Professor Asaf Durakovic
Professor Asaf Durakovic M.D., Ph.D., D.V.M., D.Sc., F.A.C.P. May 16, 1940 – Dec. 16, 2020
Professor Asaf Durakovic died peacefully, Dec. 16, 2020, at the age of 80 at his home, Silver Spring, Md.
Dr. Durakovic founded World Life Institute (WLI) in 1986, an international humanitarian organization dedicated to education, research, and improving the quality of life on our planet. WLI has offices in Waterport and Medina, New York, Washington, DC, and Toronto, Canada.
WLI’s Project Life War Orphans Rehabilitation Program has brought more than 135 international war orphans to western New York since 1997. These orphans, from the troubled lands of Bosnia, the North Caucasus, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka, stay for several months of education and recreation before returning to their homelands, renewed physically and psychologically. The children are hosted by local families with whom they form long-term bonds. These connections last long after the orphans return to their family members. Dr. Durakovic personally escorted some of the orphans to and from their home countries and enjoyed cooking meals and spending time with them at his summer home in Orleans County.
Through WLI, Dr. Durakovic established the Radiation Emergency Management program (REM) in the early 1990s. REM provided multi-disciplinary, university-level education on radiation-effects of nuclear war and nuclear accidents, and the medical management of radiation emergencies. In the past five years, WLI has continued this work through its Global Nuclear Awareness Program (GNA), headquartered at the WLI Colonade on West Center Street, Medina. GNA is designed to build deeper understanding of the current nuclear reality and the challenges it raises, through conferences, public presentations, certificate courses, and online programs.
Dr. Durakovic was Clinical Chief, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Wilmington, DE, and Clinical Associate Chief, Nuclear Medicine, Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, Washington, DC. In his military career, Colonel Durakovic served in the Army Medical Corps and was a veteran of Operation Desert Storm (Gulf War 1).
Dr. Durakovic was a great lover of culture and the arts and was an accomplished poet besides authoring over 225 scientific articles in his field of medicine. Perhaps he was best known in Orleans County for initiating the annual Leaves of September event at the Medina Colonade. These annual concerts by young performers of instrumental and vocal music, combined with readings of his poetry, have been a high point on the arts calendar for the past several years. Dr. Durakovic was humble about his many accomplishments, to the point that many were not aware that many of his poems were published in literary magazines and that some are even included in the Vatican’s Anthology of Spiritual Poetry on Christ.
Dr. Asaf Durakovic is survived by his loving wife, Julianne Hazen-Durakovic, Ph.D.; his two daughters:Adiya and Safiya; and his brother, Prof. Zijad Durakovic, M.D.
His funeral was held Dec. 18, 2020, at the beautiful and snow covered, rural Sufi retreat in Carlton, NY, where he is interred. Full military honors were provided by the Honor Guard from the Albion Legion during the funeral ceremony.
May God bless his soul and reward him for his lifelong dedication to good works and the alleviation of human suffering. He is a light and inspiration to his many friends and students worldwide and to all of mankind.