majesty and Honour” (Surah AlQamar [The moon]; Surah 54; Ayah 55; Part 27; the Noble Qur`an).

Ahmed A. Shokeir, MD, PhD, FEBU

Professor of Urology, Urology & Nephrology Center

What a pity, we have lost a great mentor.

Professor Khalaf was indeed one of the founding fathers and a pillar in PAUSA. He served PAUSA in several capacities; Secretary General, President and founder and Editor-in-Chief of African Journal of Urology.

He established the PAUSA ENDOUROLOGY FELLOWSHIP which eventually was adopted by SIU as SIU fellowship with an attached value of $5000. Many young African urologist have since benefited from the program.

He will always be remembered for his great efforts towards the development of PAUSA.

May his gentle soul rest in peace.

Prof Alexander M. E. Nwofor

President of PAUSA

This is truly sad news.

Professor Khalaf was one of the icons of PAUSA and he served in all capacities with all his heart. He contributed significantly to the growth of our Association for nearly 2 decades and his legacies are there for all to see.

May his soul Rest In Peace Amen.

Prof Olubunmi Olopade Olaopa

PAUSA Past President

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ElSheemy, M. Professor Ismail Khalaf Obituary. Afr J Urol 28, 4 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12301-022-00272-z

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